Sunday, October 31, 2010

Technical solution

I am edging closer and closer to the end of my tapestry. The closer I get, the more problems I seem to have.  This end of the design has more intricate sections, requiring lots of interlocking of sections.  I think I have done more unpicking in the last couple of days than in the whole rest of the tapestry.
It doesn't help that I am finding it a little difficult to work out exactly where I am when trying to match the original photo and the cartoon.  Luckily my work is an interpretation of the photo!
As the work has grown I have found it too high to sit, even on the piano stool at its highest and with two cushions to sit on.  This turned out to be precarious and not very comfortable.

This morning I decided to do something about it.  I took advantage of the fact that I find it hard to throw things out and put other things away - I used old magazines to prop up the loom and the boards I used previously to assist with stabilising the loom.  I put more magazines at the back, to tilt the loom towards me.  I have had to stand to do the weaving but it is more comfortable than the wobbly cushions.  I have music on while I work and I find myself wiggling my hips in time to the music, very good for my sore muscles.

Finally, a use for those old quilting magazines.

Very expensive bobbin holders!
Hopefully, I will be able to report finishing in the very near future.
Then I will have to deal with the uneven edge and how to secure the warps. Then there will be decisions about how to mount it, and how to make the uneven pieces stand up firmly.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

My Fair Lady

I went to see an amateur production of My Fair Lady on Friday night.  Fabulous!!
I have a vested interest as Laura Slavin, playing Eliza Dolittle, is my goddaughter.  Of course I think she was wonderful, but so did others at the show.  She just gets better and better.

The whole cast was wonderful, as was the orchestra.  The cast is quite large and there was not a weak performer anywhere.
The sets were amazing.  The costumes had to be seen to be believed, the Ascot races scene was magnificent. They were designed by Phillip Rhodes.  It was great to see such glorious hats, especially in this spring racing season that is not being kind to the ladies.  (But I am happy to see the rain.)
Well done to everyone.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Exhibition of our Felting work in Turkey

We are organising a display of the felting done at the workshop as well as some other textiles and photos we collected on the trip. We will set it up next Monday.

Monday 1st - Sunday 7th November 2010

Featuring the ancient crafts of Felting: 

Here we are at the end of the workshop in Konya

Tapestry and traditional weaving samples, Ebru (marbling) & 

photographs of the ancient sites, mosques and architecture that contributes to our sense of modern design in textiles

Official Opening: 5pm: Thursday 4th Nov 
Guest Speaker: Cr Oscar Yildiz JP.
Location: Foyer, Building 514

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

More pictures of Turkey

While I'm giving my back a rest from the tapestry, I'll put up some photos I took in Turkey.  The focus here is of interesting things we saw at roadside stops.

Protection from the evil eye.  We saw these all over the place.

This is one of several ladies we saw selling their amazingly intricate, hand-done crocheted doilies.  We saw the ladies making them while they sat and waited for custom.
More hand-made, crocheted work.  The crochet hook was tiny!

A tree covered with tissues and fabric, whirling dervish  figurines in the foreground.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Felting in Turkey

While having a rest from my tapestry, I decided to go through my photos from Turkey.  We are planning to have a display of the felt pieces we made, so I looked specifically at those photos.  I took nearly 100 photos over the two days!
Here are some pics from the first day, the laying out and deciding, day.  As you can see, there was a variety of approaches, all effective.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Was it a good thing?

 I had my cartoon folded over and now I have reached the stage where I need to have the whole thing visible. I am now wondering if it was a good idea or not.
I was encouraged as I got towards the top of the cartoon - the end seemed to be in sight.  But now that I have unfolded the rest, I see that I have a long way to go.  And not a whole lot of time to do it.  
I think it was a good idea, it was less daunting and now I can aim for a new end.  (That's me trying to put a positive spin on it!)
Nearing the top
Not so near the top!

I have graduated to the adjustable piano stool, now that the weaving is higher

Friday, October 22, 2010

Working hard on the tapestry

Since my return from Turkey, I have been concentrating most of my time on my tapestry.  It is due to be handed in at the beginning of November - not long!!
My back doesn't much like the hours I am giving to it.  I am trying to have breaks from work but it is an involving craft - making colour decisions, looking closely to see if the angle of the weaving is right, etc. I can easily sit for an hour and a half without noticing.
As I posted earlier, the loom I am  using is not all that good for me - it is low to the floor (although that is less of a problem as the work grows) and angled away from the weaver.
However, I am finding ways to overcome the problems and hope to finish before the due date.  Hmm, maybe I should regret the three weeks away in Turkey - no!  it was a great trip and I am so much more relaxed since returning.
Can you see the buckets the loom is balanced on?

The loom is now on the floor and I am sitting on a low table.

I can almost sit on a normal chair - it is definitely growing.
I have been taking photos every day to convince myself that I have made progress.  The concentration on each section seems to hide progress from me, so I am glad I have taken the photos and can convince myself that progress is being made.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Turkish Cultural Foundation

We attended a very interesting talk by  Prof. Dr. Nurhan Atasoy  at the Turkish Cultural Foundation.  (The website for this foundation is well worth a visit.)
We were treated to a lovely afternoon tea before listening to a very interesting presentation about the foundation's website.  Then Prof. Dr. Nurhan Atasoy talked about traditional costumes of various Turkish groups and showed some beautiful examples in her slide show.  (You can see some examples here.)
We saw some similar examples in some of the Ethnographic museums that we visited.  One museum was especially beautiful. It is a private museum but has some gorgeous clothes and textiles.  We were not allowed to take photos there (one of the few places that did not allow photography, as long as we did not use flash).  But it is well worth a visit if you venture to Turkey.
Unfortunately, the museums were usually reasonably dark and I could not take any photos.
But ...
here are some pictures of Henna Night outfits that were in the market.  Deniz, our guide, explained that they are worn by the bride, prior to the wedding, when the girls have a night out (and the bride has henna designs drawn on her palm).  Only the bride dresses up.  The accessories were amazing also.

Fringes and rug finishes.

While we were at the rug making factory, I took some photos of the various ways the fringes had been done.
There were so many beautiful rugs.

Here are a few of the fringes.  It was interesting to see the different ways they can be done.  Maybe I can utilise the different methods if I ever go back to weaving or if I decide to do a specific edge to a tapestry.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Rugs in Turkey

I had been planning to do my blogs in some sort of order of the trip but that is not going to happen.
I am busy trying to do my tapestry weaving for hand-in day and it is taking all of my time.  I have actually not used my computer much at all!
So I am just going to post occasionally about some topics that interest me from the trip. Actually, the further away from the trip, the more time I have to reflect on what we did - we did a lot!  And we saw so much. It is all coming back to me as I talk about it and look through my photos. At the time, days began to blur together and it was hard to remember what we saw where.  It is all coming clearer, so I expect to be posting about it for quite a while.

This one is about the rug making factory.
First of all we were shown some traditional silk weaving - amazingly intricate and the women were so fast!!!
(Yes, we were given permission to take photos.)
The rug is made with knots and the design is copied from some graph paper.  It can take 2 years to make a relatively small rug, no wonder they are expensive.  But I doubt that the weavers get the full benefit of the high prices, there are so many people involved in the process of making and selling it.
After putting in some knots, the women shear off the ends to make the rug smooth.

The intricacy of the designs was daunting.  The colours were beautiful.  The amount of work is amazing.  Well worth every penny spent on one of these rugs - not that I bought one but I would have loved to have done so.  They were beautiful.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Turkey - felting workshop

The stand-out event for me on our trip to Turkey was a two day workshop of felting with Mehmet Girgic.  Mehmet had prepared the prefelt and cotton before we arrived and then demonstrated the technique.

pre-felt with cotton felted in

preparing thin bits of roving
using wet roving to outline and then fill flower

wetting the pieces again before rolling
Mehmet and Rabia demonstrating the 'dance' used for rolling the felt

We had two days in Konya to work on our pieces.  The group managed to come up with a variety of designs and Mehmet and his wife Rabia, and one of their apprentices, helped us with both technique and design elements. Great fun and a wonderful workshop.
We are hoping to organise a show, featuring the group's felted pieces in early November.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Home from Turkey

I have been away in Turkey for three weeks on a study tour arranged by RMIT.  We visited a large number of  magnificent sites, starting from day one, immediately after leaving our luggage at the hotel - too early to get our rooms.  That first day, we were exhausted after the long trip but the places we visited were so beautiful that we were able to forget that and simply be stunned by the magnificent sights.  We went, along with a lot of other tourists, to Aya Sophia (another link here) and The Blue Mosque (online images here).  Stunning!
Here are some shots of Aya Sophia - they are not fabulous because we could take photos but not use flash, as seemed to be the case in most of the historical sites in Turkey.  The place is immense.

We visited so many amazing sites that they occasionally blurred together.  I have taken nearly 1000 photos, so will go through them and my diary to organise in my mind the fabulous places we visited.