Friday, March 28, 2014

Simon Says

Aneesha Parrone, Colorado, USA

Remember those games some of us of a certain age played as kids? One of them was Simon Says (or Simple Simon Says). One player takes the role of Simon who is the command giver. Players are only supposed to do as instructed when the command is preceded by "Simon says". All other instructions are to be ignored.  Players are eliminated from the game by either following instructions that are not immediately preceded by the phrase, or by failing to follow an instruction which does include the phrase "Simon says". 

There is little emphasis on physical capacity and what is developed  is the ability to distinguish between valid and invalid commands. The winner of the game is usually the last player who has successfully followed all of the given commands. Another version of this game was "Mother may I".
 Aneesha Parrone, Colorado, USA

The other game that comes to mind is the whisper game or the telephone game. Players stand around in a circle and one person in the circle determines what will be uttered in their neighbours ear. Theoretically the same word, phrase or sentence is uttered to the next person, and they utter to the next until it comes around the circle. Often, the end word, phrase or sentence is NOT the same as what was originally vocalized. 
Aneesha Parrone, Colorado, USA

I guess you are wondering what got me thinking about these  games? Many of us are instruction challenged (and I can say that is true for myself as well - I don't follow instructions well which is why I try to be giving them rather than taking them!) . The tapestry weavers here also took a fair bit of liberty in colour selection and departed from  the instructions that came along with the Fate, Destiny and Self Determination project. Perhaps one could say that this was their interpretation of the instructions, which makes me wonder how in the world we manage to get along, get anything done and understand each other.  Assumptions, interpretations, distractions, life's troubles and challenges really impact on how we understand or don't understand what is said! As somone once said to me recently, these various interpretations gives the experience another texture and dimension, and affirms that  individuality and personality overrides conformity eventually. Yes! It must be so. 
Megan Cleland Ontario Canada

Gert Rogers finishing a small tapestry she created inspired by a painting she did of her sister. 

Jean Kazmierczak showing the tapestry banner she wove with her own handspun yarn, cutting off the tapestry from the penelope tapestry loom. 
In January of 2011The Nottawasaga Handweavers and Spinners, in Alliston, Ontario Canada,  asked me to help them design 12 handwoven tapestries , 15" x 60", composed of four images each,  depicting the history and culture of New Tecumseth and the surrounding areas and a grant from the Ontario Arts Council made it possible for me to work with the guild to this end.  The intitiative entitled Community Threads, depicted the many faces of South Simcoe:  historical sites such as the Museum on the Boyne,  leisure activities such as music, golf and hockey, and the beautiful natural and pastoral scenery of woodland and field of the area. One tapestry panel features only the Banting Homestead, another the Gibson Centre.  A third is woven entirely from handspun fibres by spinners in the Guild.  Once the designs were created, there were many hours of preparation before we could even start weaving. Guild members solicited the general public to weave on the tapestries, including the staff of both  the South Simcoe Arts Council and  the Gibson Centre for Community Arts and Culture, where the project took place. All during the project I’ve been blogging about what has been happening, noting the people involved,  my own observations, insights and surprises as well as posting lots of pictures of the projects denouement:  

Jean Kazmierczak showing the tapestry banner she wove with her own handspun yarn.
Several members of the Nottawasaga Handweavrs and Spinners met at the Alliston Library and had the ceremonial cutting offof the last of their 12 tapestries. Jean Kazmierczak created all the  handspun yarn for the banner and wove it entirely herself.....amazing. The images from bottom to top are : i) A fall scene ii) a spinner in front of images of all her spinning fibres,
(angora, silk, mohair, llama and alpaca), iii) the large Gobelin loom on which the guild wove their tapestries and iv) Lavender Falls.

The back of the tapestry....all those ends need to be woven in.

Resources, links, courses, workshops and other information
Elaine Duncan, Errington, BC, will be teaching a Beginners Tapestry Weaving Workshop, June 9, 10 and 11, 2014 at Fibrearts Week in Pincher Creek, AB.  There are still spaces available.  Please contact:  Laurel Francis, or visit: for more information. 
Elaine Duncan Handweaving Studio
PO Box 623,
1219 Dobson Road,
Errington, BC V0R 1V0

Susan Middleton has recently returned from Angers France where she saw the exhibition Artapestry3/Angers at the Musee Jean Lurcat. Click on the link below to see more.

American Tapestry Alliance - a link to exhibitions featuring small tapestries. Hope it inspires you!

Friday, March 21, 2014

50 pairs of Hands

Julia Pelenyi's first attempt at tapestry weaving. Julia was inspired by "Family Plot" 1993, by Adrian Wiszniewski , a successful artist in the UK who is actually a painter. This image was created for/by Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh Scotland and measures 275 cm x 183 cm. and is in the book The Arto of Modern Tapestry: Dovecot Studios 1912. An excellent attempt for your first try!
Anne Pierson, Gainseville, Florida
Ann told us little about herself but we are glad for her contribution to the Fate, Destiny and Self Determination project. 

Wendy Hayden took this picture of me (and Helen Skelton in the background) holding up the completed section of the panel of Fate, Destiny and Self Determination co-created by the following 50 people. Another panel would welcome helping hands for the finishing work required on it. Looking to spend an enjoyable few hours in our weaving class/studio? Just show up and we will welcome your help. 
Susan Middleton 
Agota Dolinay 
Mimma Draga 
Bambi Rutledge 
Stella Tang 
Ixchel Suarez
Linda Martin 
Eileen Ostrowski 
Barbara Aikman
Donna Kim
Judite Vagners
Marion Kirkwood
Melanie Siegel
Susan Mellor
Patricial Phelan
Kate Kitchen
Debbie Harris
Darlene Haywood
Michelle Tse
Tiffy from Learn Buffet
Simona Comenescu
Michelle Kortinen
Peter Harris
Elizabeth Evans
Catherine Brackley
Debbie Harris
Allison Turner
Anne Odell
Susan Abrams
Laura de Vrij
Patti Wibe
Kathy Fletcher
Joan McKenzie
Cheryl Raymond
Gert Rogers
Scott Ford
Maurice Poon
Francois Seguin
Barb Hilts
Juana Sleizer
Ellen Allas
Mai-Liis Toome
Lis Baston
Christine Giraldi
Deirdre Meyer
Jutta Polomsk
Jill Bidgood
Carla Duncan
Christine Shipley
Line Dufour

Tapestry news, resources and inspiration

Debbie Herd writes a good blog post about "The Magic of Colour" 

Call for Entry 

Jen Clark sent this interesting article about tapestry: