Monday, November 29, 2010

En Plein Air tapestry weaving

As an enjoyable way to finish off our year of tapestry study, we have just spent a weekend at Mansfield, learning how to do en plein air tapestry weaving.  We had good intentions of working away all weekend but took a while to get going, due to being in holiday mode. We eventually got to work and warped up at the Crockett Cottage Studio.

Cresside Collette was leading our group and showed us how to warp up using a stretcher frame or something similar.  It had to be small enough to hold on our laps as we were going to be sitting outdoors.

I know we are all grateful for the rain but did it have to rain all afternoon?  We ended up going to the one of our classmate's house and using the spectacular views from her balcony and lounge to work.

In some ways this was great - we could be dry, have comfortable seats and be near the kettle. Thanks very much to Sally for this hospitality!

As you may have noticed, the King Parrots were not at all put off by the people around.  In fact, one of our group included them in her work.

It was strange to only use the bobbin for beating down and doing the weaving with short pieces of yarn and our fingers.

It did not rain Sunday afternoon but we returned to the same place to continue our weaving.  Of course, the light was different but we managed to make do.  Due to the recent rains, there were a lot of shades of green to work on.  Tonal value became more important than trying to accurately portray the exact shades - not that we had brought enough yarn to even attempt this.  One of the differences with en plein air work, you can't plan too much in advance and have to be flexible.
One of the hazards of en plein air work.
Due to our slow start on Saturday and the earlyish finish - due to the changing light, being indoors and sitting in this unaccustomed position - we did not finish our work.  We are hoping that we have taken good enough photos to complete the work in the next few weeks.

It was an interesting experience, trying to weave what you are looking at and having to cope with changing lighting, not being able to plan your colours in advance, having to adjust the image as you go and trying to balance it all on your lap. We had a very relaxing and enjoyable weekend.  Thanks to Cresside and Sally for their contributions.


parlance said...

Hey, it's official...there's to be no complaining about rain for at least three years.

I can see it must have been difficult weaving with birds sitting on people.

Mary said...

Yeah, yeah, I know we need the rain, I just want it to rain at night.