Autumn Events

As I have nothing to report at the moment I thought I would let you know of a few interesting exhibitions and events going on around the UK in the lead up to Christmas and which you might care to visit if they are in your area. Unlike the Colour Block exhibition I mentioned last time I promise you these are all still to come!

1st -30th November:  Scottish  Diaspora Tapestry Exhibition: Various venues  throughout Scotland, depicting the experiences of migrant Scotts over the centuries. Embroidered panels, not woven.    http://www.scottishdiasporatapestry.org

1st-2nd November: Made by Hand – The Contemporary Craft Fair: City Hall , Cardiff. The largest craft fair in Wales, with jewellery, pottery, furniture, textiles and glass.   http://www.madebyhand-wales.co.uk

2nd November: Artists and Makers Fair: Wendover Memorial Hall, Buckinghamshire.  http://www.sallyevansevents.co.uk/events.html

2nd November: Autumn Quilt Festival: Airspace Conservation Hall, Imperial War Museum, Duxford. Quilt and patchwork displays, suppliers and a variety of workshops and demonstrations.    http://www.grosvenorshows.co.uk

8th-9th November: Windsor Contemporary Art Fair: Royal Windsor Racecourse, Windsor, Berkshire. Showcasing artists, printmakers, photographers, sculptors, ceramicists and selected galleries.   http://www.windsorcontemporaryartfair.co.uk

21st-24th November: Knitting and Stitching Show: Harrrogate International Centre, Harrogate. A wide range of knitted works, textiles and supplies.   http://www.theknittingandstitchingshow.com

22nd November: Candle-Making Workshop: Black Country Museum, Dudley. Explore three main candle making techniques, using two types of wax.   http://www.bclm.co.uk

22nd-23rd November: Designer Makers Christmas Market: The Witham, Barnard Castle, County Durham. Showcasing designers and craftspeople from around the region. Live demonstrations and free workshops.   http://www.designermakersmarket.co.uk

7th December: Free-Machine Embroidery: The Makery, Beau Nash House, 19 Union Passage, Bath, Avon. A three-hour class demonstrating required  to perfect free-machine embroidery on pieces of calico.   http://www.themakery.co.uk.

All the above are listed in the Nov/Dec issue of Landscape Magazine (http://www.landscapemagazine.co.uk) but I would also draw your attention to one more during December:

January-sail card
One of Claudia’s delightful card designs.

From 4th December to Christmas: Art on the Quay: Christmas Shopping at Art on the Quay, Waldringfield Boatyard, The Quay, IP12 4QZ. Open Thursday – Sunday  11.00am-3.00pm. Maritime art by Claudia Myatt, plus books, prints, cards, calendars and nautical themed gifts.   http://www.claudiamyatt.co.uk

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No Progress!

I have made a start on my Green Man weaving, but other than the bottom inch or so there has been no real progress. I have also woven the first inch of the face image using the same two shades of green and the light brown wool that I used for the Earth Spiral and which I have pictured here.

Green and brown wool

Unfortunately, while this combination worked well for the spiral it doesn’t seem to be working for the Green Man, the colours are too closely related and too dull and the mid green is rather too brown. So I have decided to undo the bit I have done and start again with some different greens pictured below:

More green wool

For the third shade I may use the brown wool, or possibly the mid greeny-brown wool in the first picture, whichever works best. This should result, I hope, in the face looking lighter and more defined. As I wrote in my last post this is the most complicated thing I have tackled so far. It is going to be very fiddly and there will be a lot of trial and error, but at least I have learned enough from the bit I have done (and am about to undo) to give me the confidence that I will be able to complete the piece.

Progress will continue to be slow for a while as October is going to be a very busy month with lots of other things going on and I don’t anticipate having much time for weaving. My major occupation for the month is the editing of a magazine I produce for an international sailing boat ‘Owner’s Association.’ We shall be away for much of November and I hope to take the weaving with me to work on in spare moments. Before we go I hope to have done enough to at least check that I have finally found a working colour combination. If I have managed to do any significant amount before we go away I shall report again, otherwise watch for my next report in late November!

Earth Spiral

Earth Spiral

Here is my ‘Earth Spiral’ tapestry finished at last. I can’t believe how long it has taken me to complete something that is only 8 ins square – a combination of hot weather preventing me from working and also having to undo several bits and re-do them from time to time until I was reasonably satisfied with the shape. On top of that just lately my get-up-and-go seems to have got up and gone and inertia has rather set in, due in part perhaps to a rather hectic last few weeks. However I am pleased with the final result and the effect of the blended yarns, both in the background and in the spiral. I think you can just make out the mid-greeny-brown between the dark green and brown yarns of the spiral – it creates a slightly more obvious shading in reality than the photo suggests.

As you can see it is still on the loom. I warped the frame with the intention of turning it over to work another piece on the other side but as yet I have not decided what to weave. We will be away later this week for a few days (leaving our son to cat sit) but I will not be taking the weaving frame with me this time, though I do intend to spend some time thinking about what to do next, both on the other side of this piece and on my larger looms. I have now bought some new warp yarn for my floor loom and need to plan what I intend to do on there, plus I have many ideas for things I would like to do on my nail frame loom. Thank goodness we now have some cooler weather making it a bit more comfortable to work with wool!

As yet I have not decided what to do with this tapestry. One suggestion is that I work a series of related pieces and present them as a whole in some way. I am quite taken with this idea but need to come up with some related symbols/designs. One possibility is more ‘earthy’ designs and another is to perhaps represent air, fire and water in similar style – any suggestions for appropriate symbols will be most appreciated.

Simple?

Who would have thought that such a simple design would be so difficult to weave? Well, yes I suppose that should be fairly obvious since it is a spiral and so the curves progress in such a way that you are frequently adding more colour threads. This is the design that I started for my Gallery Day at the Nuneaton exhibition (read about it in my previous post here).

Spiral weaving

As you can see progress has been slow. This is in part due to the weather – it has been so hot that weaving with wool has been something I just couldn’t do for very long at a time and some days not at all. I even took it with me when we were away for a week but didn’t touch it during that time. Fortunately it has been a bit cooler recently and so I have been able to weave again

Then again, this is the most complex piece I have woven to date – a deliberate decision on my part in order to progress as a tapestry weaver. As mentioned in my previous post on the subject I am using three earthy colours for the spiral and randomly blending two colours for the background. These two are beige and white. Both of these are two-ply wool and I am using the beige just as it comes, but so that the white does not show too much of a contrast I am unplying lengths of both the beige and the white then using one single ply of each together for the lighter areas. I am slightly increasing the white content as the spiral nears its centre.

The spiral itself still causes me a few problems, mainly due to sorting out the three shades (it would have been far easier just to use one) and from time to time I have to undo and re-do some areas – but that’s weaving for you! Hopefully before too long I will be able to show you the finished piece.

Exhibtion Ends

The Tapestry Exhibition finally finished on 13th July and on Monday 14th we all went along to collect our work. This was done with mixed feelings – some relief that it was all over tinged with some sadness for the same reason! No tapestries were sold but several of us sold some of our cards, me included, so that was a nice little reward for our efforts. The Gallery at Nuneaton really did us proud, they were very friendly and helpful and made the whole experience most enjoyable for us. It is a wonderful vibrant place and if you are ever in the area I hope you will visit – there will always be something worth seeing.

I forgot to take my camera along but I took one or two photos on my mobile phone which have not turned out very well. Maralyn Hepworth’s Flax mill weaving was still on the wall so I took the opportunity to photograph it to share here. It came out a little hazy, partly due to the fact that the weaving was encased in a perspex frame. I also took one of the completed ‘Have-a-Go’ weave, again a little unfocused but here they both are:

Flaxmill Tapestry
Flaxmill Tapestry
Maralyn Hepworth
Have-a-go weave
Have-a-Go weave

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can find out more about the Flaxmill Tapestry from Maralyn’s website and ‘Weavers Yarns’ blog; links to both are on the sidebar Blogroll.

Post exhibition meal

After collecting our work we went out for a celebratory lunch together where we debriefed about our experience, talked about future weaving plans and speculated about where and when our next exhibition would be as well as generally chatting among ourselves about anything and nothing in particular. Above is a photo of us all, photo kindly taken by my husband on my mobile phone and unfortunately with the sun shining through the window behind us. Maralyn was not able to join us but circling round from the left you can see yours truly, Victoria Green, Jane’s husband John, Jane Freear-Wyld, Lindsey Marshall and Pauline Fisk.