Gosh, it’s December!

Three Part Harmony triptych, wool, dyes, 66.5 x 19.25 inches, $3240 ©Sherri Coffey

The reception has come and gone, and for one who does not like to make small talk and usually skips out on such events, I had a really good time. My friend Margaret took this picture. The exhibition will be on display through January 2018.

In other news…

Concerning the stay-at-home art retreat, I’ve got a list and a plan. I may not start until after Christmas, because of other concerns. Like all the appointments that have piled up here at the end of the year. (Mammogram today. Yeah!) Like the stopped up bathroom and the clean-out valve that, so far, is undiscovered. I really prefer to not pay a plumber to hunt for it.

Studio

Yarns on the ikat board

After cleaning up the studio enough so that I can walk through it, I started on an ikat piece. It may or may not be about 30 x 30 inches. In a sudden moment of insight, I decided to weave the first section before measuring the second section. That will give me a measurement for how much ikat is needed and a chance to see if I even like the darn thing.

Broken mohair single

Two things became clear with this current project, though. Mohair singles is not a good yarn to be using for this and those long tied sections are going to be difficult to fit into the dye pot. Oh, well …

Off the ikat board. It’s very stiff

After next week, art retreat!

Installation at Artspace 111

Two openings at Artspace 111: A Fascination with Color and Sussie. (I didn’t know what it meant either. Looked it up)

Sussie at Artspace 111

Puye Cliffs is finished without the T-pins.

Puye Cliffs, Tapestry, Wool, dyes, 14 x 19.25 inches, $259 ©Sherri Coffey

Art!

Next week I have a few appointments, then I plan to implement my art retreat. I have a list of ideas, but am going to have to choose one or two to focus on. I keep going back to variations on a line and spirals, but then there’s also more pre-Columbian images to consider. Hmmm… A second art retreat?

Running away or a retreat?

Wandering wool ikat, 64 x 28 inches, $1547 ©Sherri Coffey

Who wants to run away with me?

I really can’t run away, but I am giving a lot of thought of getting rid of some distractions,

creating an art retreat for myself. With that in mind, do you have any suggestions about how to go about that? Maybe we could all create our own art retreat, set a time, and go on retreat together!

What has made me consider running away?

What started this current quest is the advertising of an upcoming program of The Hidden Brain. The blurb mentions J.K. Rowling and how she went to a 5-star hotel to get away from the distractions and finish one of the Harry Potter books. Finally, the blurb goes on to mention how we can’t all go to 5-star hotels, but we can get away from distraction.

A cabin?

In my fantasy, I am in a cabin in the woods, or at least in the country, so that I can go outside and walk around. How can I create that here without the long distance drive? Maybe I can go to the local park and walk the trails, sit in the chairs and observe. Or maybe I could drive farther and hike a close-by trail with sketchbook in hand.

A local runaway?

I could even spend the day in the library, looking at books, watching people, sketching, looking at magazines. There’s a book I’ve been wanting to check out that can be found in one of the museums in town. It might turn out that it needs to live on my bookshelf. I could go to that museum library and peruse other books with my sketchbook in hand.

Maybe I’ll go to my local Barnes and Noble which also has a Starbucks. Lots of people watching.

What are the rules?

There will have to be rules. No checking email or other internet stuff on the phone. That’s number one. What are some other needed rules?

Specifics?

There’s also the possibility of going to one of these places with a specific idea in mind. I’ve got some ideas I’d like to play around with. One of those ideas came from Meg Nakagawa and her Meg Weaves blog.

There are other specific things I have been wanting to do. One of them involves watercolors. I will not be taking those into the bookstore or library! I want no one to see me with those! However, I might consider taking them into the great outdoors.

And then there’s Notan. Hmmm….

Let’s do this!

I plan to listen to the Hidden Brain program and then plan my retreat for after installation of my exhibition. Who wants to join me?

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all

Happy Thanksgiving clip art

A list of what I’m grateful for will be running through my head as I cook for Thanksgiving. The first thing I’m grateful for is that someone else cooks the turkey! I was tempted to buy a smoked turkey and serve it with breads for sandwiches (along with all kinds of other stuff), but that non-traditional approach wouldn’t work with my family. So, it’s off to the kitchen to prepare the more traditional sides, along with my very non-traditional green salad.

What are you grateful for?

 

Busy and grateful

It’s been pretty busy around here, and for that, I am grateful. It’s been the just-enough kind of busy.

We had a guild sale at Pottery Barn

The Fort Worth Weavers Guild had a sale, which was both fun and a long day, with the added benefit of great sales. Below is just a portion of the towels we had for sale.

Towel table

Scarves and shawls were hanging here. You can also see my work spread on a nearby couch.

Scarves in the background

Another one on the floor

Here we had baskets, small framed pieces (recognize those?). In the big center basket are bookmarks, key rings, greeting cards, and even buttons.

Baskets, bookmarks, odds and ends

buttons

The button covered with small, leftover pieces from weavings.

More towels

The other busy part

I’ve also been busy making sure all the boards for hanging and the corresponding work are together and look good. I don’t know exactly how many pieces will be in the upcoming exhibition, but I want to have more than necessary in case some curating decisions need to be made. As in what looks good together and what doesn’t.

What’s on the loom

This is what I’m working on right now. Although the same yarns as the gradation pieces I just finished are in this weaving, the colors look very different. I planned small holes in the weaving because that’s something I’ve been wanting to do, so why not now in this completely spontaneous piece.

You can see the holes marked in the second pic. They’re only about 1/2 inch long.

Work in progress

With the holes marked

Exhibition at Artspace 111

I am so pleased to be able to post this and really looking forward to to opening night on December 7.

A FASCINATION WITH COLOR | SHERRI WOODARD COFFEY

Opening Reception | December 7, 2017 | 5pm to 8:30pm | Exhibition on Display | December 7 – January 27, 2018|

Artspace111 presents the solo exhibition A Fascination With Color by Sherri Woodard Coffey in the Artspace111 Studio, in conjunction with the group exhibition Sussie. Coffey’s handwoven tapestries are created from hand-dyed fibers and inspired by a diverse list of ancient and contemporary cultures that express themselves through color, abstraction, and geometry.

Cold and rainy

It’s a cold, rainy day here, and I’m restless. I don’t want to stay in and do what I’m supposed to. I want to get our and play, maybe go to a museum, a bookstore. I’ve been working hard each and every day with hardly a break. I deserve to play, right?

Coffee out

I did go to the grocery store earlier and took a break for a latte and a bit of reading.

Messy yarn

But this is what I have to tackle to day. And this is only a part of the messy yarn. These are the colors I’ve been using for the last couple of weeks; they’re kind of like paint splatters from making a painting.

Hair clips

However, these hair clips arrived just in time to help me corral all those bits of yarn. Too bad there’s so much pink in this collection. The butterflies are going to be used in another piece with triangles, quadrilaterals, etc.

Off the loom

These pieces are off the loom in all their gloriously unfinished state. The third one has also been cut off the loom. Real pictures later.

This is what I’ve been doing with all my time lately. Finish work. Steaming. Cutting boards. Painting boards. Velcro-ing said boards.

On my list:

–cleaning up the studio
–going through the work for my exhibition at Artspace 111
–making sure all boards are with the right pieces
–steaming everything
–cutting new boards for two pieces so they can hang horizontally

Oh, and by the way, I need titles for these gradation pieces. Help! Suggestions, please.

New warp

The new warp is a 2-ply natural wool worsted from Weaving Southwest. I’ve never used a color warp before, so it’s an experiment that I hope turns out well. Thirty yards of well. So far I’m loving it. When I sat down and started weaving on this warp, it felt like coming home. It’s been years since I’ve used a wool warp, but it’s great!

New warp

What’s on the loom?

I’m working on a gradations piece that goes from turquoise to violet to blue. Below is a simulation of it, but it looks so much better than this. What kind of a gradation could go with this one to make a diptych? Or a triptych? Thoughts anyone? So far I’m considering turquoise to magenta to blue. They need to have some commonality to go together. 

Gradations in progress

While I’ve been working, these small skeins of mohair were hanging out. I love how they look, warts and all! Mohair has such a sheen and dyes beautifully, at least when the skeins don’t twist back on themselves.

Mohair hanging

barrettes

This is the latest effort to try and organize balls of yarn. I’ve never used these type of barrettes, so had no idea how to actually work them! Saw this idea from a knitting group on Facebook. I’d credit them if I could, but things just disappear on Facebook. See a post, lose a post.

Once I decide on the next project, the dyeing will begin again. Right now, I’m weaving at least 15 inches or so, in order to get the piece on the loom off and start again. Gosh, it feels good!

It’s all about the dyeing

Well, not really

Yarns

I have dyed everyday for a while now. For me, that means going out early, getting everything in the dyepots, starting the fire, and checking every 30 minutes or so. When the water is clear,  the burners get turned off and everything sits until the next morning. The process starts all over again. The yarns, eventually will be gradations of turquoise to violet to blue.

With the violet to blue series, I threw in some Texas mohair singles that was spun in a small mill many years ago. An unexpected problem cropped up–the skeins twisted back on themselves. That means the dye didn’t take properly.

Mohair

Not to worry though. I’ve got a plan to use them. Experimental, so I hope it works out.

Exhibition

I am having an gallery exhibition of 6-8 pieces in December. Something I wasn’t expecting was a request for the title of the exhibition. Lately, I’ve been all over the place with my work. How does one choose a title for an exhibition of work that’s all over the place?

 

It’s happened again

Birthday flowers

How did this could have happened again?

I told everyone that it just wasn’t going to happen, but it has. Two at a time weaving! It seems that someone around here is a glutton for punishment!

However, like all the other experimenting lately, a lesson is learned each time. Both of these are simple, as to the weaving. Straightforward ikat on the left and a plain stripe on the right. Weaving progresses at the same rate, so that I can use the loom beater. Both are pretty narrow (18 inches), but they will have different lengths. 

Two at a time–again!

 

bobbin with ikat yarn

Frustration!

My frustration has been great as I try new things. When something doesn’t turn out like the picture in my head, all I can think of is how much time has been wasted, time that I don’t have. On the other hand, if I don’t try new things, I stagnate. Besides, I’ve got a pretty low boredom threshold and I like to learn new things. So, I’m trying to look at each experiment as a learning experience and to see what I can learn that will carry me on the next try.

Help!

This has been going on for a while now, the feeling that I’ve got to do something different. The problem is that I don’t know what that “something different” is. So many ideas, so little focus! Should I put all the ideas in a grab bag, and pull out an idea to stick with? How does one choose? Help!

At the Grackle 

Standing Tall