Friday, February 24, 2017

American Tapestry Alliance video

Here's a link to a recently compiled and released video by American Tapestry Alliance.  It gives a brief overview of historical tapestries and shows a bit about the designing and weaving of tapestry.  At the end, there are many contemporary tapestries shown.

I've added the YouTube link at the left margin in the links of interest.  It's hard to keep up with everything that's out there in cyberspace where you can find interesting and inspiring things about tapestry!  My list gives only a few of them.  American Tapestry Alliance's website includes a listing of links and I'm sure it will grow.  That link is also at the left margin--and here.

There's nothing like seeing tapestries in person.  But books, catalogs of exhibits, magazines--and the ever expanding online resources are, in some ways, the next best thing.

Enjoy the viewing!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

New Year--New Post and fresh start for Tapestry Share

This is a detail of a tapestry I have in underway as the New Year begins.
Greetings to everyone in 2017!  Yes, Tapestry Share--my blog about learning, teaching and sharing is still here.  Although I haven't added a post in a l-o-n-g time I check in periodically to see if any of the other blog authors have.  Terri Bryson has been good about sharing ideas... like in the last post--thanks for doing that, Terri!

So... here's a refresher about what this blog is about.  It's something I started a few years ago in the hopes that some of the students I've had in classes and others among the tapestry weaving community could have a place to share their learning and teaching adventures.

I've made several posts about tapestry techniques and also with suggestions about yarn choices, finishing methods, and other things.  I try to keep a link list to those in the side margin so they're easier to find.  I've also noted classes, blogs, websites and other things from several tapestry teachers.

There's lots of information on the web for tapestry.  One of the valuable places to start your internet search for tapestry information is at the link list on the American Tapestry Alliance website.  There's always room for improvement in anyone's skills and knowledge and much, maybe most, of that improvement comes with experience.  I think it's good to see what's out there, try some things that resonate with one's working process--and also explore things that may be unfamiliar.

As far as teaching adventures go, I'll be on one very soon when Bhakti Ziek and I co-teach at Penland School of Crafts for Spring Concentration.  Our class is called Weaving: a Dialogue and we hope it will indeed be that for everyone who'll be there with us.  The class is full and it seems to be made up of a variety of experience levels--which is just great.  Here's the description we provided for the class:
Tommye Scanlin, tapestry weaver, and Bhakti Ziek, jacquard expert, will team teach the Spring 2017 at Penland. The class will focus on image making and story telling in weaving, and will be open to weavers and artists of all types and at any level. Both instructors are former college professors and have extensive knowledge of weaving in all its forms. This is a chance to participate in a studio where advanced weavers as well as novices are encouraged to learn from each other as they explore woven structures for ways to make images. Work will be done on tapestry looms and/or floor looms. Everything (almost!) possible in a "weaverly" way will be explored.
Here's to a successful New Year of tapestry to everyone!  I hope to be sharing more about my own adventures in tapestry teaching and learning in 2017.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Tapestry Study Group at Chattahoochee Handwweavers Guild 23 June 2016 Loom Day

On June 23 our Tapestry Study Group shared some unusual looms that some members of the group were weaving on.

The most unique loom was shared by Susan Flowers.  She had been at the beach and didn't have a loom to weave on.  She went to the office supply store and purchased a wire basket  that us usually used to keep papers together on a desk.  She warped it and began weaving.  She also has a nice little storage area under the tapestry. In the pictures: Susan with her loom and then a close up of the loom.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

A small galvanized pipe loom--with nods to Archie Brennan and Sarah Swett

It's been a LONG time since I've posted to Tapestry Share!  I'll try to update in a more timely way in the future.

As Spring begins here in north Georgia, USA, I want share a version of a pipe loom that I've recently made using 1/4" diameter galvanized pipe.  The design is based on the Archie Brennan standing pipe looms as seen in diagrams he graciously posts at his website and that are also at the American Tapestry Alliance website in the Educational Articles.  I also took inspiration from Sarah Swett's blog in which she described many pipe loom options.

This loom is small and is sitting beside my computer right now on a small folding table.

 It's 6" wide and 24" tall +/-.  Here's the loom:

Here's the basic parts list for both a frame without the extensions that I've called leash hanger, and the option of adding the extensions.  The only other things needed that I didn't put in this list are a couple of dowels--one to hold the open shed and the other to extend from side to side across the leash hangers.  Of course, warp and weft!


Small Galvanized Pipe Loom

Parts needed:

6 – ¼” diameter threaded pipe (called nipple), 6” long each

4 – ¼” diameter threaded nipple, 4” long each

2 – ¼” diameter threaded nipple, 1” long each

4 – Elbows to fit the ¼” threaded pipes

4 – Tees to fit the ¼” threaded pipes

2 – Caps for the ¼” threaded pipes

2 – Threaded rods, 12” x ¼” diameter

4 – Wingnuts to fit the threaded rod

Optional parts—to make leash hanger:

2 – ¼” Tees for the top of the loom

2 – ¼” Street Elbows to fit the ¼” Tees

2 – ¼” threaded nipple, 5” long each (leash hanger)

2 – Caps for the ¼” leash hanger
The frame of the loom is built with the 6 pieces of 6” long nipple. 

The top has two Elbows joining three of the 6” pieces into a U-shape. 
Optional—use two Tees here instead, for the 5” leash hanger extension.  Screw the Street Elbows to the top Tees, then the 5” nipple to extend forward.  Put the caps on the leash hanger.

The bottom has two Tees joining the three remaining 6” pieces into another U-shape.

The two 1” long nipples screw into the bottom Tees.

Screw two more Tees on the other end of the 1” pieces.

Put the 4” nipple at either end of the bottom Tees, placing an Elbow on one end and a cap on the other end. 

Oh... by the way, the tapestry from the last post ... that I was hemming?  Here it is finished.  It's now living in a new home, as a gift from a husband to a wife.  I think they're enjoying it.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Finishing Tapestry with Hem or Turn-back

Once upon a time someone asked me about hems or turn-backs as finishing steps for tapestry.  I delayed answering because at the time I hadn't been using that method for finishing very often.  However, in the last year I've done turn-backs with several pieces.  I photographed the steps I took on the last one (the landscape shown in the previous post) and so here's my take on using a hem or turn-back.

When doing the hem or turn-back I use a suggestion from Barbara Heller and weave several slits across the width of the piece so that the turn-back area won't pull in at the edges.  I usually make the slits 3" to  8" across, more or less, depending on the width of the whole piece.  On the 19" wide landscape I made two slits at each edge as I wove the 1" wide turn-back (on a larger piece I make that a bit wider):

Above is the piece laid out on the grid board.  Weft ends have been trimmed and the piece has been steam pressed (I didn't block* it, just gave it a pressing using steam in the iron and a dampened press cloth on top).  The turn-backs were finger pressed down and T-pinned, then steam pressed and left overnight.

Next, I basted the turn-back using regular sewing thread and a big running stitch, removing the T-pins as I did that:

Once both sides were basted, I stitched down the turn-back using a tapestry needle and a tiny stitch that caught only a little of the weft at the back of the tapestry.  Since this piece will be mounted onto a fabric covered board I don't need the turn-back tacked down more than that.

The white thread in the big running stitches is the basting thread that is to be removed at the end.  I'm stitching down the turn-back using a double strand of the same yarn as used in the weft.  You can see that I'm only catching a bit of the weft and then coming through near the edge of the turn-back.  The stitches are about 1/4" apart.  Other times I have used a regular sewing thread to stitch down the turn-back instead of weft.

Finished turn-backs on both top and bottom; I've trimmed the warp ends a bit more and left them about 3/4" long:

Soon I'll post about the next finishing steps for this piece.  It will be much like what I've shown before when I've mounted small tapestries on a fabric covered board as described in this post.

*Kathy Spoering wrote a great post about blocking at her blog--find it at this link.  I don't always block tapestries but when I do I use her suggestions.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Many = One (weft color, that is)

I'm approaching the top of a tapestry that's 19" wide x 14" high, sett at 8 epi with 12/12 cotton seine twine.  As you see, it's a landscape and it's based on a drawing I made a couple of summers ago.  The area of land includes foreground with shallow field and a couple of trees that cast a deep shadow across the ground, a deeper middle ground that has a mass of foliage across the width as well as a small hill in a bit of distance, and then background with mountain ridge in more distance.  Cumulus clouds are building up above the mountains.   Blue sky is all across the top for about 1" above the top of the highest cloud.

You'll notice that the foreground and middle ground areas had many wefts making up the shapes.  Fewer shapes were used to create the mountains and the clouds.  However, I tried to break up wefts throughout the tapestry so that selvedges wouldn't begin to pull in once there were less wefts in play in any of the areas.

That's the reason the blue sky is being woven with so many separate wefts (twenty of them, in fact) -- even thought the entire sky is of the same color.  I wanted to keep the weft from beginning to draw the warps together and creating width problems at the top.  Seeing the top of a tapestry narrow as the end is approaching is a common problem (nightmare? headache?) faced by many tapestry weavers.  And it's usually caused by having fewer wefts at work across the width.  And/or by speeding up the weaving because the end is in sight!

Simple weft-faced plain weave--always a challenge!


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Happy New Year--wishing you many tapestry adventures in 2015!

Yes, it's been months and months since I've posted to this blog.  I hope something useful is included in the postings and the various links I have at the left margin even though I haven't posted new information lately.  In the upcoming year I plan to post more often with tips, hints, strategies I've found in my own practice of tapestry making.  And I want to continue to share about the work of others as they teach, guide, instruct and in numerous ways become inspirations about the joy of tapestry.

Therefore, here's my first share for 2015:

This is a link to information about Rebecca Mezoff's online tapestry class.  The next one starts TOMORROW, January 5.  I don't know if it's too late to enroll but I'm sure you could inquire with Rebecca at the contact she's included in her post.

In whatever way and with whomever you choose to study tapestry, may your wefts never tangle and your warps never break! And may beautiful tapestries flow out of your hands forever.