Friday, October 24, 2014

I'm Back!

I've been over the rainbow and back! Or another way to put it is I have been to the Joan Baxter workshop in Dahlonega, Georgia and am now back to share the tale.

What a great experience! As if the workshop itself wasn't fabulous, but when you add the exciting Woven Together exhibit ( now showing at the Library and Technology Center, University of North Georgia) and the amazing artist talk given by Joan at the opening of the exhibit it was over the rainbow spectacular and a richly rewarding time. I have so many juicy morsels of knowledge and inspiration from this time that I know I will be savoring and nurtured by for a long time.

Here is a photo of my class weaving from the workshop done on my 16 inch Mirrix Loom. We started with some color blending techniques that Joan presented the first day. The next morning as I was walking to class a lovely rainbow filled the sky and I was part of an early morning group admiring it. When I got back to my work I began to see a little rainbow of my own appear in my color blending work for the class.

Every detail of the workshop, exhibit and all the activities of the week were so thoughtfully and wonderfully arranged. Of course it takes a village to carry off an event like this and so many wonderful people at the University added to the richness of the experience. I think it is safe to say though that these two, Tommye Scanlin and Pat Williams had a great deal to do with the planning and details behind the scenes. Thanks to you both!

Here is the other half of the space we shared for our workshop. On the front loom to the left a project is being woven by our wonderful workshop assistant and Art Marketing major, Leah. It was a very large and welcoming space and with all the other classes going on, open most hours for our use.

Here is a lovely photo by Randy Weghorst showing some of the beautiful color samples that Joan had with her. Such inspiring color blending and techniques. I was amazed that sitting down to the loom with nothing in mind but sampling colors could produce such a variety of tapestry beginnings.

A photo of colorful Joan, who not only weaves inspiring tapestries but is also a gifted and inspired speaker as well.

Here she is doing a little demonstration for us of a very interesting technique for stabilizing a series of single turns.

Hopefully this close up I captured tells the story pretty well. She used some polyester sewing thread of a color and value that blended with the background. After about 2 or three single turns she brought the sewing thread across and back in one pass. Half of the first pick is in the same shed but the sewing thread disappears completely, then she continues the single wraps 2 or three more times and repeats. Think two ( 2 single wraps) 2 ( two picks of sewing thread) and 2 ( about two warps ahead and behind the single wraps). it works beautifully.

One of the little extras was a visit to Tommye's studio where all the private consultations with Joan Baxter took place.

Inside, it is just the tapestry weavers paradise that you might expect!

The Woven Together exhibit was amazing and is  there till the end of the month so if you are able to see it you must!

In addition to this piece by Joan Baxter, over 50 tapestries from members of Tapestry Weavers South. Two of my tapestries, The Mango Hunters and the 2014 Tapestry Diary Triptych are there. So exciting to be hanging in such good company.

In addition to the tapestries there was also an interesting display of the design work that went into the creation of the tapestries which added a rich dimension to the exhibit.

More deign work...

and more.

Here is an example of the several educational plaques that were spread throughout the exhibit.

There was also a demonstration area showing design, materials and an ongoing tapestry that Tommye manned periodically during the month.

The talk that Joan gave was fascinating. She is a gifted storyteller as well as weaver and the many examples of her work were breathtaking. Obviously I was quite absorbed by the talk because I have no actual photos.

Here is another great photo shared by Randy Weghorst! Look at me standing right next to Joan.

It was a great time and I came home so inspired and with a powerful desire for a new tapestry loom. I need a larger one with treadles! I am looking into the Fireside Fiberarts Cantilever Loom and trying to help fund the purchase...

by selling my Mighty Wolf complete with 6 reeds, bench with bag, double back beam, wolf trap, stroller and extras for less than half the retail so if you are interested please get in touch. My email and information is in the right margin of the blog or just leave a comment and I will get back to you.

I also have an original style Mirrix treadle that I would like to sell for half of retail.

Thanks so much for indulging my little ad and I hope you enjoyed the story of my fantastic workshop with Joan. In the next couple of days I am going to move over to my Sketching Around Blog and share some travel sketches and watercolors from the trip that will help tell the rest of the story.


  1. that looks like a wonderful learning time... and inspirational. Thanks for sharing all that beauty and fun

    1. Thanks for taking a look around! It was a very wonderful time!