Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Working on a Community Tapestry

Today I had the privilege of working on a tapestry that is being woven for the Dorothy Impey Aged Care Home in Brunswick. (That's the founder, Dorothy Impey at the bottom right hand, woven by Joy Smith, my teacher last year.)  It has been designed by past and present students in the tapestry area of the Textiles and Design course at RMIT.  There are four separate pieces to be woven.  Each piece relates to a different historical use of the site.  It has been a munitions factory, a migrant hostel, the Melbourne College of Textiles and is now the aged care facility. The link between the Melbourne College of Textiles and the current Brunswick campus of RMIT has contributed to the development of the tapestry.

So far, the first two pieces are well on the way.  Students are encouraged to participate and can actually claim part of the work as one of their tapestry assignments.

It is a bit nerve-wracking to be working on someone else's design. Fortunately Cresside, our teacher, was present and able to give advice and some teaching of those techniques you touch on in first year but forget when you have to use them again.  It looks like being a valuable learning time for me.
It was also good to meet another student of tapestry who is in a different class and whom I would otherwise not have met.  It is often a gathering place of like-minded people putting in some extra time between classes.  A good chance to catch up.


parlance said...

When I see all the bobbins hanging, it reminds me of knitting jumpers with picture patterns, as we all used to do in the eighties.

Is it a similar technique of binding the different sections together?

Mary said...

Parlance, I can't remember how we did the knitting, I think I did Fair Isle (is that how you spell it?) and we took the threads across the back. You don't do that so much in tapestry, unless it is going to be very close. You usually hitch off - sort of knot it - and then start again in a nearby section if it is the same colour. I think it is probably very similar but you can build up areas in tapestry and then go back and build up beside them. You can't do that in knitting, you go right across the row and put in all the colours as you need them, in the one row. Is that as clear as mud? I'll try to do a post about how you can fill in different areas and then go back down to fill in beside them.

parlance said...

In Fiar Isle you can twist the two colors around each other if you don't want the double thickness of wool across the back.
I think...