Building a Tapestry Inspiration Wall

Happy to report progress has been made on the new tapestry, so that’s a great big HUZZAH to me, please! Some of my dyeing didn’t turn out as expected and in a good way – the browns were redder and the rusts darker and I wanted to make the most of them and play with the contrasts of the rich blues that will be at the top of the tapestry with rust, chestnut and bronze blends below. So I decided to ditch all the samples I did beforehand and am instead making them up at the loom; it has resulted in quite a lot of unpicking but I have settled on the new colours and I’m really pleased with them. It has been really hard to get a decent pic with the light being so bad but I am on it, I promise!

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I did have problems ‘connecting’ with the tapestry, rather strange considering it is so autobiographical, but there was something missing. I wondered if it was my work environment, perhaps I was focusing on the mess and disorganisation rather than the weaving. I took a couple of days to overhaul the workroom, but still things weren’t right. Whilst working on Maides Coign at East Riddlesden I was literally surrounded on all sides and in every eye line by what had inspired the tapestry, it was easy to be immersed, and eventually I realised it was that immersion that was lacking.

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I kept a notebook during the development of the project and although it is creaking at the spine it is an invaluable reference as I weave. Some technical notes though float around near to where I am working. One evening I suddenly found myself pulling out a piece of chipboard and sticking those notes onto it and I was soon delving into my notebook for some of the woven samples, as well as some of the sketches and the inspirations behind the tapestry.

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I was quite surprised when I put everything together like this, to see I had pretty much replicated the colour palette of the Apocalypse tapestries. I suppose it shouldn’t be a shock considering how much I’d been thinking about them recently and writing about them in a recent post, I just didn’t realise how much they had taken root in my subconscious.

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The board sits at one the end of the loom and has really helped me bond with the project as I weave. In my eye line is a reminder of what I am doing and why, and I also end up looking at it whenever I need to check on something technical too. It is no longer just me, the loom, and the task. The bigger picture is there too. This is definitely something I will be doing again in the future. I’ve started calling it my Keyser Soze wall, and if you haven’t watched The Ususal Suspects stop reading this blog right now and do so.

Right, that’s enough of a break for me, back upstairs to get on with it.

Toodles x

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