Tuesday, April 16, 2013

On the Road Again

Just a few words before we hit the road for the Yellow Rose Fiber Producers Fiesta in Sequin, Texas. It should be a nice time of year to be driving through Texas and we are looking forward to doing this show for the first time.  The plan is to leave early Wednesday morning. Today I have the challenging task of loading the car before me. I haven't started packing any clothes yet and that will depend on the nooks and crannies that are left after the shop stuff is safely inside.

 A picture I snapped this morning of some things that are waiting for me. I am almost finished gathering it up!

Here is an update on the April tapestry diary. I have woven the road for today as that is what is on my mind. April is warming up now and beginning to feel like spring in Oklahoma.

I have also done a little spinning for the Sheep Breed Sampler tapestry and I am planning to bring it along to demonstrate at the Show on my 16 inch Mirrix with treadle. I have four sheep ( yarns) ready to go including Gotland, CVM, Bond and Shetland to add to the 12 already grazing.

I have also made several bracelets new for this show and I have two tapestry bead cuffs to demonstrate on the 12 inch Mirrix, an Affinity bracelet on the 8 inch Mirrix and a no warp ends bead project on the 5 inch Mini. A nice variety. I also have a couple of hat bands to display and several tapestry pieces.

Here is a small update on the Mango Hunters. I am closing in on those Mangos. I should be further along and hope to be back to steady progress in May. It has been a very busy Spring!

By the way, the second place winner in the Mirrix contest was Laura Arena from Port Charlotte, Florida not so far from my birth place, New Port Richey. I have sent her a selection of wool and silk Ymmyarns in colors she seems to like very well. Congratulations Laura! I hope to have a picture sometime in the future.

I haven't posted in a while about the Tulsa Handweavers Tapestry Study Group primarily because I am usually to busy to take pictures. As a little follow up though I am pleased to say that the guild has agreed to buy the Archie Brennan/ Susan Maffei DVD set. This is exciting news because I know we have members that will benefit from the wonderful instruction they offer. I know I have greatly benefitted from my set. There is a link to the right if you are interested in more information about them.

It is always my intention to do a little blogging from the road but it doesn't always work out that way. The pesky need for some sleep gets in the way sometimes but I am planning to try.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Marching into April Pick by Pick

Here is the latest installment of the 2013 tapestry diary. It starts on March 1st in the lower right corner and goes through April 1 in the upper right corner.

One of the things that I have been experimenting with in this years daily practice is pick and pick. This is a pattern that is usually introduced early when studying weft faced weaves as a way to achieve a vertical stripe pattern. In concept it is simple, one pick of a color followed by one pick of another color will create a vertical stripe. It is a good way to illustrate the visual effect of the physical reality of plain weave. One pick covers half the threads, the second pick covers the remaining threads and it takes both or one pass to weave a pattern repeat in plain weave. Like most simple things it can be a powerful tool if understood and manipulated with skill.

My favorite reference for pick and pick is Carol Russell's Tapestry Handbook. The entire second chapter is devoted to a sampler of pick and pick. In this sampler the suggested practice will not only introduce the pattern capabilities of this technique but the many color blending possibilities that can be achieved.  There is even an exercise for creating an isolated area of pick and pick within a larger ground which is very useful. While pick and pick is pretty simple to weave, complications do arise in keeping the edges neat, beginning and ending wefts so that the color sequence remains correct and avoiding draw in.  One of the most impressive offerings in this book is the wealth and variety of tapestry work illustrated and there are several images that show a creative approach to using pick and pick techniques within a larger work. One of the most exciting things shown, is how by changing the relative values of the colors wonderful effects of light and atmosphere can be achieved as well as a variety of patterns.

In several of my older diaries there are experiments with pattern using pick and pick. In the example at left are tree trunks and windows in buildings.

In this little scene it becomes a fence.

In this detail from the Mango Hunters it becomes pattern for a textile within a textile.

In this one the subtle value changes suggest light rising at the horizon.

Here are a couple of leaves from the Mango Hunter that suggest a hint of shadow or flickering light with pick and pick.

I use pick and pick as a decorative technique in many of the bracelets too. Here is one that shows a standard vertical stripe pattern.

In the next series of photos pick and pick, dots and horizontal lines are used to transition  from a pale gold to a red violet and back
on a recent bracelet project.

Starting at one of the ends...

moving around to yellow orange, orange and coral.

Here are some darker values toward the center.

Then moving back into the oranges and golds...

and ending back in the golds once more.

Concluding with another shot of the February and January diaries from this year it is easy to see a variety of pick and pick both subtle and bold. It will be even easier if looking at the details I suspect.

I am even planning on doing my initials in pick and pick for this years diary.