Monday, February 22, 2010

Stepping up the curb on City Life

Things are going well with the new tapestry. I've been plugging away at the first few inches (sounds like a long time for such a small amount of weaving, doesn't it?). I've got the street laid in and the curb started.

I am moving up to the vertical part of the curb and heading to the top of the step. With school, trips here and there and just general living it takes some time to lay in the foundation. I am also going slow to make sure my edges are good. I am determined to beat that drawing in problem. I found that the Victorian wool I am using is less forgiving than the Paternayan wool is. That means I need to be more careful when setting the edges with the Victorian wool. It pulled in a bit more. However, now that I noticed that I can make adjustments.

In an effort to keep the entire 48" even as I work on the piece I am also doing a row of twining between the colors (I think I will only be able to do it on the long straight pieces like the street and curb) to respace the warp. It should keep me from pulling in there too. As with every piece I am learning new techniques and strategies.

I love my weekly study group but I found that I can get ideas from many different sources. This week I went into the city to see a tapestry show in Chelsea. the following week I took a felting workshop and found that there was a very interesting crossover there. One of the artists who developed a piece for the tapestry show was a very well known artist named Kara Walker. Her favorite medium is actually silhouettes but she was asked to create a design for the medium of tapestry. Here is what she created:

If you look closely you will see that the black figure is felted. Now this might not have made too much of an impression on me except that it made me think of the workshop I was to take the next weekend. I don't know if I will try it for myself but I can see doing this in future piece. I think I will just stick with minimal surface embellishments right now. At this point I am only thinking of things like a ponytail or braids protruding from the surface for a couple of the figures. Perhaps I will try the felting on a smaller piece. I don't like to admit it but sampling has its purpose (mores the pity since I hate to do it).

Anyway, influences and ideas float around us every day if we look for them. So I plan to keep my eyes open to see what I can find. I am off to Philly this week and have plans in place for the new Picasso exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of art in a few weeks. I am sure I will pick up an idea or two from that. I'll let you know soon.

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