Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Practising my tapestry weaving

I have started tapestry weaving again lately, in response to the tapestryweaversoz Yahoo group's theme of Mountain to Sea. I have several designs competing for prominence and not much luck coming up with one that actually looks like it will work.
Our local tapestry group also has a theme - Building.  Although it is not due for months, ideas have been floating around in my head, and my visual diary/picture collection.

I met with Joy Smith (a member of our local group and one of my teachers when I was at RMIT) to have a discussion about my weaving (and its problems), how to develop some of my ideas and generally to have a lovely afternoon tea. She helped with ideas for better technical weaving but also for developing more doable designs. So much to think about.

I would like to just start weaving a piece to improve my technique but I find it hard to work that way. I think I may have to use my theme pieces as my practice and if they are not successful, I don't have to put them in. After all, I did two for last year's theme (Circles and Squares) and only put one in.
The one I didn't put in.  I've noticed that it has a similar problem to the one I am currently working on - bulges where I have straight edges.  But the problem with the current work is worse, maybe because it has single warp wraps also (images to come - perhaps). Joy gave me a good tip about the wrapping.  It seems obvious now but I didn't do it at the time - sew it up as you go, build up one side of the tapestry, then do the wrap and sew it every 3 passes.  I have done the wrap independently of the weaving and it has too many wraps, hence the bulging (well, that is part of the reason for the bulge).

This is the one I put in - it is based on an optical illusion.  You can see the circles if you squint.  Actually, now that I look at it, this one has a lot of straight lines too.  If I remember correctly, I used less wool for the orange bits, the vertical ones at least, and that helped with the bulging. I don't think that is the best way to solve the problem but it worked for me at the time.

The themes and group challenges are great for motivating me, giving me a focus and actually making me develop a design and work out how to weave it.  Thanks to all those who put in so much work with the online groups.  I belong to a few, and they often have very interesting discussions. 

Joy also gave me the courage to have a go at fixing the very untidy plaiting I did on my little piece that I did in France a couple of years ago.  So I will have to do that, after the warp has had a chance to uncrimp (if there is such a word).
Note that I don't have an image of the very wobbly top edge, I couldn't bear to photograph it.

The problem might be that I didn't hitch off tightly enough, as well as my loose plaiting.
Maybe I can use this in our Building exhibition - if we actually get around to putting it on - and if I can fix up the plaiting.

It was so good to talk to a mentor about the problems I am having (it would be better to call it 'the learning I am doing').  The online groups are good and the people on them are very generous with their advice but there is nothing to compare with sitting with a person, or group, and talking specifically about issues and having the tapestry there for reference.

Joy mentioned that she had entered some works into the British Tapestry Group's current exhibition - Tapestry Mischief.  She said that there were pictures on their Facebook page.
Go here to see them.  Beautiful.  And you don't have to be on Facebook to see them.


Anonymous said...

Hello from Marck and Maus in Marck's kitchen.

Mary said...

Hello Marck and Maus. I assume you are having much different weather from us! We are having the summer that didn't happen when you visited.