Saturday, April 6, 2013
'The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday--but never jam to-day.'
'It MUST come sometimes to "jam to-day,"' Alice objected.
'No, it can't,' said the Queen. 'It's jam every OTHER day: to-day isn't any OTHER day, you know.'
'I don't understand you,' said Alice. 'It's dreadfully confusing!'
'That's the effect of living backwards,' the Queen said kindly: 'it always makes one a little giddy at first--'
'Living backwards!' Alice repeated in great astonishment. 'I never heard of such a thing!'
'--but there's one great advantage in it, that one's memory works both ways.'
'I'm sure MINE only works one way,' Alice remarked. 'I can't remember things before they happen.'It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards,' the Queen remarked.Lewis Carol illustration Jessica Wilcox 1923
The Small format tapestry I finished yesterday is called “There has got to be a morning after?”, size- 4 inches by 6 inches. I have one more left in this series of 2. I assume a series can be only two much like one can’t become a serial killer until they have killed 3 times.I suppose there does need to be rules about such things. I began working on it today for a few hours. It is a sunrise of a mountain, clouds and the end of a burn. Also, 4 by 6 inches. These 2 pieces are all about something that happened when I was in high school camping with my family and a wildfire that crowned close by. We were trapped for a while and later evacuated. The second is of the breaking daylight over a mountain and it’s uncanny stillness the morning after.
I am staring at the keys of my computer keyboard trying to figure out where the start of this blog should be. Not exactly overwhelmed but not underwhelmed either with the time between this and my last blog. I have been rather ill for the last month. One random event lead to another to create a series of events. To quote one source “Concurrent events that first appear to be coincidental but later turn out to be causally related are termed in coincident.” But according to Jung life is not a series of random events but rather an expression of a deeper order, which he referred to as Unus mundus. On the other hand there is a psychiatric condition called Apophenia which probably really applies to this last 6 months.
One of the things that happens when I am spending to much time being sick is I have a tendency to read things that may or may not be nonsensical or very random.
still not finished, but further along then last time
Reading always makes me feel better.
So I have had an orgy of reading for the last month. So some of the books I found to read in the last month are: 4-5 cheap-in the Victorian sense- novels that I refuse/embarrassed to name, Jungs: Man and His Symbols, and Memories, Dreams and Reflections(couldn’t find a copy of The Red book) I am never quite sure if I really understand Jung or if I just enjoy feeling confused like some do feeling scared. Interesting thought comparing Jung to Stephen King. The Black Count(the real count of Monte Cristo) by-Reiss,(I think I have read every book by his Grandson-Alexander) The Burges Tapestry by Staies, Annotated Grimm's Fairy Tale, Persian Carpets by Volmar Gantzhorn(which turned out to be the most interesting of everything I read. It is a comprehensive history of rugs and how the designs influenced other crafts from a slightly Armenian bent.
I received a gift of a beautiful book A Passion for roses; The note books of Henri Delbard with Watercolours by Fabrice Moireau(It’s so beautiful
I can’t stop looking at it. Thanks Diane K.) AND a copy from Don Norris of his new book on beginning Silversmithing. (Great job!!!! Don. I am fascinated by it. Don is my favourite silversmithing teacher)
Tuesday I find out if I am well enough/healed enough to go back to exercising and other things that have been held on hold for a month. One of the biggest is finishing up the house re-do and my spring gardening/clean-up.
So Why have I had so much time to read?
It all started with my getting my teeth cleaned. Something I do 3 times a year and ends I hope with my being able to get rid of an infection left over from the oral surgery to repair a rather large hole that was punched into my sinus by something that was supposed to be “no big deal”. All because my original Dentist failed to see a rather large cavity on a back molar that she should have been able to see for about 4 years in the 12 times that she supposedly cleaned my teeth at a cost of 268.00 each time. This year has been on surprise after another beginning with my Dad’s death In December. Actually it may have started earlier then that like in September-a long dry hot spell the necessitated a new roof in the middle of terrible down pours-finally settled on just doing the half that was leaking torrents of water into a newly remodeled laundry room from there it’s been one in coincident .
Found another soumack and tapestry rug. Some of it’s in rough shape, but for the most part good enuff to study. Perhaps, I’ll make it into a smaller rug, but for now I sit on the floor and study it.
There is one part that is totally shredded, but the shredding allows me to see how the technique may have been done. The actual colour of the weft was most likely the colour of the reverse side below, Beautiful colours.What it shows me when I look at the shredding is that these particular squares were actually a form of double weave-two warps used as one warp-in a 1-2-3-2-1 diamond shape. The vertical and diagonal lines lines are soumack. The red sample is done in the same way with the exception of the two red and white borders being soumack.
Teaching in California at Inland Empire Hand Weavers guild was so much fun.
It was so odd to see spring in the flats or almost spring and then look up and see snow on the hills behind us . It was interesting. Meant some very interesting people that I would love to run into again. It was a large group 13-14 participants. The highlight of the trip-one of them-was the partial destruction of my computer by the airlines. Good news is I am replacing it. The dent knocked something loose and it was like it had developed dementia or Alzheimer's. It would loose itself in time and totally mess up whatever program it was working in, I ended up retrieving portions 3 PowerPoint presentations to combine into two lectures. So, much for the airlines being gentle with the carry on they confiscated. Janet Castro had made sure that all of the looms were warped in advance so we were able to cover a lot of ground in the class. It was a mixed level class. The colour blending's were incredibly beautiful that the participants wove especially the mélange and and chene’ samples.
Finally, last put not least-Two of my students work I have pictures of some of !First--Cathie Beckman's work that she did while in the studio(Jacob's Rose-one of the most difficult coloured roses to weave) and two of her calendar flowers. The Jacob’s rose was taken while still on the loom and the other are finished work.
The second student is one of my blog students Patti Kirsch. These are samples that she did illustrating one of the exercises we are doing in on colour theory. I am doing the exercises with her that will be included in the new Colour Theory book that Pat Spark and I are working on.
Time to end! Before I am really late and Chene” becomes to bored
Cheers and all,
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Motion is a change in position of an object with respect to time and its reference point.
Motion signifies a continuous change in the configuration of a physical system. vs..
“Entropy is the only quantity in the physical sciences (apart from certain rare interactions in particle
that requires a particular direction for time, sometimes called an arrow of time.
As one goes "forward" in time, the second law of thermodynamics says, the entropy of an isolated system will increase.
Loom picture with new work.
One of the ideas involved in the concept of entropy is that nature tends from order to disorder in isolated systems- or towards possible chaos.
Detail of new piece-not yet named.
I am weaving this is on my new smaller mirrix. It’s the 12 inch.
Perfect with the new regs. on bag sizes-since I need room to get my treadle in the bag also.
Entropy as Time's Arrow
Last time was all about getting started again.
The time the next step is movement or creating motion and avoiding the possible chaos of “times arrow”.
Movement is happening as to which direction the movement is going or if it is just a product of entropies possible chaos is left to be seen. Can never tell with entropy I know that chaos is rampant in the studio and,
of course, it is tax season. Around here that means Spencer is working 9-9/24-7 at Block. Leaving me to try and keep everything organized, flowing and Chaos at bay. The good news and showing movement is the solar goes up on the house Wednesday and the heat pumps should go up on Friday in the studio-warmth. The end of the remodel is nearer. Bad news- I am still clearing out my Dad’s house.
Good News-I have started another piece. It doesn’t have a name yet. But is based on a smaller cartoon that I blew up to 8.5 by 11 inches. I am working on the rock wall that I added to the other cartoon. I have also added a feather as a writing utensil for the lines of the dismembered or incomplete puzzle pieces. I would really like to have this finished by February 24. Yes, of this year! Doable if nothing else interferes.
I finished a small sunset piece that is 1.5 inches by 8.5 inches. Wove four samples for the new book. They are 2 inches by 8-12 inches with the exception of one which is 3/4 inches by 8 inches on value. This tapestry design is from a photo that I took at Christmas at Yachats hanging on the edge of a side of a cliff while trying to get the brush out of the frame. It’s part of a series of 320 photos that I took 20 seconds apart while the sun was going down. Still hoping to photograph a Green Flash. The odds of even seeing one the second time are almost non existent, but I keep trying. This is the first time I am seeing the this direction. It hasn’t been cut from the loom. Feels really strange. I think I may like it better the other direction. The direction I wove it.
The green flash is actually an observable phenomena, Not the Comic book character. I saw a green flash about 15 years ago on the Oregon coast near Yachats, but didn’t get my camera turned on in time.
Cover to Flash Comics #1 (Jan. 1940)
Art by Sheldon Moldoff- DC comics.
Liberated from Wikipedia photos
My line piece was accepted into The ATA3 small format exhibit. Which has left me slightly bemused after seeing 4 examples from the exhibit that were used for advertising the exhibit j-pegs of several pieces that weren’t accepted. I am not sure how or why my piece is in the exhibit for a dozen different reasons that have nothing to do with the quality of my work. I think I need to see the other 33 or so pieces before I do any real thinking about the exhibit. I am rapidly coming to the decision/conclusions that my designs are an anachronism. They just don’t fit anywhere in what’s going on in tapestry at this point in history. I see them almost as pictograph- pictorial narratives as opposed to created objects or sculptural realization of an image. It seems more and more that tapestry artist are moving away from the simple telling of a story in pictures or at least the small format juried shows seem to be. Doesn’t really matter anymore. I know what I want to weave and how I want to weave my images. I know, I know, I have been told everything has it’s on story or narrative. I want mine to read more as Lakota “Winter Counts) like the “doodles” or pictographs my Grandmother kept to remind herself of important things in her life.(see http://wintercounts.si.edu/flashindex.html) This is a great exhibition and explanation of Winter counts
I am really excited about the progress Pat and I are making on the new book. The samples are fun to weave. Written explanations are a little-okay a lot more more difficult as we combine to very different view points into a cohesive understanding of both.
These first two samples/ pictures are depicting what happens when you decide to subtract wefts from the weft bundle. It’s about trying to have more hatches in a given area for finer optical blending in the structural bridge colours of the hatches. The first one with the green was woven from paternayan and started with 4 threads in each weft bundle and moved to 1 thread in the weft bundle. We decided that as a sample it would be too difficult to photograph for the book-not contrasty enough. The second sample was woven with the Norwegian Alv yarns that FFP imports. There were 5 threads in the initial weft bundle. Each section is 1.75 inches tall by 2 inches wide.
This third sample is what happens when you mix a chene’ or mélange with hatches. Again with the alv yarns and at 10 epi. Progression is the same 1 thread off one weft bundle and added to the other weft bundle. One always has 5 threads in the weft bundle.
The next sample is a value run that I was trying to weave from light value to dark value. It actually begins with white and runs into black. Each square is .75x.75 inches. The first problem that I ran into was there are no achromatic greys. No one company has an even progression from light to dark.So were back to using colour aide papers and preprinted value cards. Greys are usually produced by greying out or mixing a colour such as green or lavender, etc.. with the complement in the dye process. So I am in a quandary as to how to produce or weave an achromatic progression for the optical blending book Pat and I are writing.
As promised, Kay S. Here’s how I sometimes keep from pulling out my cartoon sewing thread and keep from loosing my needle. It involves a button and a knot.
Hopefully you can see that the button is tied to the end of the thread and knotted as is the thread knotted at the base of the eye of my curved needle. The knot is pulled really tightly and is really no thicker then the needle. The knot slips right through the tapestry as I sew the cartoon to the back of my tapestry.
Time to go. Wry made the mistake of using Chene’s water bowl and food dish. Chene’s making sure Wry doesn’t do it again and ignoring the quiet command. Very related to one of my favourite tapestry by Pat Williams.
Next time! Have fun! Weave a lot!
Friday, January 11, 2013
Hoop Dancing is often the stories of beginnings, the tale of the cycle of life, the stories of life. It is said that a good hoop dancer finds their stories in the rustle of grasses, the blowing of leaves and the whisper of the wind. I saw my first hoop dance in 1976. It was all so close to the beginnings of women competing in the hoop dance competitions. By this time hoop dancing had already joined so many other things in the pan-Indian movements that the large powwows were creating and causing.One can’t really say that Hoop dancing is from one specific tribe-anymore. Each group or dancer put’s there own twist or twists to the hoop dance. So it’s almost become a universal in many tribes. It has always seemed appropriate to me that women should compete and tell the story of life in something that was based on the cycle of life. But, I am only a between and what do I know?
On December 6,
my Fathers circle of life was completed, but is still entwined and connected with the rest of our circles of life that are connected and attached to the great circle of life. Dad was born in 1925 and lived a rich full life.
Life can be a messy, and confusing leaving great amounts of detrital/detritus, puzzlement and residue for some lucky soul in this case me to bring order to chaos.Transitions take time. So that’s how I have been spending most of the last month. Great amounts of sorting through papers and a life times accumulation from another's life and wondering why they kept the things they did.
|detritus (d-trts)1. Loose fragments, such as sand or gravel, that have been worn away from rock.2. Matter produced by the decay or disintegration of an organic substance.detrital adjective|
On the studio level or my personal work-With the exception of a 4 day retreat to the coast with Spencer and having a student the last week of September and one student just leaving everything was been spent in a hectic, but fun workshop trips-roughly 7 in various parts of the country. Two of the seven- granted- were private students in the studio---but no actual weaving.
All I can say is it was a very good thing last night that Cathie Beckman let me weave on her loom. I was so jealous. I just wanted to grab the loom away from her and weave. Cathie had been weaving in the my studio for 3 days as an only student. Her cartoon was based on a Jacob rose. A rose that I have not yet woven. This isn’t the photo of her rose, but it is a Jacob's rose so that you can see what the colours and techniques were like. I hadn’t realized how starved I was to begin weaving again. I haven’t woven in 2.5 months, because of everything that needed tending to in life at this point. It was neither a good thing or a bad thing just a specific time in life with very specific challenges.
Anyway, I wove today on a new/old piece that I had started prior to this break. A small narrow one inch strip of sunset. I am also starting two small rectangular designs. They are about sunsets on the ocean and a rock mossy wall over looking the ocean.
These are the five photos that I am considering weaving or variations and or combinations. They were all taken on my Xmas retreat. I really like the format of tapestries that are no larger 3 inches high and 7-9 inches wide. Usually they take me around 30-40 hours to weave- On a good week, it’s a weeks worth of weaving. I am really done with weavings that take 124 days to weave. (see prior blogs about “And he…) The bottom 2 photos are not dust but the sun shining through a rain squall.
A Little more, but about tapestry technique--
One of the discoveries I have been making is that many students don’t understand the importance with working at a very tight tension when weaving tapestry.
There are some very good reasons for having really tight tension.
It is so much easier to beat the warp down and cover the warp. The bubble of weft and the tightness of the warp help prevent lice(this happens when the weft won’t cover the warp as you weave. It is a play on words of the French term licier.) Turns are easier to keep from pulling in or being pushed out of place as you make turns. The tapestry is less likely to pooch or create a blister as you beat down or stretch the warp as you beat down. The hand of the fabric is more solid, you can’t but your fingers through the weave structure. When you beat down hard on a warp the is less likely to collapse later-squares stay square. Circles don't be come ovals. etc. etc. -
The excuses range from lack of a good loom or the loom isn’t capable of having or maintaining a really tight tension. There are also those who have never been told how important a tight tension is to in the weaving process. I have seen so many people lately that are trying to weave on picture frames, looms with absolutely no tensioning device and then can’t understand why their tapestry have problems. In my whole career-35 years. I have only seen one or two people that have the actual strength to warp a picture tight enough to get really good results or not destroy the frames they are trying to weave tapestry on. And a handful of people who can actually get a really great tapestry from a picture frame.
Looms that are too wide can become too wimpy if the bars are not the proper size in relationship to the size of the loom width and metal fatigue sets in.
Or, they are trying to use a jack loom and trying to get a good shed. It is extremely difficult to get a tight enough warp on a loom with a jack type mechanism. And, yes, there are exceptions to every rule, but why fight the battle that most likely is lost before one begins.
How tight is tight enuff! Warp should be tight enough that it sounds like a harp or a guitar when you drag your fingertips across the warps at a right angle. Warps also should not be able to be displaced when you do this. If you are using a warping method such as circular or figure 8, over tighten the warp, leave it be for over night, come back and loosen the warp down to where it is the right tension-still tight enough to sound or thrum like a a musical instrument... In most cases it will even the warp tension across the whole width of the web of warp. Both loom pictures of looms –galvanized and copper loom are from the Copyrighted book So Warped that I co-wrote with Pat Spark.
There are some really inexpensive solutions- such as building a copper frame loom with a large screw with large wing nuts or nuts that tension. There are directions in several of my books for building copper looms. Archie Brennan also has a web site that has plans for one of these looms and so does the ATA web site with great diagrams. Parts can be bought very inexpensively at Habitat Re-Stores. If it’s a technical problem with cutting often times large box building supply places will have pipe in stock cut to smaller dimensions in stock or will cut it for you.
Another solution is to build a pipe loom with galvanized pipe. Where everything can basically be screwed together. A little more expensive, but doable compared to the cost of many large tapestry looms.
Both of these looms cost in their small sizes are under 20-30 dollars for parts-sometimes less. The big frame loom made of galvanized pipe was less then 100 dollars. I worked on a larger version for years and wove 8 pieces for my master’s thesis on a loom like this sitting on the floor.
OKAY-that’s enough from now. I am off to weave. YEH!!!!!
Photo taken just barely South of the Sea Lions cave, on the Oregon coast Xmas 2012.