Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Closing The Circle After All This Time

I know, why did I keep you in suspense for all this time? I don’t know, I just kept putting off blogging the final post on City Streets. It has been done since June but life just got in the way.

So here it is. The story of life on the streets of New York is complete. Everyone has gone their way and a new day and new set of people have taken their place. I placed the tapestry high up on the outside wall of my upstairs bedroom so I could see it from a distance, as tapestries should be seen. It certainly was a learning experience. Not only did I learn about how to control weaving techniques (the hard way, of course) but I also worked out composition, color, and scale as well. I liked doing a large piece; it was great having a project that lasted two years. The idea of taking a concept and making it reality is one that I am new to. I never thought I could do it. I thought I could copy well but taking a concept and making it a reality I thought was beyond my capabilities. I guess you don’t know what you can do till you try.

Will I do it again? I most certainly will. In fact, I started a new one already. This will be on a low warp loom and it will be called Rear Window. Stay tuned as I start the process again, a bit wiser and a bit more in control of my technique. That is, I hope I will do better this time. You’ll have to be the judge.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Conquering the Dreaded Miter Box

My pile of unfinished tapestries has been growing, awaiting their frames for some time. I bought a miter box and saw a while back with the intention of making my own frames but its been sitting on the work table in my garage ever since. I found I was just not able to start to do it. I just knew I would make a hash of it or it would be too hard for me to do so I ignored it, hoping it would go away.

But I finished this piece, "The Matterhorn" for Mom and it needed to be framed before I could send it to her.

In addition, I wanted to do justice to "You Must Sing Their Names, Hollyhocks," a fun little tapestry I did when I returned from the ATA workshop with Lynne Curran last July. Every time I showed my work to friends I thought, “I really need to get that miter box out and tackle the frame. I want this to be finished right.” But the days passed and the box remained where it was.

Well finally I decided to either conquer the frame or go down in flaming defeat. What could it hurt to give it a try? So I got out the as yet virgin tools, measured the wood and clamped it into the box for cutting. Well it was easy and it worked! Who knew? Once I did the first one I went crazy and did two more. What fun. What else could I frame I wondered as I patted myself on the back for a job well done. So I found "Saturdays at the Met"and framed it for good measure

At times we convince ourselves that we can’t do something and so we just don’t try. I am not good at exactitude, I am a close is good enough type of person so doing something that needed math to work out stumped me. The same thing used to happen to my sewing. My corners were never quite right, my seams didn’t lie perfectly as they should. So I thought making a proper 45-degree corner four or eight times would just be beyond me. It wasn’t.

It makes me wonder what other things I am stopping myself from doing just out of a lack of confidence or fear of... I'm not sure what. I am willing to jump out of planes, dive to 100’ with hammerhead sharks or take a chance and move to a different country couldn’t seem to get myself to pick up a saw and make a corner. How strange and powerful our minds are to be able to trick us in this way.

So, the next time I think “I can’t do that,” I will think of the miter box and just give it a try. What’s the worst that can happen? I won’t be able to do it myself. But the best is that perhaps I will succeed. That is the scariest thing of all sometimes.