Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Solitary and Social practice

Ellen Allas at the loom in Peru with Puchka Tours and the Maximo Laura workshop/studio.
Tapestry weaving is usually considered a solitary practice, In part this is what can draw people into tapestry weaving.  I've read some great books about solitude and it's very much connected to the process of creativity. In solitude, we have time to connect to our own thoughts and feelings, our own ideas. Through solidtude, we reflect on other things going on in our lives and to find meaning in it all. From the chaos created from the tangled threads of thoughts, emotions, relationships and life situations, we can find some order in these moments of solitude. 
Corrie Parsons with her recently finished panel for the Community Threads tapestries
What has been great about the Community Threads tapestry project in Alliston and the ongoing Fate, Destiny and Self Determination international tapestry project is that it has introduced a social element into the process. The weaving classes themselves are also a vehicle for sociability in weaving. People making new connections, new friendships, and of course learning all at the same time. 
Agota Dolinay shown here helping with finishing of section one of the international tapestry project, Fate, Destiny and Self Determination/le sort, le destin et l'auto-determination. Bambi Rutledge also came in today to help get this part of the process underway. 
Overall I think most of us seek some balance between the two...times of solitude, times of sociability - neither of which we would appreciate if we didn't have both. 
At the Opera, by Bambi Rutledge
Christine Shipley wrote: The only thing one can give an artist is leisure in which to work. To give an artist leisure is actually to take part in his creation. -Ezra Pound, poet (1885-1972) Perhaps I would add to that solitude as well for without it, it is more challenging to be creative. By receiving the Ontario Arts Council grants for the two tapestry projects, it has certainly enabled me as an artist to follow my larger creative urges.
Emmanuelle Holmes, Australia

Sidsel Moreb, USA (Florida)

Janis Hunter, Australia. 
Christine Shipley created this shape with handspun merino/bamboo and hand dyed yarn. Christine teaches weaving in Scarborough Ontario through the Parks and Recreation at Cedar Ridge as well as at the Markham Guild of Weavers and Spinners. 
"When from our better selves we have too long
Been parted by the hurrying world, and droop,
Sick of its business, of its pleasures tired,
How gracious, how benign, is Solitude."

— The Prelude by Wordsworth
 102 shapes from 21 different countries have been received to date and more are on their way. 

Dorothy Clews shared this link on Facebook about how one woman created a tapestry warp:

Susan Middleton sends along this link to a video featuring Peter Harris talking about his work:

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