I am weaving the new year in with lots of plans and projects!
The black-eyed peas are on the stove, to be accompanied by cole slaw and cornbread later. It is a chilly day here in Oklahoma as expected in January and we have actually had some rain! All good omens for the new year. Funny how rain, which was a daily occurance while growing up in southern Florida has become an event.
This piece is on my Mirrix Joni Loom and an easel stand and set up with the Mirrix treadle. One of the challenges of weaving it, is that I am working from side to side in the design. Although this is not uncommon for tapestry weavers I am finding it challenging for this piece and often stop to take photos so that I can look at the weaving from the correct direction.
My hope is to see this coming to conclusion by the end of the year. Okay, I have put that in writing. If I have relearned anything from doing the tapestry diary this past year it is that progress is not about spurts of creative energy (although they have their place) but more about steady progress. This could be especially true in the medium of tapestry weaving but whatever you do, getting into the studio and doing it everyday whether you feel like it or not creates momentum and progress. I hope to be sharing more about this project as progress happens.
I have also given thought to my tapestry diary project for the new year. I started the tapestry diary during a class with Tommye Scanlin at Arrowmont school in Gatlinburg, Tennessee last summer. I didn't really have a plan when I started so I used some sketches that I had done around the grounds at Arrowmont for inspiration. If you would like to know more about Tommye Scanlin and her amazing tapestry work or Arrowmont school there are links to the right on the blog.
Now that I can look at the last six months or so of tapestry diary I can see that I was very interested in making it personal, taking events from my daily life and finding a way to weave them. This approach needed quite a bit of thought, and sometimes involved making sketches of my ideas before weaving; in short the project has consumed my tapestry time since it started . Everyday does come around every day though and I can remember remarking to a friend that some days were hummingbird days and others were little dot days! I needed to find a way to continue my daily practice and also put more energy into some other projects so I have come up with a different approach for this year. Fortunately, a daily practice like this is all about having it your way with no rules except your own and even those can be changed as needed.
Since this will be my first opportunity to weave a full year I decided it would be fun to have the diary all in one piece. Above is a picture of my Le Clerc Gobelin tapestry loom with my warp for the new year and a bit of weaving in progress. Using this loom is giving me the opportunity to have the whole year all in one piece and to become more confident with using leashes for tapestry. If you are curious about warping this loom Rebecca Mezoff has a very informative post about it on her blog which is listed on the right of this blog. Second, I thought it would be great to really explore my palette of Ymmyarns and so I am going to concentrate on the wool palette although I may end up using some silk as well. Third, I have planned a design based upon a simple repeating motif that will give each day about 1 inch by 2 inch space but should offer plenty of room for variety and last but most important I am thinking of the project this year more in terms of a daily practice than a diary. My plan is not to have much in the way of pictorial content but more work with color transitions and pattern. It remains to be seen how long I can stick to the plan, but I am hoping that this approach will lead to a smooth transition from the daily practice piece to the larger tapestry. I am going to think of these two projects as a team.
Here is the first day of January, 2013. The base weaving was put in ahead and the little rectangle is the first day. It will take a pass across the width and back to do a week and about two weeks for the entire repeating pattern to surface.
Of course I will still be fitting in some woven jewelry and the Sheep Breed Sampler tapestry will be my only portable tapestry for a while so I will be catching up with that soon. It is about one half finished and I still need to spin about twelve different breeds for it so there is some spinning in my future as well. I am pretty excited about getting to work for the new year !
Now I am going to concentrate on lining up some classes and shows for the year and more preparation for the Tapestry Study Group that meets for the first time next week. This will be after the regular Tulsa Handweavers Guild meeting and if you would like more information just use the Tulsa Handweavers link to the right.
I'm wishing y'all steady progress towards your aspirations for the new year!