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!

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