Friday, October 10, 2014

The Path of a Thread

In the summer I was grateful to have a few weeks to work quietly in the studio on developing my ideas.  Creativity is a process, not just an impulsive and spontaneous act. There are different stages of the creative process. It starts with  a flash of insight or idea, most often connected with something that is going on in my life. Often it can be stress. Other times, it can be triggered by new material or techniques I am learning. At this stage, I'll quickly scribble ideas - drawings, paintings, collages and/or words. If I like the result they will remain in view or in my sketchbook. I'll look at them periodically. Then there is the incubation stage, where the idea has to mature, and where I am subconsciously resolving technical issues that come with trying to manifest the idea. This period can sometimes take years....even decades. If the idea is a good one it will persist, it will be tenacious and will  not relinquish me. At some point, like a chrysalis, the idea matures and I develop it further, as I was ready to do in August. I had the luxury of having uninterrupted time, of having few commitments to restrain me during this limited period of time, to polish the ideas that were hatching, nourished now by years of experience, learning and practice. There was a big aha moment at the end of this creative foray. Not earth shattering by any means but hard to see when our lives our too busy, too fast....not time for thinking, reflecting or feeling as we feel ourselves absorbed and consumed by our smartphones and the internet - swallowing us whole as it were. In this interval I disconnected from it all and it was wonderful to reconnect to my own authentic thoughts. Thinking became like knitting rows or weaving thread of thoughts lead to another thread of thoughts and it was such an exciting place to be, full of wonder and possibilities. On this theme of thread of thoughts are lines....these  thought lines are not straight but meander here and there forming their own unique path. This theme of line and thread echoes again in two articles I wrote for Fibre Focus: The Woven Path: Nieves Carrasco and a book review which features line as its central element (see bottom of page.) which you can obtain from me or by joining the Ontario Handweavers and Spinners. 

September 13, 2014 – January 4, 2015
Craft & Folk Art Museum (CAFAM)
Los Angeles, CA
In Conjunction with the 2014 Symposium, New Directions: Examining the Past, Creating the Future
TSA is please to announce that the 2014 Biennial Symposium, New Directions: Examining the Past, Creating the Future,  will feature our first juried exhibition, hosted by Los Angeles’ Craft and Folk Art Museum (CAFAM). The symposium theme explores change and innovation in textiles in the past while exploring the state of the field of textiles, textile study, production and creativity; today and for the future. Following this broad theme, the exhibition—the opening of which will be celebrated on the final day of the conference sessions–includes the work of TSA members from around the world whose practices draw on textile materials, techniques, or knowledge, widely defined. Nineteen works from established and emerging artists were selected from more that 400 submissions from 159 artists internationally.

American Tapestry Biennial 10
September 25, 2014 - January 4, 2015. “ - Kent State University Museum, Kent, OH. 
Opening reception: September 25 2014.

UNIQUE  Rohsska Museum in Sweden:  -

World of Threads - Oakville November 2014

Janet Austen  discovered some medieval tapestries in Switzerland. Read all about it on her blog:

Bernard Ossant from Angers, France writes: 
"I admire your international tapestry installation [Fate, Destiny and Self Determination] even more now that I am participating in this community tapestry initiative that is taking place in Rochefort sur Loire, a community close to Angers. The design of the tapestry is inspired by a child's drawing and each week inhabitants in the community are welcome to participate in weaving it. Sandrine Pincemaille, the creator and manager of the project, is a designer, weaver and teacher at  l’école des Beaux Arts [in Angers]. I bring my modest contribution to the project. I ensure that what is woven adheres to the images of the cartoon and I am attaching a link to view a video of the project in progress. You can also go to the website [and like their facebook page - the link to it is on the fb page for Toronto Weaving School]. 
Link to video:'est%20bien%20parti%20!.wmv?dl=0
Link to website:

I recently reviewed a book that  came out on tapestry weaving, You can read the review in "Fibre Focus", the quarterly publication put out by the Ontario Handweavers and Spinners. Order your copy today! Contact me at In it, there are numerous articles on weaving, spinning, felting, dyeing. Be introduced to the vibrant and exciting fibre community in Ontario! 

 No ordinary sampler! Jamileh Emdadian wove her beginner sampler in record time. 3 weeks (most take the whole term!). I love that she added her own tassel embellishments. 

Debbie Harris took a kilim rug workshop. Included was this clever idea for a frame loom. Easy to build yourself. Debbie has donated it for the next draw for the Toronto Weaving School. 

Christine Shipley brought this to the last weaving class. A fork can be used to beat the weft down while weaving tapestry. Here, a fellow guild member had participants ornament their beater forks with wrapped yarn. 


 Entry Deadline:  October 31, 2014 
Enter the 4th edition of ATA's premier exhibition of small format tapestry. Entry deadline: October 31, 2014. More information. Online Entry. Questions? Email Exhibition Chair, Pamela Done. 

Canadian Tapestry Network
American Tapestry Alliance:  
Craft Ontario
Ontario Handweavers and Spinners

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