Week 2: Settling In….

Tapestry Weaving

This week has been about getting a head start on the weaving before the hall is opened up to the public during the week. I’ve been really surprised at how quick the tapestry has come on – it’s amazing what one can achieve without the distractions of email, Facebook and a hundred and one other distractions. I once wondered how I would ever cope without having access to the internet but it has created a space that is just about the weaving, all the other jobs and dramas wait until I get home. It has been a real revelation and it definitely makes me think an internet-free studio is the way to go in the future.

The only downside is fitting in with a different clock and I am working a much shorter day than I am used to. I am a morning girl, and can achieve more in the first few hours of the day than the rest of it put together, but this time is now being spent on the bus with school kids jammed into my armpit, or sitting on the curbside with my chin on my knees waiting to be let in. I am a little worried about how all this will affect the progress of tapestry time-wise and I am going to have a think about how best to make the best out of the day. I’ve still got to finish the Hanging Tree so one option may be to work on that first thing in the morning and come along to Riddlesden later, or perhaps work later into the night at home and just get up later!

East Riddlesden

One other issue of being quite so focused on the weaving, is problems with my neck, back and shoulders, and so I have had to be quite strict about stopping for breaks. But I am off the floor now and sitting on a stool so hopefully the pain will lessen. It has to be said, with the sunshine we had last week, it wasn’t too hard to talk myself into having a cuppa in the lovely gardens at Riddlesden.

Soumak weaving

It has been a marvel seeing the colours coming together and I am really pleased – I know I had planned it as much as I could, but actually seeing it in the flesh I am quite surprised it is actually working out!

Soumak Weaving

I am using soumak to outline some of the shapes, break up the petals of hair and make the spirals in the skirt and I am really pleased with how this is turning out too – providing a good bit of texture, but nothing to overpower the tapestry. When she’s finished she is going to be very bold and very rich – and I cannot wait!

I’ve met some great visitors, including someone who meant a great deal when I was doing my PhD – a really lovely surprise. The most common questions/comments I am asked are what will happen to the tapestry once it is finished and that I must have a lot of patience. I really don’t. None at all. But weaving is one of those things that once you start time passes and you don’t realise it, and it is really hard to let the bobbins drop and do something else. Team Horris – artists/bookbinder Kate Bowles and Paula Perrins from Wychbury Designs – came by today and if you have read my other posts you’ll already know about the support they have given me. But today they actually started weaving and I think they got a taste for it and didn’t seem to want to stop when it was chucking out time. I am feeling a little like Dr Frankenstein! We were struggling with the light towards the end – it was quite grim outside today. They made me promise not to take their work out. We’ll see….

As for what will happen to the tapestry, that is all to be finalised. But I did learn this week I’ve been selected for Art in the Pen which is great news, but it will be laying on the pressure later in the year. Ah well, it’s all good!

And now, the view from my window….


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