Category Archives: Personal

Workin’ on it

Leaves cut with acetylene torch in welding class. Some have the drops of melted metal ground off. More in newsletter. 

Its a struggle around here to summon creativity and energy. It’s going to happen, but at a slow pace. I have been going for coffee several mornings a week and sketching ideas or reading. I’ve posted to Instagram and Facebook. And today I wrote my newsletter. Subscribe here. And I’m doing lots of reading. Lots! Escapism all  

If you’re a member of HGA, you might have read the latest issue of Shuttle, Spindle, & Dyepot. There’s interesting articles and lots of inspiring pictures. Getting your COE in dyeing article kind of inspired me to think about it, but quickly reject. The article I liked best was one about working in a series, probably because I’ve been thinking about that anyway. The sketches mentioned above are a series that’s not fully formed yet. 

 

I’ll always miss him

Chad

Chad and Tina..I don’t know why Tina is sticking out her tongue, but this picture makes me smile.

Playing around in London

So much, then sadness

  • In March, my family and I took a trip to Rome. We spent a week seeing the sights and much art in Rome, then traveling on the very fast train to Pompeii for a day trip. I could have spent much more time there.
  • After returning from spring break in Rome, I started tackling the defunct flowerbeds, planting them with native plants.
  • In the meantime, the Fort Worth Weavers Guild is hosting the biennial conference of Contemporary Handweavers of Texas here in Fort Worth in 2019. I have been working on the vendor portion of that conference. https://www.weavetexas.org/
  • Then there was the “From the Lands of Asia: The Sam and Myrna Myers Collection,” which I visited several times. Frankly, my reason for visiting was the textiles. They are simply amazing! The last time, our guild had a special tour by a docent who is also a weaver. It was so interesting to be able to learn more about the whole process and techniques used. https://landsofasia.kimbellart.org/
  • Not to be outdone by the Kimbell, the Modern also has an Asian connection. The Murakami exhibition is fantastic. To be honest, Asian art is not my favorite, but both of these exhibitions are exciting in completely different ways. https://www.themodern.org/exhibit/tm
  • The Fort Worth Collective has an exhibition of work in the Keller Town Hall, so art was delivered there. Artwork to Keller https://www.cityofkeller.com/services/administration/city-manager/public-arts/current-exhibit

Now for the really hard part of what’s been going on: My son passed away in Flagstaff on June 29, 2018. It is so unbelievable that I will never see, talk to him, or touch him again. He was a good and kind person. He was quirky and unique (and ahem, perhaps bit sarcastic and cynical like his mother), with a dry sense of humor and a love of words and books. He could always throw out a word that you probably have never heard spoken out loud or maybe never seen in print. His brain held obscure knowledge about things you may never have ever thought much about before. This happened recently in a discussion about the Murakami exhibition mentioned above during out group family texts with the word hental. (If you’ve seen the exhibition, you’ll understand.)

In the social media world that we live in, I learned good things about my son that I never knew. It was so comforting to read what friends and acquaintances said about Chad, to “see” another side of him. I am so thankful that we were able to take the trip to Rome this year and to London last year on spring break. I am grateful for the new closeness that we developed over the last few years with that group text thing we started which included his wife Tina and his sister. I will be forever grateful for the funny, quirky discussions we held there.

Hug your kids! Your family! Anyone you love!

Friends and family have posted comments and pictures on my page and others.
https://www.facebook.com/sherri.woodard.coffey
http://bit.ly/2JfGlGZ

I’ve written about Chad and Tina before here and here. They are both creative folks.

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Busy

Not busy with weaving, but with all kinds of other obligations. Since In still have not overdyed the yellows for the next project (weather and busyness), I had to have something on the loom. After all, the warp is ready, tied on and spread. So, even though I say I’m not going to, I decided to start of of those multi-colored pieces, using only churro from the Churro Club from Weaving Southwest. We’ll see how long I’ll continue this. As you can see, it’s not centered because I cut off the left side a bit. 

Currently on loom

Teaching

Part of my busyness was teaching this class at Country Day School. The students were part of the Honor Society Art students. As you can see, girls signed up. It was great fun, but as usual, when you do something for the first time, I learned a few things also. Like warp the looms before The Day.

Teaching

Why?

Lots of butterflies

Why?

Why do I start these multicolor projects? In frustration! I had intended to do some dyeing for the next piece, but the weather did not cooperate. Ice, freezing temps, rain–lots of it! It’s like there was a line drawn from north to south, where just west of me there was extreme icing, huge broken trees, no power. I missed it this time.

At any rate, with all the time spent indoors, I had to have something to do, plus there are all these churro club yarns lying around. So, here we go.

It’s a big deal to me!

See those buds on my orchid? Those are the first ever that I have had with all the orchids that I have had over the years.

First buds ever!

Just in case you have ever wanted to weave with wire, Christine Miller is teaching a class in Dallas this summer. It will be at Cedars Art House. I have no idea where that is in Dallas, but I’ve heard this is a great class.

What to write

What can I say?

There’s really nothing going on around here. Even studio time has been on hold because of other things, both planned and not planned. A family situation, taxes, working on a planned trip, you know, all that STUFF.

Yesterday, my brother-in-law came over to cut down some tree branches, a couple of which were pushing against the electrical line from the pole to the house.

There was a dead branch actually just kind of hanging on it, and not a small branch. When that branch came down, it had some interesting bark and insect holes, maybe from birds. Why am I drawn to this stuff?

tree branch

While listening to an online podcast, I worked on finish work, a kind of activity that requires not much from the brain.

Finishing

Driving home from my advocate training the other day, I happened to notice that this old building on the corner of Hemphill and Magnolia still included the words from its past. Dyeing, anyone?

Building of dyers?

And last, but certainly not least, the art group of which I am a member, will be showing work during Spring Gallery Night. More info here.

Spring Gallery Night

Just lazy

Not moving very fast

When I started stretching these yarns on the board, I wondered if they were too similar to the previous project. Both projects are shown here for comparison, and what I’m calling the magenta project is different enough, but maybe still a partner to the other.

However, since I’ve just been plain lazy, not much is getting done. I’m wondering if I need to just start something on the Cranbrook and go.

Magenta ikat started

Yarns on the ikat board

What to do

I think that part of the issue is that I want to branch out. But branch out where? Who knows? I am also-paradoxically-enjoying the beginning of my training as a victim advocate. Lots of new information. We visited a hospital with a SANE program last Tuesday night. Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. 

As I sit in the training classroom, this is the carpet on the floor. Tiles like this one make up the whole. I can see using this swirl as a design sometime. The training is about 33 hours total. Some of the training is on really cold nights when I just really want to stay home by the fire.

Women’s Center Carpet

And speaking of fire, my area is constantly in high fire danger because of the wind and dry conditions. I love our native grasses, but they do burn, especially this time of year when they are so dry naturally. If you want to see these grasses moving in the wind, go here. The video deleted itself from my photos. Yeah, right. How’d that happen?

Grasses

I ran across this image when I was going through some old SD cards. Wonder how I could use this?

Blue Chihuly

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?

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.

More progress

10 more inches

I’m not going to take another photo until this sucker is off the loom. Right now, I have about 8 inches to go, and 20 butterflies going. Why? Who knows!

In other news

After working on a commission, I thought I would never use the color green again, but I have excavated for the excess yarns and overdyed part of them with blue. The “new” yarns aren’t washed yet, so that picture will have to wait. Next week. I did take a sample of each color so that I can compare, and there’s the picture below also.

Green yarn

Since I’m speaking about greens, how ’bout these pictures from Borough Market of green vegetables? I can’t remember what the swirly one in the second picture is called, but I love the pattern.

Although I’ll be dyeing some black yarns next, I’m thinking about overdyeing the rest of the green yarns with turquoise. Do you think those yarns would be able to play nice in a weaving?

Looking at these greens reminds me of Pantone’s color of the year, Greenery. If you go to the Greenery page, scroll down to look at their suggested color combinations.

Asparagus

Vegetables

Then there’s the sunflowers. I took a photo of sunflowers and used Waterlogue on it, thinking that some sort of blurry “painting” might make a good weaving. Hmmm….. maybe I should try the vegetable pictures with Waterlogue too.

Sunflowers

Sunflowers 2

London

Progress

You may have guessed that I have been traveling. One of the things I did before leaving was to make a list of what I wanted to do when I got home. When I travel, even if it’s just for a long weekend, I have a hard time getting back into a routine. Frankly, I’ve been a little restless about staying home and working, so this list was extra helpful.

On my list is getting some dyeing done. So far that hasn’t worked out so well. I’ve had appointments, and well, a social life. Lunch out two times in one week? Unheard of. There’s also a coffee date already set up. What’s with this social life thing? Oh well, it’ll be over with next week.

My body clock is not back to normal, though, so I am getting some weaving done. Progress is slow. The goal for the above piece is to reach 30 inches (only 20 inches to go!). I’m hoping to get it finished soon, because another list I made is of the pieces I want to weave in the next few months.

Traveling always brings inspiration in one form or another. Mine seems to be spirals and pattern, as usual. Below are examples from the British Museum in London. I already posted a picture of spirals at the Underground station.

Pattern

Egyptian spirals in British Museum

Handweavers Studio

One should always find the local weaving shop, right? I was told by a friend that this is one of the best she’s visited anywhere, so a visit was definitely in order. My friend was right–it’s a great shop! Handweavers Studio and Gallery

A bit about the trip

My daughter, son, grandsons, and I traveled to London. One reason we did this is because my daughter said that when we took them back when they were in high school, it was a life-changing event for her.

We decided to rent an apartment in the Bloomsbury area, which turned out to be an excellent decision. We were only a couple of blocks from the Russell Square tube station, so getting around was easy. When I first started looking for a place, I was looking at how many beds there were. Then I realized that I should also look at bathrooms. Five people, one bathroom? Not an ideal situation. 

We really loved being to stay in one place and visit when we made our way back after a long day of sightseeing and walking miles. 

Back to the schedule

After over 17 hours of trains, planes, airports, and auto, I got home after 9 pm, had a bit of dinner, and headed to bed. When I woke up in the middle of the night to make my way to the bathroom, I was disoriented in my own bedroom. Weird. But all is well now, and I’m back to work. It was a great trip, and we all had a good time. The list I made ahead of time has served me well.