Friday, September 7, 2012

Marcel Marois's splendid tapestry in downtown Toronto

This summer my uncle who is also my godfather came to visit for awhile. He is an artist and was an art teacher and he took tapestry weaving classes many years ago with Marcel Marois in Quebec. When my uncle came I took him to downtown Toronto and we went strolling through some of the major bank head offices where many  tapestries by well know tapestry artists hang and here  one Marcel Marois. Of course, a picture doesn't do it any justice and its well worth a walk in downtown Toronto to see all the tapestries that are there in full public view. I'll feature a few more that are found there on my upcoming blogs.
The Community Threads tapestries continue to be woven and the latest one to be completed is the stunning one that has just come off the loom. Sandi Nemenyi, President of the Ontario Handweavers and Spinners and also a guild member at the Nottawasaga Handweavers and Spinners, designed and wove the entire tapestry banner, which depicts various scenes/views found in and at the Gibson Centre in Alliston Ontario.
Istvan, Sandi's husband, was persuaded to join the group and try his hand at tapestry weaving. I think we'd welcome more men weaving alongside us for sure!
Elisabeth Bishof has been weaving tirelessly and steadly and comleted the third frame of this tapestry banner depicting tobacco fields and huts in the area. She worked from a very small image.

Lastly, we have the opportunity to order tapestry yarn from the Australian Tapestry Workshop as a group. If you are interested please contact me at tapestryline@sympatico.ca.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Community Threads Week 61

Sunset designed by Dawna Beatty, woven by Corrie Parsons.

Tapestry weaving classes will resume Monday September 17 and 19. For more information and to register go to : http://torontoweavingschool.blogspot.ca/2012/08/time-to-register-for-fall-2012-weaving.html.

The Community Threads project is now in its 61st week. I have posted a YouTube video of the Birthing of the Community Threads tapestries at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtqjcDtrYfY.

Handwoven magazine featured free tapestry weaving ideas and tips at ......


Marie Payne and Gail Sheldon
I wanted to post a picture of some people that came out to participate in our tapestry WeaveIn at the Toronto Weaving school a while back. Here anyone can weave on the tapestries and it evolved into its own amorphous design. Joe Lewis kicked off the project and came to give us a talk.
 
Linda Needles, president of the Nottawasaga Handweavers and Spinners, who are doing the Community Threads project sent this along. Many of us at the Toronto Weaving School know that Debbie Harris has been weaving a very beautiful Navajo rug and thought this article might be of interest to you all.
http://www.navajohopiobserver.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubsectionID=1&ArticleID=14491

Another Email forwarded by Barbara Heller from the Canadian Tapestry Network that may interest you:

Greetings. I am making a documentary about the project of Guillermo Bert with the Mapuche indigenous people of Chile, a project involving weaving, indigenous rights, the preservation of identity and culture, storytelling, QR codes. You can read all about it at www.codedstories.com

His project will be opening at the Pasadena Museum of California Art, and we intend to film as he completes the project. We've done a lot of filming in Chile already. We think we are well on our way to making a superb documentary feature that treats the art and skill of weaving with the respect and beauty it deserves. Given the focus of your organization, we thought we’d reach out to you, and hope you might be interested in the project.

We are also currently conducting a Kickstarter campaign to raise critical production expenses to complete filming. With 7 days left in the campaign, we are looking to connect with targeted groups who care about art, culture, and anthropology to make this film come to life. Here is the link:
http://kck.st/LyRWgk

Would you have any leads to people with whom I should communicate?
Would you please share this link with groups or individuals you think would be interested in supporting this film?

Once the film is complete, we would love to come and screen the film with you. We hope that it will create interest in the possibilities of weaving and fine art tapestry.

Thank you for your consideration and support. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Best regards,

Adam Hyman


--
Adam Hyman
Okapi Films
143 N. Commonwealth Ave. #3
Los Angeles CA 90004
ahyman@okapifilms.com
+1-213-386-8482
+1-323-807-4202 (cell)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Creativity is blossoming in the Community Threads tapestries

I was planning to visit the Community Threads tapestries in Alliston and see how they were coming along. I was also planning to make a very short video of the project in its middle phases. Since I was coming to visit them, Linda Needles wanted to also discuss and review the administrative details of the Community Threads tapestries.
 Corrie Parsons asked me to give her feedback on her work. She was inspired by the Comminity Threads tapestries project to create a couple of tapestries shorthly after we initiated the project. She created her own designs, which are free flowing and spontaneous. To a tapestry woven technique she added needle felting, assorted fabrics, embellishments...some new and used, to create a sumptuous textile feast. It was very engaging, whimsical and creative.
 another detail of the above tapestry
I hope that Corrie, with her newly revealed creativity, will transfer some of her vitality to the Community Threads tapestries. She is daring and fearless in her use of colour and textures and has a good eye for presentation as well.
  A second tapestry that Corrie wove and embellished.
Other activities going on, Ann and Jackie continued to work on cartoons as the designs keep changing. The group is getting more and more creative, and everyone now is generating a lot of good suggestions, ideas....it can slow the weaving down for sure, but what's most important is the process, the interactions, the discussion of ideas....It's not possible to accommodate everyone's suggestions....but at some point, it might just be the right thing to do. Lots of initiative on their part, and it only means that they care for the project and its outcome.
I met two people for the first time today. One of them was  Martin Sugden. He's Nathalia's husband and has been coming in a number of times to weave on the tapestries. We definitely welcome all males to come and join us in weaving these tapestries. It used to be a male profession, and many males weave tapestries today such as Peter Harris and Thomas Cronenburg to name a couple. Lois Wyndham is the other person I met....all these years I've seen her name associated with Fibre Focus, or in previous times called The OHS Bulletin, a magazine published by the Ontario Handweavers and Spinners.

Betty Cerar is an avid (and excellent ) spinner and she has warmed to the idea of weaving some of the Community Threads tapestries. She needs a more efficient way to weave her image from her cartoon so if anyone can screw in a piece of masonite behind the warp threads, it would help with following the design and be less frustrating for Betty most certainly.
I hadn't seen Allanah since last summer and she has grown and looks more mature and certainly just as beautiful! She decided to join us today with her Grand Mother, Elisabeth Bishof (who is not in this picture). Allanah is on the right, and Nathalia Sugden on the left. They are both working on finsihing the back of the tapestries that have been completed for the Community Threads project.
Though the picture does this tapestry section any justice, it depicts the potatoe fields in the area of New Tecumseth. The white circles are 3 dimensional (textural).  The red bridge like looking design at the top of the tapestry is a machine used to water the crop of potatoes. Simplicity is still powerful and effective.

And finally, the video is now uploaded to YouTube. I've posted it on Facebook to my page video

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Community Threads Tapestries week 52

The Community Threads tapestries are still going strong and is ongoing due to a steady and dedicated group of weavers from the Nottawasaga Handweavers and Spinners Guild. Linda Needles, the president of the Guild, updated me this week. Weaving the image for the Gibson Trucks proved to me more challenging than anyone would have thought and they kept undoing what they wove because they were not satisfied with the results. When I was visiting last week, Jackie mentioned to me also that those involved in the process are becoming more and more confident in making aesthetic changes, both technically and artistically. They are all begining to trust   their artistic instincts and evolving their capacities.
On Canada Day, the Nottawasaga Guild was out strutting their stuff and they brought their completed tapestry banners (even though the finishing isn't completed) to show the public. Linda wrote: "(July 1st).... 3 of the completed tapestries celebrated their first Canada Day by going outside for the day. They joined the Nottawasaga Handweavers and Spinners Guild at their demonstration of spinning and weaving at the community celebration held in Riverdale Park. It was a busy day with hundreds of people “oohing and “ahing” at the handiwork. Even Mayor Mike MacEachern came by to see our progress and was amazed at how they looked. " Mr. MacEachern had also attended our official opening for our Community Threads project. This weeks marks our first year anniversary and the project has greatly exceeded my expectations and I know it's only going to continue to do so.

Lastly, I am glad to announce that I have been asked by the American Tapestry Alliance Education program to be a mentor. I continue to have new tapestry students even over the course of the summer.

Friday, June 22, 2012

A Busy Tapestry Studio and more


The last several months have been a whirlwind of activity and teaching and have seen many exciting things happen in terms of tapestry and weaving - much of here right here in Ontario. New tapestries just don't happen overnight as many of you know due to its long and to some tedious process so when suddenly there's lots going on, and happening it is cause to celebrate and give due praise to those who keep on weaving them.
Lynne Wilson-Orr showing the tapestry she bought from Maximo Laura while in Peru taking a workshop.
Three people who have taken my weaving classes have since travelled to Peru for weaving workshops through Puchka Tours.
Tapestry I believe is experiencing a resurgence in popularity, judging by the many people contacting me for private lessons in technique and design, as well as the mounting enthusiasm that I am seeing on an international scale. There is something about the tactile quality of tapestry that mesmerizes one. The touch of the fibres, the rythm of the weaving....in contrast to the digital and austere environments many people work in. 
The back of the same tapestry.
Somehow pictures don't do tapestry any justice. There is something completely enchanting about its tactile qualities even visually. I love this tapestry, Pauline Abraham's first  after her tapestry sampler, based on a painting called Monument in Fertile Ground, 1929 by Paul Klee. The book that she found the painting in describes it as "Color bands of different lengths create the effect of spatial depth by converging on a sort of horizon, slightly lower than the centre of the painting. The yellow bands, like luminous milestones, appear to mark out a path through the painting." I like that she used an assortment of textured yarns, both weaving and knitting yarns.
This week, Pennelope Gilbertson asked me to meet her at the Gibson Centre in Alliston to interview me regarding the Community Threads tapestries for the magazine Footprints: http://www.simcoeyorkprinting.com/Footprints/Home.html . She made me feel at ease immediately with her lack of pretense, honesty, and naturalness. Everyone at the Nottawasaga Handweavers and Spinners that had been working on these tapestries were there busily working away on different tapestries and related tasks. I felt so comfortable with Penelope that spewed way more than I probably should have but we were all so happy to have someone in her position be curious about what we are doing and taking the time to talk to us. It's such a coincidence that a person called Penelope would come to visit our weaving project. According to the Columbia Encyclopedia
" Penelope .... in Greek mythology was the wife of Odysseus and the mother of Telemachus. In Homer's Odyssey she is pictured as a chaste and faithful wife. When Odysseus was away, she was surrounded by suitors who tried to persuade her that he would never return. She agreed to choose another husband when she finished weaving her father-in-law's shroud, but this was never done, for she unraveled by night what she wove by day. At last her strategem was discovered, and the suitors were enraged. She promised to marry the man who could bend her husband's great bow. None of the suitors could do this but Odysseus, who had returned disguised as a beggar. With the aid of the strung bow, Odysseus slaughtered the suitors and then revealed himself to Penelope."
Sheep panel completed by Elisabeth Bishof.
Gibson Trucks panel - today Ann was working on this panel .

Another panel in progress...today being woven on by Corrie Parsons.
Janet Fayle and Valerie Splaine working on the finishing of the tapestries. Today, I was really struck by how much the group has accomplished, and I dare say, am hopeful that they just might be able to complete their twelve panels by the deadline, which is July 2013. Which brings me to another realization that come this July 7 it will be the Community Threads one year anniversary. For that, I plan to go into the Gibson Centre and make a small film of them working on it.

Left to right: Corrie Parsons and Ann Berman.
In the background Jean Kazmierczak and Gayle Wheeler  are spinning, in the foreground Lucy Tavares  and Libby Hoffman.
Jackie Tienussen making a cartoon. Linda Needles showed me how excellently and with utmost precision Jackie is doing this task. Thank you Jackie!
We had a very special guest today....and we considered it a great honour and we welcomed Christopher Needles (his mom Linda on his right) curiousity about the Community Thread's tapestries.  Christopher works for the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research as a Manager in Editorial Services and Media Relations in the heart of downtown Toronto. He played hookie from work to come and spend a few days 'in the country' with his family.

Sharon Gardiner, completed the Ontario Handweavers and Spinners Tapestry Unit and she blogged about one of the tapestries she created for that unit of study. The named the tapestry Kissy Fish. Go to this link to read more http://www.fishykissknits.com/fishykissknits/

To end off a few more pictures of Maximo Laura's tapestries from Lynne Wilson-Orr and her trip from Peru.


  

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Community Threads: Week 42

Elisabeth Bishof and Valerie Splaine wove these 2 tapestry banners. The tapestry on the left shows some of the leisure activities the people in the community partake in: golf, music, hockey and Scottish dancing. The tapestry on the right, fields, a farmhouse, an interpretation of an inside view of windows in the Gibson Centre and  the Banting monument The tapestries measure 14" w x 60" . The finishing work still has to be done which we will do at a later time.

It was time for a visit to the Gibson Centre and see what the Nottawasaga Handweavers and Spinners were up to. Thursdays are a day when anyone can come and weave, spin and just sit and chat if that is all they feel like doing. Today though, we also decided we would do some painting. No, we weren't redecorating. I find the weaving the group has been doing on the tapestries breathaking. The weaving of two tapestry banners is completed. Four more are in the process of being woven. If you want a really great experience you must go up to the Gibson Centre and visit Alice's Attic and start weaving on those tapestries. It's a truly wondrous unfolding and a fabulous tactile experience in the company of interesting people.
This is the current tapestry that Valerie Splaine is weaving. It depicts preserving jars and the image was painted by Mattie Sullivan.
We looked at all the designs for the our dozen tapestries and the group decided that we needed to make an effort to include more civic structures from New Tecumseh in the tapestries. The Banting Homestead came up in discussion several times. Linda Needles, the president of the guild, took many photographs of several buildings in the township, as well as of the Banting Homestead. Valerie Splaine also took a lot of initiative seeking out other buildings  as well as on the Banting Homestead site, and in addition has created a whole new design based on the Banting farmhouse. If you are wondering why the Banting Homestead is so important than continue reading. It is truly a national treasure.


From left to right: Libby Hoffman, Elisabeth Bishof and Corrie Parsons. Here we are eliminating duplicate themes in images and will be replacing and redesigning them.

Sir Frederick Grant Banting was born on a farm in Alliston, Ontario on November 14 1891. Working with   C. H. Best under the direction of J. J. R. Macleod at the University of Toronto, he succeeded in 1921 to isolate the hormone insulin found in the pancreas. He and  Macleod received  Nobel Prize in 1923 for this medical find. He was knighted in 1934. Besides his work on insulin, he made valuable studies of the cortex,  adrenal glands, cancer, and  silicosis and stimulated research in aviation medicine. He was killed in a plane crash in 1941 while en route to England on a medical war mission. Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/frederick-banting#ixzz1tq0uRiji
From left to right: Connie, Libby and Elisabeth.
We edited the images we wanted to work with. There was some disucssion as to whether we should photographs or make paintings of the photographs. I convinced them that their paintings are much dynamic and exciting than a photograph and its done in their style and later you will see how true that is. We decided to make the paintings small to help us eliminate as much fine detail as possible and simplify the design to its basic elements, rendering it easier to translate into tapestry for people of all skill levels.


Nathalia Sugden.

The outcomes of our paintings showing photographs beside the paintings. Don't the paintings look SOOOOOOOOOOOO much better! Bravo girls!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Canadian Canola Fields and Marsh areas

Recently I attended a guild meeting in Alliston hosted by the Nottawasaga Handweavers and Spinners held at the Gibson Centre for Community, Arts and Culture. Ann Berman introduced herself to me and decided she wanted to return to weaving after reading about the Community Threads project in the local paper. She  explained that she had wove quite a bit of the Community Tapestry shown here. She radiates enthusiasm and pride in the work that is being done on the Community Tapestries.  On her right, we can see the image of the Gibson trucks, transporters for Honda in the area, which is half way completed. Two full  tapestry panels are already completed. Valerie has just started another one. We are always looking for more people to contribute to this exciting tapestry project. On May 3 we will be conducting another painting session to create more images. Below, the most recently completed section depicting a Canola Field, a crop commonly found in the region of New Tecumseth.
A number of people came up to me on separate occassions after having seen the solo exhibition of my tapestries at the Gibson Centre  as well as to view the launch of the Community Threads tapestries and told me how impressed they were that people who had never painted before created these images under my direction and guidance. They were so impressed that they asked me to put on a special workshop.  If you would like to join us here are the details:

DESIGNING FOR TAPESTRY WEAVING
An intensive painting and design course for the tapestry weaver without art training.
June 18 - 22 10am to 4pm
Toronto Weaving School, 255 Royal York Road, Toronto, On
$250. plus materials, $300 if you would like to include lunch.
Contact: Line Dufour
tapestryline@sympatico.ca or telephone 905 836 1321
Register by May 4 2012 

Walter Rothenburger is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design and was working in a hospital lab prior to starting his second profession as a fibre artist. He's been a participant in my weaving classes for quite a number of years. Here he is shown with one of his just finished tapestries, an interpretation of a photograph he took. Below, the tapestry in more detail.
A number of tapestries are nearing completion at the Toronto Weaving School and we are looking forward to sharing them with you.

Friday, March 23, 2012

My presentation at the Pomegranate Guild


This week I gave a presentation to the Pomegranate Guild of Judaic Textiles in Toronto. I've learned that " pomegranates were known in Ancient Israel as the fruits which the scouts brought to Moses to demonstrate the fertility of the "promised land". The Book of Exodus describes the me'il ("robe of the ephod") worn by the Hebrew High Priest as having pomegranates embroidered on the hem. According to the Books of Kings the capitals of the two pillars (Jachin and Boaz) that stood in front of Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem were engraved with pomegranates. It is said that Solomon designed his coronet based on the pomegranate's "crown" (calyx). It is traditional to consume pomegranates on Rosh Hashana because the pomegranate, with its numerous seeds, symbolizes fruitfulness. Also, it is said to have 613 seeds, which corresponds with the 613 mitzvot or commandments of the Torah.. The pomegranate appeared on the ancient coins of Judea. When not in use, the handles of Torah scrolls are sometimes covered with decorative silver globes similar in shape to "pomegranates" (rimmonim) Some Jewish scholars believe that the pomegranate was the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden.[68] Pomegranates are one of the Seven Species  of fruits and grains enumerated in the Hebrew Bible (Deuteronomy 8:8) as being special products of the Land of Israel. The pomegranate is mentioned in the Bible many times. Pomegranates also symbolize the mystical experience in the Jewish mystical tradition, or kabbalah, with the typical reference being to entering the "garden of pomegranates" or pardes rimonim; this is also the title of a book by the 16th-century mystic Moses ben Jacob Cordovero.

I realize now what a good fit it was for me since they hold dear their religious and spiritual beliefs, and that I myself value making my spiritual life a priority. I prepared my powerpoint presentation, and was really organized and ready for them. I thought having a powerpoint presentation made me look ‘professional’ and I was quite proud about that. I loaded my tapestries and handwoven items into the car, my laptop, my notes, my usb. There wasn’t a thing I forgot. I arrived at my destination 15 minutes early and fortunately, Rikki, my hostess for the evening, was also there early. I unloaded the car, and set up my presentation, laying out tapestries and woven items, and fumbling with the projector that would connect to my computer. Somehow, I made it work! I loaded my USB with the powerpoint presentation. Everything was going perfectly.

Then up came a message saying that Microsoft Office was not loaded on my laptop. Without it, I could not use my powerpoint presentation. Panic set in though I kept it under wraps. I felt somehow that now my talk would be a real disappointment to all the people who had shown up to hear and see it. A guild member tried and tried to open the pictures in some other format but no luck. Fortunately, I had some pictures of my work on the laptop but not all of the ones I had hoped to share with the group. So the decision was made that I would wing it and wing it I did. I let go of the facade of trying to appear ‘professional’ which at this point seemed farcical. And off I launched into a talk for one and a half hours. The first time I’ve talked about myself and work for that long.

This scenario kept me honest, genuine and real and now that this mishap had occurred it was an opportunity to just be very honest and personal with the group about what I do and why I do it instead of hiding behind the camouflage of academic speak. At the end of the presentation, many people came up to talk to me. Rikki, my hostess, told me I was a hit and that the people really enjoyed the personal approach. My colleague, Melanie Siegal, wrote me an email saying that many people enjoyed the presentation. My overall impression of the group was their welcoming warmth and appreciation of what I did. Love and respect was palpable in this room: love of people, love of textiles, love of art and creativity.

And all this seems to connect somehow to something else I’ve been wanting to share with you. One of my tapestries, Joy, appears as a book cover that has been published entitled: Born to Love: Memoirs of an Ageless Senior by Ofidean Virginia Mitchell_Phillips Ph.D. herself a deeply spiritual person.

This is a group who has its share of very talented fibre artists and I’ve included their links below, one for Melanie Siegel and another, Temma Gentles are the ones I know. Some of you may be interested in joining this guild which is located presently on Glencairn Avenue in Toronto. The membership fee is nominal and provides a warm supportive environment for whatever your textile preference is.

In parting, fill your life with all that you love and with all who love you!

www.pomegranateguild.ca/
www.msiegel.ca
www.temmagentles.com/

Friday, March 16, 2012

Community Threads Week 35

The Community Threads tapestries are coming along slowly. The momentum seems to have slowed somewhat and I hope this is not a sign that enthusiasm is waning. Jackie, on the right, has been working steadily away on the gobelin loom over the last month. Here she is showing Susan Menzies, an artist herself, how to weave tapestry. This is Susan's first attempt. Susan also brought along 2 boys who were in here care over the March Break. They too tried their hand at tapestry weaving. Below, the section of the Community Threads tapestry that Jackie has been working on. I love all the textures and its taking on a three dimensional look.
I brought in a video of the birthing of the Community Threads project that I put together to show those in attendance. I think it re-inspired us all. We're looking to promote a local musician(s) music track to add to the video and then put it on YouTube. It's a wonderful chronicle of the projects unfolding. I was also told  that the historical society had visited on Wednesday. I think the tapestries are looking great! I'm really pleased with the results so far!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Community Threads: Week 31

The Nottawasaga Handweavers and Spinners in Alliston and their guests continue to weave on their community tapestries. Elisabeth arrived with yet another section of her tapestry completed - a New Tecumseth hockey player. What a beautiful job she did. She has already made an enormous contribution to the Community Threads Project.

Linda Needles writes: At our last get together in Alice's Attic, we again saw an increase in the number of members and visitors who are coming out to see the Community Threads tapestries progress. Beth, a guild member who has a busy job and has not been out to see us in a long time, wanted to come and see what all this tapestry talk was about. Deb, a fairly new member returned this week and planned to work on the tapestry sampler loom but instead, got hooked on trying her hand at table loom weaving. (She was inspired by Dawna who was working on her overshot runner). We also welcomed Melanie,a visitor from the community who had heard about the project from a guild member, but. Nellie continues to be a great help on this project and helped to wind balls of wool. Sandi and Elisabeth sorted colours for the next tapestry. Wendy worked on repairing a loom and Linda and Jackie wove on the Gobelin loom, while Bonnie and Jean repaired the drum carder. Lots of things to do in our busy studio.
Valerie worked at making a warp for the next tapestry on the Penelope loom. She has already completed a tapestry and is now working on her second.


We also had a very special visitor. Marsha, the Executive Assistant at the Gibson Centre, frequently drops in to see us about administrative issues and constantly admires what we are creating. We chide her about how she needs to actually come and sit down to help us weave. Last week she had promised that she would enter it in to her appointment calendar so, sure enough, she arrived at 11:00 am and sat down at the Gobelin Loom beside Beth and they worked away and chatted for about 1/2 hr. She was more than enthusiastic about how cool the experience was. She is the blond on the left. It is great to see the camaraderie that evolves when individuals come together with such purpose.






Friday, February 10, 2012

Exploring the Possibilities

The tapestry weavers in my weaving class are so seldomly featured on my blog that I thought I would dedicate todays entry to them . They work away...usually quietly though at times they can get into very animated and have deep discussions. I've come to believe that the tapestry weavers are the philisophers among all the other weavers. Perhaps the process of tapestry weaving draws that kind of person - a person with profound thoughts and insightful points of view. I have not met a tapestry weaver who I would consider to be dull even if tapestry weaving is repetitive. Monday mornings has come to be the time when we have more tapestry weavers than other kind of weavers in the class. For me, a treat. Entirely different considerations in tapestry weaving. Technically, not as rigourous and demanding as other kinds of weaving. I wanted to talk about tapestry weavers this week because I think they have some important approaches that other weavers can learn and benefit from.



First and foremost, tapestry weavers tend to be an adventourous lot. They are usually up for exploring the possibilities of their creative endeavours and this I think translates in how they lead their lives. Most of the tapestry weavers I know have constructed an unusual life....and not a life that is prescribed. They take chances, and take risks.....and usually have surprising results that would make many envious. They think outside the box, perhaps because often they cannot fit into the box! This sampler, done by Pauline Abraham, is a perfect illustration of what I'm talking about. Most people I know that have done this sampler have done exactly what I told them to do, rarely departing from the format. Pauline was unable to restrain her own creative forces and it came surging through her sample. She explored. She experimented and did not concern herself with what I thought or anyone else. She asked herself, as she placed colours and threads side by side....what if I did this or that? She saw new possiblilities and explored them.




Which brings me to discuss another person who took her introduction to tapestry weaving with me - Susan Middleton. Susan is a talented artist. She also, could no longer be restrained from pursueing her dream. After being a teacher for many years, and fighting off her irrational desire to be a tapestry weaver and artist, she finally relinquished her fears and her job to make her dreams come true. The first thing she did was study with a tapestry weaver in Belgium. Upon her return she bought a beautiful Glimarka tapestry loom (no longer being made) and rented a studio space. This past summer, on her own, she created a wide range of yarns for weaving her tapestries, all dyed with natural dyes. This she did after attending a conference/trade show in France that was about natural dyes.




When one pursues what one loves, although we wrestle with our fears, it makes for a most interesting journey. We feel more alive. More real. There is no rule book. One advances a step at a time. Opening doors to new possibilities. Making new connections. Growing in our creativity, our technical abilities, but above all having nourishing and positive relationships with ourselves and with others. We need this fertile environment to flourish in every way. If you'd like to see more of Susan's work you can go to http://chezrouleau.com/chezrouleau.html


And so happy weaving and may it be your path to a bliss and joy.