Sunday, February 24, 2019

Susan Iverson--a video

Here's a wonderful video about Susan Iverson's series of tapestries.  It's very inspiring to see how she has found the word "no" to be such a rich source of visual imagery--as well as causing the meaning of the word to really be thought of in new ways.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Fringeless--an upcoming online class produced by Rebecca Mezoff

Rebecca Mezoff is soon launching an online class about four selvedge weaving, called Fringeless: Four Selvedge Warping, featuring Sarah Swett.  I know it will be quite informative and also inspirational.  I don't have an investment in this venture--just excitement to see it happen!

For those who don't know, four selvedge warping allows for a piece to be woven without ends of warp at top and bottom.  Four selvedge warping is an ancient technique but the method has been revived in the past couple of decades to make it accessible to contemporary tapestry weavers.

I first learned of this way of warping from Susan Martin Maffei and I've used her method several times for small tapestries.  Susan has provided a pdf with diagrams of her set up online.   I wrote about my adventure with this in a 2011 blog post here at Tapestry Share. And here are a few of the eighteen or so small landscapes I did then.  These are between about 2" wide x 8" high to 3" x 4":

Since then I've woven a few more with the method that Sarah shows at her blog and that she'll be describing in the online class. 

Michael Rohde and Sarah Swett have made a few modifications to Susan's method; here's a link to Sarah's blog post describing the way she does it.  The way of warping and weaving with the set up is not exactly like that used by Navajo weavers although with the same end result--no tails of warps to deal with.

I'm sure with this new information about the method that Sarah and Rebecca will be sharing there will be many more fringeless tapestries in the world!  I know I'll be setting up my loom for a few soon.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Mary Hambidge documentary

Mary Crovatt Hambidge is a name known by some and, I think, should be by others who are interested in art, weaving, and a life dedicated to the pursuit of creativity.  Mary Hambidge was quite a force to be reckoned with in her day and her influence is still felt through her legacy of the Hambidge Center in Rabun County, Georgia.

Image result for mary hambidge
Photo from Hal Jacobs' documentary
 Hal Jacobs, a documentary filmmaker, produced a video about Mary Hambidge that was released last year, showing first at film festivals and in several private viewings.  Our Penland Concentration class was fortunate to have one of the early private viewings last year and Jessica Green, a weaver who was one of those featured in the film, visited the class at the time.

Hal has now made the video available online.  Here's the link to that.  I hope seeing this will give you insight into how one small woman could have such an impact on the lives of many, even after all of these years.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Books about Weaving, Spinning, Knitting and other Fiber Things for Children

The new year is well on its way now.  I'm busy in my studio, weaving and preparing for an exhibit coming up soon in an arts and learning center. The center has a family day where books that relate to the art works being shown are part of the activities for children.  I had a few titles of children's books about weaving in mind but not many so I turned to a couple of Facebook groups for suggestions.  I posted my question around 7 a.m. this morning and by noon I had twenty seven titles to put on my list (and the list keeps growing as others chime in with new suggestions!)  When social media works in good ways it's amazing.  Many thanks to those folks from the Weaving and the Tapestry groups on Facebook for their generosity in helping to compile this list!

Here's what I've assembled, in no particular order.  I didn't link these to any particular site because I don't want to promote one source rather than another, but if you do a search for the title and the author you'll find what you're looking for.  One person also mentioned she thought most of the titles were in her weaving guild's library--so that's always somewhere to check!

If you have other suggestions, please comment to add those! One of the Facebook friends mentioned you might see which of these books are available from nearby libraries by checking the large network of library content and services at WorldCat.

Books for Children about Weaving, Spinning, Knitting and Other Fiber Arts

The Goat in the Rug, Charles L. Blood, Martin Link, Nancy Winslow Parker
Weaving the Rainbow, George Ella Lyon
Annie and the Old One, Miska Miles
Kids Weaving-Projects for All Ages, Sarah Swett
Weaving with Children, Ute Fischer
The Spider Weaver: A Legend of Kente Cloth, Margaret Musgrove, Julia Cairns
Abuela’s Weave, Omar S. Castañeda, Enrique O. Sanchez
A New Coat for Anna, Harriet Ziefert
Songs from the Loom: A Navajo Girl Learns to Weave, Monty Roessel
Charlie Needs a Cloak, Tomie dePaola
Aneesa Lee and the Weaver’s Gift, Nikki Grimes
The Eyes of the Weaver: Los Ojos del Tejedor, Cristina Ortega
Angela Weaves a Dream: The Story of a Young Maya Artist, Michele Sola
Wild Rose’s Weaving, Ginger Churchill
You Can Weave! Projects for Young Weavers, Kathleen Monaghan, Hermon Joyner
Agatha’s Feather Bed: Not Just Another Wild Goose Story, Carmen Agra Deedy
How a Shirt Grew in the Field, Marguerita Rudolph
Wollbur, Leslie Helakoski
The Mitten String, Jennifer Rosner
Extra Yarn, Mac Barnett
Cloth Lullaby: The Woven Life of Louise Bourgeois, Amy Novesky
Cat Knit, Jacob Grant
Therese Makes a Tapestry, Alexandra S.D. Hinrichs
Farmer Brown Shears His Sheep: A Yarn About Wool, Teri Sloat
The Magic Shuttle, Deborah Lerrme Goodman
Amasa Walker’s Splendid Garment, Emily Chetkowski
Something from Nothing, Phoebe Gilman
Börja Väv! (Begin to Weave!), Nina Bäckman, Annika Elmqist, Tina Ingell, Bengt Arne Ingell
A Symphony for the Sheep, C.M. Millen, Mary Azarian
Unraveling Fibers, Patricia A. Keeler and Francis X. McCall, Jr.
Master Weaver from Ghana, Gilbert "Bobbo" Ahiagble and Louise Meyer
Kids Knit! Simple Steps to Nifty Projects, Sarah Bradberry
Finger Knitting Fun: 28 Cute, Clever, and Creative Projects for Kids, Vickie Howell

more suggestions:
Pelle's New Suit, Else Beskow
A Tale of the Navajo: the Magic Weaver of Rugs, Jerrie Oughton, illustrated by Lisa Deimimi

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Tapestry Diary--a Personal Journey

Tapestry Diary for 2017 is approaching the end.
I guess some of you know that I have been doing what I've come to call "tapestry diaries" for several years now.  As others begin to think about trying out the idea for themselves, sometimes questions come up.  For instance, "How do I do it?"  Well, my answer to that is, "Anyway you want to!"

Yes, I know it's a bit daunting to think of making a commitment that you're not sure you can or will want to continue.  Will you feel like a failure if you give up on doing a daily bit of weaving after trying it for awhile?  You certainly don't want to set yourself up for that!

I will tell you that my experience with doing the daily weaving exercise since 2008 has been in almost equal parts: fun, engaging, challenging, boring, tiring, frustrating, rewarding, exciting, pleasing, time-consuming, tedious, absorbing, demanding, fulfilling, productive.... in fact, think of any synonym to describe something with which one becomes involves and that probably would apply to how I've felt about my tapestry diary work at times.

All of that said, let me tell you about a few of my self-imposed rules for the first of the tapestry diaries I made in May of 2008.  First of all, giving myself a few rules to follow was helpful.   My rules are my own and I've given myself some guidelines each year, always changing them a bit to make it more interesting.  Having some guidelines for daily work, I've found, helps me to move into the activity quickly and without having to do too much (or any) thinking about what to do.

So... here's what I decided to do during my first experience of daily practice when I committed to one month in 2008.

  1. I decided to use only yarns from past tapestry remains (I have lots and lots of those).
  2. I decided on the size to weave for each day.  For that month, I'd set up a 4" wide warp of 8 epi, long enough to weave just a bit over an inch high across that width each day.
  3. I decided to end each day's weaving with a pass of black to give a linear separation.
  4. I also decided to make a "weaverly" marking of the date throughout the month.  For instance, on the 1st day, I wove one vertical bar of contrasting color.  That idea was pretty easy for the first part of the month but once the days began to build up, I had to become more creative in how to show the number of the day.  Pick and pick became my friend, as well as hatching to give distinct lines of difference!
And that was pretty much it, as far as rules of the game for May 2008.

I really didn't know if I'd have the discipline to stick with the activity for a whole month.  That may seem like a silly thing to say for someone who weaves other tapestries that may take up to six months or more to complete!  But the though of not having a plan, no cartoon, nothing to give me guidelines other than my few self-imposed rules seemed to be very challenging.

But, I did it!  And at the end of the month I was so happy that I'd done what I set out to do.  I decided to try it for a year and see if I could accomplish that.  However, I waited until the start of 2009 to begin since, in my mind, having a January 1 to December 31 time frame made the most sense.

I've described more about the tapestry diary work at my other blog.  Here's a link from 2012 that will give other earlier links.  I also wrote about the daily practice in the Summer 2017 issue of Handweavers Guild of America publication,  Shuttle, Spindle & Dyepot.  The article, "Time Warp and Weft: A Celebration of the Passage of Time through Weaving," included the work of Janet Austin, Geri Forkner, Janette Meetze, Rebecca Mezoff, and Kathy Spoering, as well as mine.  We exhibited our time celebration weaving together in a couple of shows.

I'm writing more fully about my tapestry diary experiences since 2008 through 2018 now and will publish that somewhere, either here or at my other blog, sometime in the future.  I'm also teaching a workshop for the Weavers of Orlando in February, 2018 with "Weaving the Days of Our Lives" as the title of the session.  You can find out more about that here.

In the meantime, have a go at it--and have fun!  I'd love to hear more about your experiences with this amazing way of marking the days of our lives through tapestry weaving.
Warp for 2018 Tapestry Diary is prepared and ready for January 1, 2018 to roll around!

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.