Monday, September 7, 2009

The Cutting Off Ceremony

Well, after 7 months and a lot of weaving, unweaving, weaving and unweaving my tapestry is ready for the big snip. 

I was able to spend a lot of time on this project for the last couple of weeks and it shows.  I wanted to finish before school started so I pushed through the last week to insure I did.  It was worth it, I can’t be more pleased with the results. 

It could have been finished a couple of days earlier but I was not pleased with the last corner.  After 7 months of work I wanted the last inches to be as well developed as the rest of the piece.  I had filled in the top right hand corner but it was too much wall without any definition. I thought it would be okay when I was weaving it because I thought my initials would fill in the space adequately. I knew once it was finished that I had to do it again.  It was too much gray.  It would have shouted “where are the bricks?” every time I looked at it if I had left it.  So back I went before I did the row of half hitches.  It was the right thing to do. 

It was fun to work out the perspective, it really became apparent as the cars got smaller and especially as I was developing the wall.  That was where I was able to really bring the scene together.  It took some time to figure out the right sequence but after a few tries I think I got it right. 

This has been a great learning experience. I find myself looking at things differently because of this piece.  I was driving down the highway the other week and I noticed that instead of seeing the different colors of the trees I was seeing blocks of color.  I now see a bit of what Cezanne tried to capture.  I can see why he was so influential for so many artists.  I think my trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to see their Cezanne show was very helpful in my own visualization. 

In addition, doing it in grayscale was great. Once the color was not an issue I could see so much more detail.  It is quite interesting to see how intensity changes when the hue is not an issue. 

So now my loom is bare and awaiting the next project.  I am still thinking about City Life even though I found myself frustrated as I struggled with the faces of the figures in my test pieces.  I think I have an idea of how to make it a bit easier.  Right now the scene takes up the lower 2/3 of the tapestry with the buildings set to rise above it. I think if I increase the scene to 3/4 or even more I will have more space to work out the faces.  Working in 9 epi will also help as it will give me more warp to work out the details.  So I am back on track with that.

In the meantime I am also starting a smaller piece for the ATA 2010 biennial.  The theme is Enchanted Pathways. I have a photo of a dilapidated building that I took at Peter’s Valley that I think will work well.  I will tell you more about it as I work out the details. 

I still have plenty of work to do on the Philly cars before it is ready to go on the wall so both tapestries will have to wait a week or so.  The hand work is calling me. I need to sew down the warp and add the bias tape for the rod and weights at the bottom to keep it straight.  The weaving may be done but the finish work is where it becomes a professional piece. 

I can’t wait to show it to my study group tomorrow.  How fun that they can finally see it in person.