About that retreat

Drawing on Meg’s envelope

Wow! It’s been a really long time since I’ve posted here. BUT I have been busy with studio stuff. First, I want to go back to the retreat idea. I have spent a bit of time on that. My first day was spent in the library, not the one closest to me, but in one a bit farther away. Why? Because it has individual study tables that are conducive to not being disturbed. I did a bit of studying, sketching, and researching. I found a design book by Miró that was interesting, and some books on prehistoric art. 

Because the weather has been so bad, my outside hikes with sketching have not happened. Soon I hope. The few good days we had were spent outside preparing beds for planting later, something that is good for my soul.

One of the things I wanted to explore was the idea of variations on a line. I’ve played with this before, but the post by Meg Nakagawa revived this interest. When I commented on Meg’s post about the book creations on this page, she sent me an actual book! The back of the envelope is depicted above. Lines! 

Contents-the book is in the center left

Book kind of unfolded

I have a whole folder of line ideas, so it’s time to focus. As I consider that, I have been weaving on a Baby Wolf loom in a strictly experimental way. One of the things I wanted to do was use wire or sticks as part of the weft. That experiment was a failure, but one I haven’t given up on. The others have been experimenting with hatching and color, just doing what ever with yarns on hand, and using a bunch of what I consider neutral, boring colors. More on that next week when I take that warp off the loom. By the way, a black warp is difficult.

One of the results from a few years past, experimenting with variations on a line :

©Sherri Coffey-Headin' Home

Headin’ Home, 43 x 30 inches Private collection ©Sherri Coffey



Yep, it’s Friday. That means that Thursday has come and gone without me even thinking about this page.

Christmas 2009

Since Christmas is also coming and may pass without me even realizing it, Merry Christmas! The two boys above are teenagers now and much too  blasé and sophisticated to pose like this again. They had just finished gaudy-ing up the tree.

Balance, anyone

In my effort to find some balance in my life, I have been outside hauling dirt around and filling one of two waist-high planters with said dirt. I’m thinking I’ll plant a few winter vegetables soon. Of course, the outside work also included protecting the faucets from the forecasted cold coming up.

I also filled a dye pot in anticipation of dyeing the ikat section, but as rain is forecasted also, that may wait.

Instead, some weaving on the just-acquired-new-to-me Baby Wolf. I think I’ll work on lines and soumak-unless the boredom and frustration become too great.

So, until next week and I forget again ….

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.


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

Puye Cliffs is finished without the T-pins.

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


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?


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


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.


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


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!