Friday, November 12, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
The hours vanish quickly while I'm in the studio. And studio time is something most of us feel we never have enough of, much as we like our social lives and other distractions. "Everyone needs a sanctuary to gather thoughts and apply personal tools. It's in a sanctuary where a sense of self is daily repaired and polished. Things begin to make sense in a sanctuary. Even for the most limited among us, a santuary is where progress is made and work gets done". Robert Genn.
Friday, August 6, 2010
Another Breakfast presentation by Jill Heppenheimer, owner of the Santa Fe Weaving Gallery. Her shop carries one of a kind handwoven garments. What an excellent speaker. I wish we could get her to come talk to fibre artists here. Her talk was about how to get into a gallery, the pros and cons of being in a gallery; of accepting that its never a perfect arrangement but that one should choose stores/galleries that have the kind of work that is compatible with yours, and people who feel a connection to you and respect your work. Your retail price range must also match the stores/galleries price range. She stresses EVOLVING, to not disengage with your work, to feel passionate about it, to feel good about it and what you are expressing.
Tablet Weaving workshop at 9a.m. and Inge Dam, a fellow Canadian is the instructor. Inge demonstrates each step very well. My single biggest complaint about the workshops are that there are just too many registered for each one. Often there are 50 or more and I believe we definitely had that many. I find tablet weaving fascinating, and will be happy to impart what I have learned to others, however, it definitely is not my calling! I felt awkward working with the cards. I'm glad that I understand how it works and for anyone interested, it is amazing what one can create with this technique though you are limited in width.
In the evening I attended the opening for, Dialogues, a group tapestry exhibition at the South Broadway Cultural Centre. A great venue and the tapestries were flatteringly presented with suitable lighting and hanging devices. The work was thoroughly enjoyable by the artists Linda Wallace, Elizabeth Buckley, Lany Eila, Katherine Perkins, Elaine Duncan and Dorothy Clews. Linda and Dorothy had the decomposed/deconstructed tapestry pieces that were featured in FiberArts magazine recently, as well as other tapestry work. I am sorry not to have pictures to present on the exhibition but I stronly encourage people to look up these artists to see their work. Earlier in the week, I went to the New Directions in Fiber Art on Central Avenue in Albuquerque featuring the work of Jennifer Moore, among others.
Day 5: July 24 Saturday and July 25 Sunday
A two day workshop in Natural Dyeing with Liesal Orend of Earth Arts. Sooooooooooooooo much too learn and its helpful if one is chemistry oriented. It was fascinating to see what all the dye plants could do and how colours could be shifted with various mordants. Definitely easier for those of you who are scientifically minded (not I) however I don’t think I will let that stop me from wanting to continue practicing it and sharing it with others. It's amazing what we can do all in the name of weaving that is not directly related to it! Liesel did say that the natural dye plant extracts work quite well and are much less time consuming.
By Saturday I had somehow managed to have laryngitis so I was very disappointed I wasn’t able to take more time to get to know and befriend other tapestry artists at their Enchanted Evening gathering of tapestry weavers, which overall was one of my primary reasons for wanting to go to Albuquerque. There were also a couple of other matters that added to my disappointment in regards to the tapestry situation at Convergence this year. Usually the American Tapestry Alliance exhibit is held at the same time and location as Convergence but this year, the one year I could be there, and in addition a year in which one of my tapestry was selected to be in this year's ATA exhibit, the ATA exhibit will open in Lincoln Nebraska in September! It would have been so wonderful to see the exhibit of all the tapestries selected at this time. I hope that is a situation that will change and some kind of resolution can occur between both parties. It also troubled me to see that there were no workshops on tapestry weaving, techniques that can be employed or even on designing and tapestry.
From left to right: Tori Kleinhart, Kathe Todd Hooker, Diane Kennedy
I had a chance to pop into the William and Joseph Gallery in Santa Fe where the Small Expressions tapestries were on display. One had to go to the very back of the gallery in a small room one does not see from the front door......hmmmm.....I think they deserved more prominence in my humble opinion! They were exquisite and mostly whimsical little gems.
The Ontario Arts Council is an agency of the Government of Ontario
Thursday, August 5, 2010
DY Begay (centre) is a contemporary tapestry weaver of Navajo origins and in her rug and blanket weaving tradition too, designs and technique were handed down generation to generation. Children were supposed to learn by watching and doing and were not supposed to ask questions. This really resonated with me. For the Navajo weaving was introduced to them through Spiderwoman. Her own interpretation of her Navajo traditions are abstracted landscapes. Colours and motifs are inspired by the land, by her environment. Her work can be seen at the Heard Museum in Phoenix Arizona.
My first workshop today: Warp Painting on the Loom with Jannie Taylor. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh....what fun AND it feels so good to be weaving again! I can’t wait to share these techniques with my students and can’t wait to continue exploring them myself. I see infinite possibilities. I made another new friend – Judith Shangold....we initially had talked on the bus for the Santa Fe Opera House and Fiber ArtistTour. She too took the warp painting. I really enjoyed her company!
The workshop took place in a room the size of a football field. About 4 or 5 other workshops were taking place simultaneously. A fellow Canadian spotted me in this melee, Melanie Segal. Melanie and I went to the Ontario College of Art and Design a long time ago! The second Canadian I ran into while I am here. One of the workshops taking place was Rio Grande rug weaving.
Afterwards checked out the various exhibitions of fibre art works and the garments that were featured in the fashion show. Here I bumped into Ted Hallman, one of fibre art teachers from my OCAD days! What a small world. He lives in Santa Fe 3 months in the summer and the rest of the time resides in Philadelphia . Also had a stroll around the vendors hall where I ran into another Canadian, Joyce Newman from the Burlington Spinners and Weavers. Funny....we come all this way, hardly see each other here, and we bump into each other thousands of miles of way!
The Ontario Arts Council is an agency of the Government of Ontario
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
I didn’t sign up for anything for this day. My new friend Jean, started her 3 day workshop with Robin Spayde, whose binder of notes were the most spectacular we have ever seen for a workshop. Robin is a very thorough, organized and knowledgeable teacher and Jean highly recommends her. Bobbie was still trying to recupe so Cynthia and I took the light rail train to Santa Fe and visited the Georgia O’Keefe Museum which had of course, an exhibition of her work. The museum shown here is a good example of the adobe style homes that are the norm in New Mexico. Cynthia had gone on the Ghost Ranch Tour on Monday, organized by Convergence. Ghost Ranch is where Georgia O’Keefe lived and painted for many years before she died. I love Georgia’s spirit and who she was as a person.
We ventured up Canyon road where all the galleries are in Santa Fe. We didn't venture to far into them simply because we had to rush to get the shuttle that would take us to the light rail transit. I've already planned to come back to Canyon Road next week and make a day of it in Santa Fe before heading to Taos.
The Walk In Beauty fashion show was held this evening. I ran into Ingrid Boesel (Fibreworks Software). Some of my favourite pieces were the nuno jacket, with silk rust organza by Susan Bowman; Sarah Fortin & Catherine Pritchett’s collaboration – a brown rust coat in shadow weave; Catherine Pritchett’s woven patches and felted garment; Inge Dam’s skirt made with strips of tablet weaving; and Stephanie Abelson’s window screen bird jacket. Its worth getting a catalogue of all garments exhibited at the show.
The coming days promises much more!
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
left to right: Jean Weems, Cynthia Miller, Ann Bergeron and Bobbie Goering
The first studio we stopped was Rebecca Bluestone. This gave us an introduction to the kind of architecture that is dominant in New Mexico, the adobe style house. They are very charming, cool in the summer, and warm in the cooler months. She does warped faced hand dyed silk wallhangings on a Cranbook Loom with a sectional warp beam and an epi of 8 using a 12/6 swedish cotton for the warp. She likes to weave with a temple because silk is rigid and does not have the give and amplitude of wool, thus its rigidity causes draw-in. Her wallhangings are quite large and to maintain such a straight edge is definitely technically challenging.
Jennifer Moore’s studio was our last stop for the day. The picture are at the top of the page. She creates double weave wall hangings, scarves and shawls. Jennifer’s book on double weave has just come out, and she also sells dvd’s on the technique. I acquired a copy of the book and asked her to sign it! Jennifer’s studio may be small, but she also is incredibly prolific.
I regrouped with my new friends after the tour. Bobbie was fading because she had come directly to Albuquerque from a trip to France, so she didn’t join us for dinner. Jean, Cynthia and I took the bus to Old Town Albuquerque, where shops and restaurants were organized around a very European looking square. We had dinner at one of the restaurants (Mexican). We faded quickly after that.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Monday, May 31, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
Another thought that came up was how for humans the sense of touch plays an important factor in contributing to our well being. It seems to me that women especially, due to what I believe are genetic factors, intuitively participate in activities that are tactile. I think these characteristics are inherent, that we have no control over them. I believe women are prewired to be nurturers which makes us more sensitive to the tactile, all needed to care for our infant offspring. What happens then when offspring are no longer or are not a part of one's observable reality then? Why are we so drawn to these activities like knitting, crocheting, felting, weaving even sewing and heaven knows for some, even housework? Why are textiles so vital a part of our frame of reference? I want to know more about the 'science of touch' so here is the beginnings of my forays into understanding why I have always felt that I had no control over feeling propelled to participate in such activities and that it is hard wired in our brains and in our bodies. Read this about touch and one of the points they make about the sensory receptors in our hands take up much more space in our brains than most other areas of our bodies. I think this will give us great insight into ourselves and help us to understand why we can never feel entirely complete in our lives unless we understand that our bodies need this tactile way of interacting with world and of being in the world. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somatosensory_system
Recently a friend of mine returned from Paris and while she was there she visited Cluny and saw the Unicorn Tapestries. Though there is much intersting discussion as to the possible meaning of these tapestries, after having done much reading about them and the period in which they were created, I believe, based on how women were recruited to live as nuns in Abbeys, that these tapestries are about what these women would sacrifice and commit to: a renunciation of terrestrial pleasures, the conduit being each of our five senses. Each tapestry is about the renunciation of each sense in order to live a life closer to God. Many would hotly debate nowadays whether doing any such thing would bring us the feeling of being closer to God, however, I am greatful that women have so many more choices now. And I still choose to weave tapestries after having done so for the last 25 years. The possibilities are still exciting me. So many that are in my mind that I hope one day will come to fruition.
Friday, March 12, 2010
I have often thought of my loom like a musical instrument and have felt like a musician while I was weaving, making silent music. Perhaps its the physical rythmic movements of the process. Perhaps some aspects of the technical structures, such as the mathematical component to it. The other coincicidence is that baroque music is one of my favorite categories of classical music and I usually listen to it as I'm weaving tapestries. I find it fascinating that my tapestry weaving and Tafelmusik how somehow found each other!
An Ashford loom I am presently using to weave the tapestry Dream Fields will be on display for this event.
A smaller loom will be available for people to weave their prayers, dreams, hopes and wishes for the planet. A book will also be available for them to write their thoughts as well as their name and signature. This finished woven piece will be part of a future exhibition. Each person will be credited for having contributed to weaving the piece. The finished piece will be a part of my Prayer Totem series, which itself is a part of another group of tapestries on Well Being.
For more details on the concert go to http://www.tafelmusik.org/
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
The second will be at the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, Mass between January 21 and May 2011. You can view the site by clicking on the link.
Friday, February 5, 2010
I'm attaching a link to the conference site http://www.weavespindye.org/?loc=8-00-00 where you can view all the events that are happening at the conference as well as check out what an amazing place New Mexico is. There is so much to explore and so much for the fibre enthusiast as there are fibre artists and activities a plenty, even without the conference. The conference doesn't happen until the latter part of July of this year. I'm sure it will be scorching but they say its cool in the mountains at night and one even needs a sweater or light jacket!
Of course I had to tell as many people as I could....friends and relatives. Most responded so positively and the one thing that kept coming up was that I deserved it! I felt an incredible wave of support from many friends and this was just as good as receiving the grant from the OAC. So thank you friends for those wonderful supportive words and feelings!
Just this morning I signed up for the workshops, seminars and studio sessions that interest me: warp painting with Jannie Taylor; Cavandoli Tapestry knotting (who knew!); and Natural Dyeing for 2 days. There are lots more I'd like to participate in but the schedule limits how many I can choose. There are tours as well. One is to Santa Fe where we will visit with a couple of tapestry artists.
It's nice to dream about this excruciating heat that I might encounter when I'm there at a time in February when its pretty drab, damp and cold. When I was looking at the accommodation that I might take, I noticed on the website that the temperature today was 30 degrees and it was sunny!
Well....back to work!
The Ontario Arts Council is an agency of the Government of Ontario
Monday, January 18, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
I attended the opening reception on November 13. My friend Scott Ford met me there. There were lots of people. I was thrilled Wave sold while I was at the reception. The piece was sold to Jane Alderdice, herself an artist and who also works at the University of Toronto.