Thank you, Christina!

Our fabulous blogger, Christina Neit, is officially finished blogging for us! Thank you, Christina, for a fantastic three months! (Don’t worry, though, she still has a few more things she wants to post!)

Check out her website: http://goodquillhunting.com/

We gave her a little end-of-project survey yesterday. Here are the results!

_____________________________________________________
How would you rate your overall Mirrix experience?  A++++

What did you like best about it? The quality, the size (Big Sister) and getting to know a loom all over again, but the top shelf always ‘tastes’ better LOL

What (if any) faults did you find in it? Nothing at all! Seriously!

What would you change about “Social Market for a Mirrix” for next time? Nothing! On top of my regular beading, getting into Galleries, custom orders, and with (Maine too short) Summer here,  you have been very very reasonable and flexible with me!!

Did you find the criteria for “Social Market for a Mirrix” to be too stringent? I was a bit worried about fulfilling my obligation (would be excellent for New England Winters) and I still feel like I owe you! 

What was your favorite piece created on the Mirrix? I think I liked my choker the best, http://goodquillhunting.com/images/Talutah.jpg , maybe because I sold it so fast or maybe because I had designed it several years ago and I brought it to a finished project. I will make another down the road.

What is your favorite thing about the Mirrix? Again, the quality!

What is your least favorite thing about the Mirrix? Figuring out how to finish off the warp threads ;)

What plans do you have for weaving on your Mirrix in the future? Dave’s belt next, starting tomorrow night! Then a guitar strap, then I want to try some fiber!

Thank you SO VERY VERY much for a most amazing experience, one I have only dreamed of! It has been a wonderful experience overall and it was wonderful to meet two terrific people!!! Opportunity of a lifetime! I was, and still am, very honored to have been chosen thank you again!

Chris

Weekend Tapestry Cuff Experiment

Inspired again finally.  Inspired in that way that you can’t wait to wake up so you can return to the experiment with nice new day light.

So this was the idea:  to make four tapestry weavings to turn into tapestry cuffs using a brass cuff as a base.  I have thus far succeeded in making one that I like that is a few posts down in this blog.  I wanted to experiment with a different warp sett and different materials so see what would work.  The previous cuff was woven at 14 ends per inch.  For this experiment I put two warps on the loom at 10 ends per inch.  There was enough warp to weave two bracelets and then rotate them to the back to weave two more.

The results were:

The left piece is made entirely from a commercially dyed and spun worsted weight yarn.  The second piece was made from hand-spun/hand-dyed silk, perle cotton, commercially spun/hand-dyed silk and some novelty railroad ribbon yarn.  The third piece was made from hand-spun/hand-dyed wool and a little bit of hand-spun/hand-dyed silk.  The last piece was made from commercially dyed and spun worsted weight yarn and some rayon ribbon yarn.
I turned the far left piece into a cuff and this is the result:  
I haven’t bothered to “finish” it yet with beads because I think I dislike it although it is starting to grow on me.  It just seems too thick, too much like a something you would wear to stay warm!  However, I love the colors.  At first I literally threw it in the trash until I realized that I had to show you my failures as well as my successes!  But this morning, a day later and not quite as judgmental, I am thinking maybe I will do some bead work on it just for fun and to see if I can even out the edges and make it presentable and maybe even wearable.  But certainly I will resist throwing it in the trash again.
Next piece:
After not liking the previous results too much, I didn’t bother to turn this one into anything.  Also, it was a bit short.  Actually, all of them were a bit short so I had to rearrange the weft a bit off the loom to make them a little longer.  I had woven them about six and a half inches long.  They need to be SEVEN inches long on the loom to be the right size when taken off the loom.  That does NOT include the headers which can be any length you want from about a quarter of an inch to a half an inch.  They get folded over so do not count in the final measurement.
I am going to go to the fourth piece now:
All I can say is:  DULL.  Also too short and I didn’t think it was worth messing with.  It didn’t “speak to me” at all.  I think in the future I would use thinner hand-spun wool and mix it up more with the hand-spun/hand-dyed silk which has a lot more of that very necessary shine.  Otherwise, again, it looks like something to keep you warm more than beautiful.  Jewelry is supposed to be about beauty.
Now for the final one:
What does she have that the others lack?  She’s not as bulky; her colors are bright with a lot of shine and depth; the novelty yarn works and gives it texture and interest; she’s delicate on your wrist even though she’s quite wide (inch and a half).
So this is the direction I am going in.  I need to dye and spin some more silk, gather up some other delicate yarns and experiment with more of these cuffs.  I like the sett of ten ends per inch.  I double up a lot of the yarns.  In fact, the method is to start with two yarns and then eliminate one of them and replace it so that you have this gradual shift in color and not just bold stripes.  All the yarns were woven from edge to edge.  I would like to experiment a little with shapes and maybe some designs, although just letting the yarn speak for itself worked pretty well.  I also want to add a stone to the middle and maybe some beads before attaching to the brass cuff.  Right now the only beads are the ones I used to embellish the sides (necessary to cover up the stitches and give it a nice finish).
Back to the loom!

Deciding what part to weave

Sometimes I doodle around in my sketchbook and come up with an idea for weaving, but it may be too large or I may not really like the whole thing, but do like a small section. Sometimes there may be a photograph that has an element to incorporate into a weaving. I thought about this when I ready something posted on the Tapestry 2005 Yahoo group about using a frame to decide on what to weave. I do the same think but it’s not a frame. I bought as inexpensive piece of precut matting as I could find and cut it into to L-shaped pieces like the ones below. Mine are white, but of course, white wouldn’t show up here. With two pieces I can slide them around to different sizes, overlap them if necessary, and am not even limited to a rectangle or square.

Framing On Elaine Duncan’s website, you can see her process of deciding which section of a photograph to weave. The link to the complete post is here. Elaine is working on a small- format series of tapestries called Art in Nature on her small copper loom. Of course, the Mirrix would take the place of the copper loom for me. While you’re there, take a look at Elaine’s tapestries. They’re gorgeous!

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A face next?

I’ve been thinking about weaving a face next on the Mirrix. Not a realistic face, but a bright, colorful one of bright not-natural colors. For the hair, I envision coils of yarn in several colors, somewhat Medusa-like. I’ve done coils before—I just don’t remember how I did them. Maybe if I can find the sample, I will figure it out. But about the face, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m not sure about the fiddly small parts, things like eyes, mouth, etc. All necessary parts if you’re going to do a face! With faces in mind, I did a Google image search for faces. Well, folks, there’s lots of images of faces out there!PaintingThere’s this one by Belinda Eaton.

Or maybe something with Photoshopped like the one below, except with brighter colors. The link for this one is here

Photoshopped

And there are many Faces of Africa photos. The one below has its source listed as a caption.

Africa

This one came from National Geographic. I love the elegance of the women in these photos. And the hair is kind of what I’ve been talking about doing, but longer and more of it—and of many colors.Aftrica2 And, I guess I could always adapt the pumpkin face idea.

Pumpkin And here’s my own computer creation. Maybe if I make the eyes bigger and only make a single slanted line for the nose, the fiddly parts will be simpler. In the meantime, look at this tapestry by Emöke-emöke. Go to her website, scroll over the pictures to see the texture in her work. Really very interesting and beautiful. And the coils—love them!

Face

Emoke

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Heather Kahn’s article in Beadwork Magazine!

Congratulations to Heather Kahn for her article in Beadwork Magazine.  Not only did they publish her article, they put her on the front cover!  Lovely crystal bracelets in stunning graduated colors.  Not done on a loom, but we’ll forgive her for that.  Maybe next time.  Heather Kahn, by the way, is the daughter of Barry Kahn who is the owner of Caravan Beads.  Both Barry and I have been blessed with children who have decided working for the family business (at least part time) is kind of fun.

Amy’s Work

Despite having a really hard couple of weeks with personal family tragedy, Amy has been working a little on her Mirrix project. I know from my experience with a death in the family, concentration goes out the window, so Amy is doing really well to be able to weave at all. If you look at the right picture in its larger format, you can see what she is doing with the beads. I really like the texture of the various yarns she is using and the way the beads outline the curve of the white on the upper left. And besides the “shiny” of the beads, Amy has used what looks like shiny, metallic yarns. In the left picture, you can see how she’s going about the process, the tray with her beads, etc.Amy_Work2Amy_Work

 

 

Below is a picture of the blue yarn all tied up for ikat. Before I removed it from the board, I tied two labels of cut up Tyvek envelopes at bottom left and top right which say:

Board #2 Bottom left

Board #2 Top right

Ask me how I learned that this labeling is important! This is important, along with the twining to keep each peg section in order. My first attempts at ikat were chaotic to say the least. I am now working on the red sections.

Blue_ikat_board_2

Take a look at the pictures from the exhibit below. I’d be interested in which one you like best, if any. There are several that fascinate me, like the ones called Mane and Spice Skulls. Interesting concept and works.

Dead or Alive: Nature Becomes Art

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All 7 Complete

Hi everyone! I have finally finished all 7 bracelets from my ‘One-A-Day series’! I will be posting them all individually on my website for sale, hopefully tomorrow. I still have the brow band to complete for my Daughter’s horse. I need to get the actual brow band for a fitting and she has been away at camp. I was going to do a guitar strap next up, but I have yet to receive the leather ‘blank’ from my Son, so I am doing a belt next. Here is the photo of all 7 finished bracelets….one for every day of the week ;)

Text, Science, and Matisse,

Spiral_close-upI’ve been thinking about the text and weaving. In looking at the soumak pseudo spiral above, this may be the best method of making text. Curves are much easier to obtain, and one might even get a cursive-type of writing. But I really wanted wider letters, so I tried the what’s shown below. Before deciding what to do next time, I will have to change the orientation of the letters before weaving. Then I will also probably try some blockier type of font, maybe something like this, without the little curlicues at the bottom of the t.

Text

   Text_x

Text2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imagine working for seven years on the same project! Now I know that Matisse was working on other projects at the same time, but gee, don’t you just finally say enough already? In the NY Times, there is an article about how the paintings of Matisse evolved over time—not the usual study from one painting to the next, but the study of one painting and how it changed to the final product. Of course, this type of reflection that brings change to a project is not possible for most of us weavers. How many looms with unfinished projects do we have room for? However, I’m sure we’ve all looked back at a finished work and thought how we’d do something differently. Maybe that’s what leads to a series. But is it something we’d do differently, or just an advancement on the original idea?

Succession H. Matisse/Artists Rights Society, New York

“Bathers by a River” went through a seven-year evolution as Henri Matisse continued to make changes, which can now be traced by curators using X-ray technology.

The following is a quote from the article about how this exhibit came about and the process of studying the various works.

The exhibition’s organizers, Mr. Elderfield and Stephanie d’Alessandro, the curator of modern art at the Art Institute of Chicago, where the exhibit was first shown, focused on 26 paintings, drawings and sculptures, which they examined with new digital imaging techniques, laser scanning, ultraviolet illumination and up-to-date computer software. They also tested paint samples and studied fresh material unearthed from the artist’s family archives in Issy-les-Moulineaux, a Paris suburb.

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Real life steps in

Real life brings allergies–I didn’t get as much done as I had planned. Real life has a way of interfering sometimes. Probably because of the almost daily rain of the past week, my allergies have really kicked in. I can just imaging the rampant mold floating around in the air, multiplying as we speak. This is July in Texas? However, here in this part of Texas, we hesitate to complain about rain, since we get desperate for it in the summer. And, I really do love rain—just don’t know what blew in with this latest front that has brought us moisture! I shouldn’t complain; I haven’t had any problems with allergies in years, but still … who wants to feel bad?

Real life event #2—the tread on my tires was getting pretty thin, and you know it HAD to be bad for me to even notice tires! When I last had the car serviced, they told me the tires could probably go until the next service, about 5,000 miles, but the tires worried me. In doing the price-checking/research, I discovered more about tires than was even imaginable. Speed ratings. Rolling resistance. Summer tires. Winter tires. All season tires. Who knew? Since I have a hybrid, some of these things are more important than others.Text_x

I am hoping that the allergies abate enough that I can take advantage of some of the special Members’ Month at the Kimbell. I especially want to go the the Omni Theater for the Van Gogh film. Sigh heavily, feeling sorry for myself…maybe tomorrow.

How disconcerting is this—the NYTimes article about spy exchange. Is this a John le Carré novel or what?

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Text

Text2The text that I am attempting to weave is similar to the above, but with thicker lines, and believe me, it is definitely a work in progress! The T and the E are complete. I am weaving them with the T lying on its side, but am wondering if the direction would be better if I had started from regular “reading” direction. I thought I’d need fewer butterflies with the sideways weaving, but it didn’t work that way. Any experience weavers want to comment? In the picture below you can see the outline of the next letters to be woven drawn on the warp with a Sharpee. Please keep in mind, this weaving is purely experimental, and I am not endorsing the design or the quality of the weaving! It’s a little embarrassing to even show this stuff!TextThis is the last square to be woven, then I will cut off and warp again. I have to admit that I’m a little nervous about warping again, considering all the problems I had. At least now I know what a warp is supposed to look like on this loom. One thing that I’ve definitely learned here—I am not a weaver of small fiddly weaving. I was thinking that I would weave a bright, colorful face next that would cover the full width of the loom, but I’m afraid the nose, etc. will just be more fiddly stuff which will require lots of butterflies (or bobbins). What to do, what to do. I have a friend who, after taking a weaving workshop, says that it’s always beneficial to learn what you DON’T want to do. Maybe that’s part of my lessons here. Maybe I have a minimum size to be content with weaving. Just thinking out loud…

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