Category Archives: Tapestry

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

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 in place

RED

Maybe I’m a bit out of control with the red right now. This was done on the small 5-inch Mirrix Lani loom.

I learned some lessons here, but I’m don’t think I will ever apply them because I didn’t really enjoy weaving this very much. You can tell by the ribs of the warp the direction this was woven. Curves are a bit wonky, as is size.

One of the most important lesson I learned from this is to not mark the warp with the design until the first element is finished. I ended up with so many marks I couldn’t tell what was what.

When I decided on doing this little piece, I was thinking maybe a color word for each color, or the same word in different fonts. Now I know that the idea of weaving words is better than the actually weaving words is–for me.

What’s going on?

Do you ever feel like you’re not getting anything done until you look back at the week? That’s my place right now.

I’m always trying to figure out where I put my reading glasses. They’re usually on my head or hanging from my shirt. I’m trying to get rid of the carpenter bees, but they keep multiplying. Whack-a-mole, anyone?

Interruption after interruption, but then I look back over my bullet journal and see how many things I got done and how many items are no longer on my to-do list. (That’s kind of useless, since more things are added to the list all the time.)

Dyeing

Here’s what I dyed last week

Red dyeing

And here’s what I’m dyeing right now.

Mustard yellow

Both of these are two of my favorite colors to dye and use. The mustard, at 1.5% is at a slightly higher percentage than my usual 1%. The red is 2%. I use Sabraset acid dyes from ProChemical.

Mustard Yellow and Deep Red

I think the next up will be a purple of some kind, and finally some black. I do still have that black and white piece to weave!

Inktense colors

And last …

Because I was going to do some design work, I got out the Inktense pencils, but then when I looked at them all, I decided a color chart might be helpful. Here you see the fruits of my labor. They still need a wet brush going-over, but that’ll come later. Maybe something like paint chips would be better? At least they’re in color groups!

 

   

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

All but the steaming

Finished

This piece is finished, a long haul for me. It’s at 6 epi, and the ends were really difficult to weave in. Plus, this is such a boring task. So boring, in fact, that I did the first end watching made-for-TV movies of Perry Mason. And while doing that finish work, I was mulling over my sett and whether I wanted to continue that, or go back to my roots of wool warp at 4 epi. No matter–there’s still lots of warp left on that back beam for now.

All that’s left is the steaming and a real photo.

While deciding on that weighty issue …

This is what I’m weaving right now, totally spontaneous, with no plan. On a whim, I decided to add the red “stripe” before starting the next bit. The multicolored part is 5 inches and the red is 1/2 inches. Below, I manipulated the image with various rotations to get an idea of how this would look as a full sized piece with both the red and without the red. I still haven’t decided. Frankly, the red bit was just a way of breaking the monotony of deciding colors and making sure things were changing up. The final piece is to be about 30 x 30 inches.

Red border    

 

 Wanna help me decide? Let me know what you think.

Maybe I should just go outside and work and let this bounce around a bit.

 

Studio time

Just starting the orange crosses

Crosses in progress

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red stripes and broken warp

Here comes purple

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Changing habits

I’m trying to change a habit or two or a million, but the for today, the main new habit is getting into the studio before checking email, etc. Because I don’t just stop there. It just goes on and on, checking one thing after another. A complete time-suck!

My new habit is getting into the studio immediately after coffee and newspaper time. That means it’s still dark when I take those steps. Often, lately, that means starting a fire for warmth. The form this habit has taken for now is to weave for an hour, have breakfast, then 2-3 more hours in the studio.

Getting stuff done

I am also doing other stuff around the house before getting to the computer. In fact, I am writing this right now at around 11:50 AM and have still not checked my email. For whatever reason, once I get to that email place, I’m a goner as far as accomplishing much. What’s up with that? Does anyone else have that problem?

Finished! Well, except for all the warp ends, steaming, fixing those broken warp ends, etc. Perspective is off in the photo.

Choosing color

You can see the weaving progress in the images above. When I first started those red stripes, somehow in the middle of the night, I became convinced that they were the wrong color of red, that I needed to dye some “deep red.” The next day, I dug out a bit of leftover deep red, and realized I had the best color after all. When I looked at the dye formula for the stripe I had woven, it was a combination of deep red and scarlet.

Around the house

Have you heard of Instant Pots? That amazing all-in-one pot that sautés, slow cooks, pressure cooks, makes yogurt, and changes the sheets? I had been looking at one, but couldn’t make myself click the button and buy it because of the price. Right before Christmas, Amazon had one of those one-day sales, so at half price, I clicked. It’s taken a bit to embrace this pot, but I think I finally have.

I have a stove top pressure cooker, and I like it. However, my brain requires constant vigilance with it. I like the little pressure thing on top that jiggles and makes noise. I have to set my timer because otherwise, I go walkabout. And I don’t dare get too far from the stove.

I finally got brave enough to try the pressure cooker with the Instant Pot. It’s wonderful! When you want to make a stew, you just press the button for stew. It pressure cooks it for a preset time and keeps it warm when the time’s up, all done silently. I cook pintos on a fairly regular basis, and there’s a bean button for that. Today I’ve cooked garbanzos for hummus. Yum!

Experimenting

I’m still experimenting with some small pieces that I hope will be at least kind of three dimensional. What’s going on in your part of the world? Working on any habits? New something around the house? Cooking anything different? 

 

 

More cross work

On the loom

They’re baaack

Well, I’ve written about this before. Crosses. The design below has been modified during the weaving process, mainly because of mathematical errors. Yep, no mathematician here! Then there was digging all of the yarns out, finding enough of the various colors to complete each section. Believe me, I have been counting square inches and weighing yarns to make sure there was enough to weave a stripe. Because blacks might look alike, when you weave different dyelots, there’s always a line of demarcation. That won’t be a problem with the stripes because each stripe can be a different dyelot.

Crosses, stripes, border

The middle section is a totally different story

I needed more black that matched for the middle section. First, I looked at two different local yarn stores, but found nothing suitable. That means dyeing. And it’s been really cold. Now, I apologize for that statement to all of you who have had all the really cold and snowy weather for the last few weeks, but for North Texas, it’s been cold. 14 and 16 degrees at night is unusual for us. Highs in the 30s–maybe--is cold for us. And I had to clean the dyepots before doing the dyeing. 30 degrees! They were really in need of cleaning, but not as bad as the image suggests. Lots of reflection going on in the stainless steel sides. The actual dyeing was a relief; at least it involved fire!

Cleaning the pots

These crosses were originally designed with each arm being 4 inches wide, with 2 inch posts. Not sure about the vocabulary here, so here’s an illustration. However, that design changed as I mapped things out so that they would fit on the width of the warp. The cross width is a little over 3 inches, but the other numbers are the same.

cross measurements

Frankly, after the holidays, house guests, it’s hard for me to get back into the swing of things, but the weaving is back, as is the hard weaving bench. I’m also trying to spend some time working on some 3-D pieces. Those are pure experimentation, so we’ll see if they ever see the light of day.

 

Woo hoo! 2017, here we come!

Blackeyes for luck in the New Year. I cheated and had a Texas Caviar in the store.***

Do you make New Year’s resolutions?

I gave that up a long time ago, but I was thinking about that as I drove to the grocery store. My family and I are going to London later in the year, and my knee needs to be better for that. Now, there’s nothing I can do for the bone-on-bone, but I can strengthen the muscles that support the knee. So, I was thinking…strength and balance for the new year. But then I realized that could be a good think for many areas of life.

Strength

Strength to do the hard stuff, to say no to things that don’t support what you need, to work when you’re not in the mood, take risks with your art.

Balance

Balance has always been difficult for me, being that all-or-nothing person that I am. One thing I need to balance is my social life (or lack thereof). This means I need to get out more, meet more people, say no to taking the easy way out and staying home. So yes, the knee needs to be improved, but so do those other things. Do I dare say this is a resolution? Thinking ….

Pulled warp

Experimentation

I am doing some experimental weaving and plan to continue in 2017. The scary part is all the time spent on the experiment and then what if it doesn’t work? Does that come under “strength” from the paragraph above?

wood in my new wood rack

Because it got down to 14, I decided it was time to stop putting off the new wood delivery. In the past, the wood guys have been sketchy at best, but this time there were reviews on Nextdoor about a new (to me) wood guy, I took the plunge. Chuckwood’s was great! It was really interesting to watch them stack the wood, like really good rock layers. Then there’s the new wood rack, made by my grandson, with help.

Then for no reason other than I like shadows, here’s a picture of a wall in my kitchen.

Shadows, just because I like shadows

*** Follow the link for the recipe, but leave out the tomatoes. Jícama really gives it an extra crunch.

Seems to be a mild obsession

Dynamic Rectangle

First of all,

I seem to have a mild obsession with the cross shape, a shape that’s been around long before it became a symbol for Christianity. Of course, the shape I am mostly talking about is not a Christian cross, but just a cross. However, even that basic shape has many iterations.

Equequal armed crossal Armed Cross – The Equal-Armed Cross, also referred to as the square cross, the balanced cross, and the peaceful cross, is a name for the Greek Cross when this is found in ancient cultures, predating Christianity. The equal armed cross was well known as a sacred symbol. It is often interpreted as representing either the four seasons, four winds, four elements, or some other aspect of physical nature.

An equal-armed cross (often within a circle) represents the planet Earth in traditional astrological-astronomical symbols. The cross could also be used to represent the natural union between male and female.

As I’ve researched ancient symbols (I’m also very fond of the spiral), I ran across Brigid’s Cross. I’m especially fond of it and would like to experiment with a variation of it. 

A lot happens between the drawing board to the actual weaving

As you can see from the above drawing of a dynamic rectangle, I was experimenting with a version of nested equal armed crosses. The actual cross drawing was scanned into the computer, where I was able to play around with color.

Drawing

Below is the actual result of the weaving. I don’t remember about adding the purple stripes at top and bottom, but I do remember about the stripe in the middle. My mind kept saying “crossroad” in my head, so the “road” was added.

Crossroad, hand-dyed wool yarns, tapestry, 43.5″ x 74.75″, private collection

 Why this discussion now?

As I said, there seems to be a mild obsession with this shape. This nested cross then morphed into bunches of individual crosses, all equal armed, but the nesting idea continued to incubate. Next time, more of the individual crosses, and later, finally, the nested version of right now.

 

New homes

Let’s hear it for new homes!

Several pieces have found new homes lately. Here’s just a few pics of their new home situations.

Zebra in its new home

Zebra in its new home. I really like it on this red and yellow floor.

Ancient Symbol

Ancient Symbol in its new home

Headin' Home

Headin’ Home hanging on wall. By the way, that’s a loom in the foreground.

And in the category of…why do I do that?

Orchid

Orchid

 

… meet my new orchid. I love orchids. Some people are able to keep them going and they bloom year after year. I’m not one of those people. Still, they’re worth the on-sale price for some beauty and joy, however long that is. This is not its real spot, but the other one wasn’t good for pictures. Not sure if this spot is an improvement–notice the wrestling photographs in the background? They just say, put an orchid here, don’t they?