Saying it with weft – a new tapestry finished

Putting weft in and out of warp, there’s only so much you can do without distorting the nature of the cloth. Whilst I’ve always tried to circumnavigate this rigidity by using textured weaves like soumak to create curves and flow, I’ve always felt I was somehow cheating the nature of the medium. But there are some weavers who seem able to just drip the weft from their fingertips and create incredibly expressive weavings; I’m thinking here of Finnish weaver Aino Kajaniemi, the twentieth century German weaver Johanna Schutz-Wolff and a weaver who I only know through a couple of small images of their tapestries, Rojane Lamego.

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The need to find a more expressive way to weave myself became increasingly apparent after embarking on the life drawing classes made freely available by Bradford College of Art. Turns out I wasn’t entirely rubbish at drawing. I learned I had scope to explore, that I needn’t jump on the first quarter-decent image I produced despite myself and subsequently devote the rest of my weaving life to it. I became much more liberated in the design stages, certainly less petrified. I’ve begun to draw for its own sake and not just to make something to weave. I also.learned when it came to drawing I leaned towards quick, loose, abstract images (and large-scale, gasp), and I wanted to find a way to translate that looseness in my weaving.

Initial samples focused on eccentric wefts, loose weaves, plain weaves, painted warps and textured surfaces, but I found I was still ducking away from what tapestry was. I was still hiding behind texture and gimmicks. I wanted to get back to basics; simple weft faced weaving. Writing this post I realise perhaps this is a result of my recent research into earlier tapestries.

Embrace insomnia is what is what I say, because the answer appeared in the wee hours one morning, in-between ‘did I close the freezer door properly’ and ‘when is the council tax due’. I had the answer all along, I had already woven the way I was seeking in the studies I had made for other tapestries. I reworked one of my sketches into a proper design, made the cartoon and worked some samples including the more complicated areas such as the face (below).

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I aimed to weave something where the figure and the background were intrinsic to one another, interwoven in design as well as structure, hoping this would make it more expressive than my previous tapestries.

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I also found myself finally being able to express something trapped for some time. A sonnet someone once shared with me came to mind as I was designing this (No Longer Mourn for Me), and I realised the figure was sinking into the blackness, but read differently, she was also emerging from it, and that was basically what I’ve been trying to say and failing miserably, as the graveyard of abandoned tapestries attests.

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I finished her today and I’m very pleased with the results. It took about three weeks to weave, but stupidly weaving 15+ hours a day, so probably more like five. She is 116cm x 82 cm, so smaller than what I normally go for, but she was a bit of a punt and I didn’t want to waste too much wool and warp in case she didn’t pan out. It was far more complicated than my previous tapestries but also far more addictive. I also found myself freely interpreting the original drawing at the loom which was a far more interesting way to work than being a slave to the cartoon.

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She’ll have to stay on the loom for a little while as there’s loads of left over warp to use up. But this piece, and others along similar lines, will be ready to show in May. I am very happy to say I’ve been selected as one of the exhibitors in the Open Houses Gallery at the Saltaire Arts Trail. I’ve never really had the chance to show my tapestries at this event before and I am really looking forward to the opportunity. I feel embarrassed to think of myself as an artist, but I do feel this piece is something I can be proud of and is unique to me and my voice. The Arts Trail takes place 28-30 May and the work of the artists will be on show in houses of the World Heritage Site and I’ll let you know where I’ll be as soon as I do.

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I am also thrilled to have been selected for Art in the Pen this year. This will take place in Skipton 13-14 August. I’ve also been selected for Crafted by Hand 5-6 November in Masham. I’ll update the events page on my website very soon, likewise workshops. It has been hard to plan for the year with my Fellowship travels in the offing, but as one of the places I want to visit won’t be open until the summer, it looks like I’ll be heading off later in the year. Obviously I want to go right now, now, now, but it does seem this will be more practical and give me a greater chance to prepare. It is Easter now and I am going to try to take a couple of days off. Whatever you have planned, I hope you enjoy it x

Sonnet 71: No Longer mourn for me (Shakespeare)

No longer mourn or me when I am dead

Than you shall hear the surly sullen bell

Give warning to the world that I am fled

From this vile world with vilest worms to dwell;

Nay, if you read this line, remember not

The hand that writ it; for I love you so,

That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot,

If thinking on me then should make you woe.

O, if (I say) you look upon this verse,

When I (perhaps) compounded am with clay,

Do not so much as my poor name rehearse,

But let your love even with my life decay,

Lest the wise world should look into your moan,

And mock you with me after I am gone.

Tapestries at the V&A

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Detail from The Otter and Swan Hunt

I’m really proud to be one of the trustees of the Heritage Crafts Association and yesterday I had to go to London for a committee meeting. I soon realised I’d have half an hour free to nip into the V&A, somewhere I’d never been before. It was quite hard keeping focused as I strode through the galleries, shielding my eyes from potential distraction, but my time was short and my goal was on level three, the gallery of tapestries.

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The largest part of the exhibition were the early fifteenth century Flemish made Devonshire Hunting Tapestries, named as such because each of the four tapestries depict different forms of hunting. I’d read about them in detail so thought I knew what to expect, but as I stepped through the high glass doors and into the darkened climate controlled room I must confess I welled up quite a bit. Fortunately although the museum was busy, the gallery was deserted and I had it to myself.

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Detail from The Bear Hunt

The first thing that grabs you about the tapestries is inevitably their size and their detail. I had baulked once when someone compared tapestry to the cinema entertainment of the day, but now I kinda get it. These aren’t passive pretty pictures up on a wall to be walked past, they were vast, something to sit before and stare at and engage with and drink in one inch at a time.

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Detail from The Beer Hunt

The other thing I didn’t properly anticipate were their colours and vibrancy, this was especially so with a tapestry called The Three Fates. Again it was familiar to me from the text books but I had rather shamefully flicked over it as I never liked the composition of the disembodied figures against the milliefleur background.

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The Three Fates, 1510-1520

But in the flesh it became apparent that no photograph could ever do it justice; it was mesmerizing, and the vibrancy of it was jewel-like, the dresses lifted off the surface and shone like sapphire, pearl and garnet. I could not take my eyes of it and it was the one I spent most time with. That the creation of such a thing be possible with thread astounds me.

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Detail from The Three Fates

Quite rightly the room was kept dark to protect the tapestries and barriers stopped folk from getting too close. But it was quite frustrating for me as a weaver not to be able to get close enough to work out the sett, to mentally unpick what was before me, and to look at and understand how the shapes had been formed, how the shading was achieved, what decisions the weavers made.

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Detail from The Deer Hunt

As I left I did give a bid of a nod to the weavers but as I write this and look over the photographs I realise it is so easy to overlook that all the thread used was handspun – presumably on a spindle if not a great-wheel, and the time that would have taken is monumental and the skill it would have taken to get the thread so universally fine and even, is unimaginable.

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Detail from The Falconry Tapestry

Because my time was so limited, my visit could only ever be a reccie  and I will certainly be back armed with bags of time and a sketchbook. I left the gallery quite literally overwhelmed. I could have done with a sit down and a coffee, but instead it was back into the underground and then into a meeting. There was little time to digest what I had experienced, and that is a process that is still on going. But for now I can say that the seriousness, the life, the vibrancy, the sumptuousness, the comedy, which I saw yesterday was what tapestry could and should be. I think seeing these tapestries has made me grow up a bit as a weaver and they will always be the foundation I’ll go back to as I move forward. It’s not about imitating them of course, but about remembering what there is to live up to.

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Detail from Pastoral tapestry

Also in the museum were the Raphael cartoons for a series of tapestries; they are of course stunning paintings, but the tapestries that came from them could only ever be an imitation of them. They mark, as Dirk Holger has said in a comment on an earlier post, the decline of tapestry as an autonomous art form.

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Raphael cartoon

The tapestries on the third floor could only ever have been tapestries. Tapestry is so much more than an imitation of painting, something that has cursed it for centuries. Here in he UK there will be few of us who haven’t seen a tapestry in a stately home or castle, but many will have been post-Renaissance designs and the natural dyes faded into homogeneous blues and tans. My pics taken with an iPad in a darkened room cannot do them justice and I urge anyone who can, to visit them and see what tapestry really can be.

Detail from Pastoral tapestry, but kinda think you can make up your own caption!
Detail from Pastoral tapestry, but kinda think you can make up your own caption!

I managed to scoot across town and make my meeting in good time. It was held at Cockpits Arts in Holburn. I was familiar with the organisation through some writing I had done, and have met, albeit virtually, one of the artists based there. It was a warren of shared studios and it had a great atmosphere, such an amazing facility and I am really envious we don’t have something similar near me. The issue of studio space is particularly pertinent at the mo – my new loom arrived on Thursday, and next week I hope to be able to tell you all about it. I’ll be refitting what was once my bedroom into a studio, so I shall love you and leave you, I’ve got to start emptying out the wardrobe x

Week 18: Off the loom!

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It seemed fitting that as my friends Kate and Paula had been so supportive throughout this whole process that they were with me as I cut Gracie from the loom.

It all happened very quickly and it was me doing the snipping so I never really saw it – which was probably for the best as I was totally over-emotional about the whole thing anyway.

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Miraculously she stayed in one piece as we laid her down on some sheets. It was a shock how nimble she was – but there again I suppose she is a piece of cloth. Not only was it fitting Kate and Paula be there, they are also expert sewers – I’m not stupid! As they began plaiting the warps and sewing the turn back in place I knotted a few areas of weft at junction points.

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I had assumed the way I had done the vertical soumak would mean I wouldn’t have to sew up the slits but the pedantic side of me came out and I have started sewing them up and this is ongoing, taking up much more time than I thought. A meeting in London on Saturday and the Tour de France bringing Yorkshire to a halt on Sunday meant I went in on Thursday and Friday when the hall was closed but it looked like I’ll have to go in next week as well – the staff must be wondering if they will ever see the back of me! tapestry bobbins

In the mean time Shelly at Toast of Leeds has put on her blog some of the images she took (above and below) – I am in awe at how she has managed to take the common place things I no longer notice and turned them into pictures of such beauty. I’m feeling very lucky to have had this opportunity – do go over and have a look at the rest of them.

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Week 17: ….. and calm…..

Time for a confession. You know when I said in my last post that I wasn’t worried about that ripple in the tapestry? That was a complete lie – I’ve been wetting myself.

Was it a natural ripple that would disappear once it was hung? How would I know until I had cut it off the loom? And then it would be too late to fix it. What had I done wrong? My selvedges were straight, weren’t they? My warps were straight. Was it my sett or my beating? What hadn’t I noticed? What if the blocking didn’t work? Had I wasted four months of my life? Was I in fact a completely rubbish weaver and totally out of my depth? What had I done? What, what, what? And therein began many a sleepless night, especially last night. I decided to get to East Riddlesden early this morning and loosen the warps while we were closed so if there was still a problem I could smash my way through one of the rose windows and leap to a noble death in private.

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I untied some lacing to the sides of the loom and huzzah, all remained well – the blocking had worked. I then slackened the warps and although there was a slight ripple it was clear this was a completely natural product of her still being on the loom and would drop out once she was hung. Within seconds all that worry was gone. But I wanted to hang around for the day just to keep an eye on her and so when the lady who looks after the day-to-day conservation said she could do with a hand cleaning the carved woodwork of some of the four-posters I was happy to volunteer my services.

100_6040 I can finally start relaxing a little and be proud of what I have done. I planned to go in next weekend to cut her off, but managed to remain ignorant of the impact of the Tour de Flipping France – the roads will be closed, there will be no public transport, the hall will be shut. So it looks like I may go in later in the week, even though we will be closed and cut her off then. From the picture below you’ll have to take my word for it that the edges are straight – I could’t get the angle of my crappy camera right.

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This has been my first week at home for a while. Fortunately I had a lot to do with my weaving editor hat on, for the Journal for Weavers, Spinners and Dyers. I was also able to catch up on the housework (not that you’d notice that now). But it has been hard to settle down to work on the next project. I am waiting to hear about an opportunity but it won’t be for a few weeks yet; until then I don’t know if I’ll be weaving at home or elsewhere. If I am to weave it at home I can’t really start until I have revamped what was my bedroom into a proper weaving studio. I suppose I need a break and need to stop beating myself up about it. Now I know Gracie is ok I am sure I’ll be able to settle and will make use of some quality easel time.

I am trying to find a way to tell you about the next project, but it is hard and personal, but I will do so eventually. I showed my initial drawings to friends who I know will be honest and whose opinions I trust and respect and am much encouraged by their reaction. One of them suggested weaving it as a triptych and I am seriously considering it.

Right I’m starving so had better go see to my tea – besides, I don’t want to keep carping on x

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Weeks 15 & 16? : End Game

To be honest I have lost track of what week it is; the closer I got to the end the harder I worked and I just kept my head down and wove like a demon. On Wednesday I planned to finished her but instead was lured out by artist Kate Bowles to a two hour picnic in the glorious sunshine under the rose covered ruins of the Starkie wing. After that going home early seemed the only decent thing to do. I had a snooze on the sofa for an hour; thinking of standing for MP.

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So it was Thursday when I finished her, but not before deciding to take out one of the hair petals and so had to reweave it using the colour of the background and a needle. I was quite shocked when she was done, I knew it was coming but was still a quite sad, like I wasn’t expecting it. I guess there is a natural anticlimax – this project has been the main focus of my life for six months and now it was effectively over. I went in on Saturday to weave the header and then a volunteer and I loosened the tension on the loom ready to let her settle before I cut her off in a week or so. There was some slight buckling through the centre although I’m not too worried about it, the tapestry is quite close to the bottom beam so I suspect it is just a natural fold caused by the different tension between the top and bottom of the loom and it should just drop out once it is hung – it is a piece of cloth after all. But I was a good girl and blocked it, just in case. I’ll see what it looks like next Sunday and release the tension on the loom then. If need be I might have a bit of a re-weave of the top left corner, but I shouldn’t think it will be necessary (takes a deep breath and reminds herself perfectionism is a good thing).

Yesterday morning Shelly Mantovani from Toast of Leeds came to take some photographs. I usually hate having my picture taken but I really love her work and was happy to put myself in her hands.She made me feel very relaxed and although it will be a while yet before I see the results, I am very much looking forward to it. In the meantime here is a pic by Kate just after our picnic (yes, I am stroking Gracie’s cheek, she is my baby).

Chrissie Freeth TapestryStill no news on the fundraising, but one of the volunteers made a really touching point yesterday; East Riddlesden was empty when it was handed over to the National Trust in the 1930s and it has since been filled with furniture and pictures from other properties. Apart from a grain store, Gracie is the only thing that really does belong to the hall. So fingers crossed, you never know.

I have brought a few things home, bobbins, yarns, swift and winders and so it is starting to seem an emptier space already. But I am not sad, it is certainly not good-bye, there is still a lot to do getting her off the loom and once she is off it. But it is certainly the end game. This is my first Sunday to myself for a very long while, and I will absolutely see to the laundry and housework and under no circumstance whatsoever start moping or even consider doing any dyeing experiments for the next tapestry. I do hope my ducks aren’t missing me. 😦

So far she has taken 85 days weaving (approx 600 hours, not including the six weeks prep work), and 3kg of wool and an incalculable number of jacket potatoes from the tearooms. For some reason I thought I had woven the second half much quicker than the first, but it was about equal. Can’t wait to see her upright. Here’s the video in full. Ta ta for now x

Week 10: Pondering on a Mounting Block

I’m sitting on the mounting block outside of the hall waiting for a lift home after a busy day. The wind is rustling through the trees and the sky is greying turning everything around me emerald-green and bringing out the sweet damp scent from the ground. To my right the new ducklings nervously follow their parents around the pond, and to the left are the ruins of the Starkie wing, and the odd-shaped alcoves in a wall that once housed falcons and dogs. Come June and the finishing of the tapestry, I hope it won’t be the end of my connection here. I love it too much, the house and the people.

tapestry weaving Progress this week has been good, but the fell is too high for me to reach when seated so I’m now on my feet. It has changed my relationship with the tapestry, it seems a more intimate process, I don’t know if it is because I am parallel to the surface of the tapestry, or if it is because without the blocks I used to sit on, there are no barriers between me and the wool. It is also easier to jump to one area of the tapestry to another when weaving. But although I do like it, there will be a limit to the amount of time I can spend on my feet, not least because I managed to break them many moons ago during undergrad antics and an altercation with a wall, a ten-foot drop and a pavement that wasn’t supposed to be there.

Apparently an attempt is going to be made to try to raise funds to buy the tapestry for the hall. There is absolutely no guarantee of success so I am not getting my hopes high, but it would of course mean so much. I don’t have children and the thought that there would be something left on the earth once I am gone and which will be looked after gives me a sense of security and comfort that is hard to explain. It would also be a huge affirmation regarding the pretty drastic changes I’ve made to my life these last few years and of course it would mean I’ll have the financial space to weave the next project. I’m just going to remind myself here, that I’m not going to get my hopes up, but if everyone wouldn’t mind crossing their fingers and toes, I’d be very grateful.

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When the house was closed over the winter the Flemish tapestry hanging in the Great Hall was cleaned, basically hoovering it through a special membrane. The conservation team, one of whom I’m waiting for now to take me home, saved the several centuries worth of gunk and today they put it on display next to the tapestry. In the yellow porch chamber they have also set up a USB microscope so visitors will be able to see it close up. It is beyond mind-blowing to think that in a few hundred years someone might be cleaning my tapestry, long after my cremated remains have disintegrated into the soil and my name forgotten. And on that lovely cheery note I’ll say ta ta for now, and see you next week xxx

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Week 9: Chrissie & Gracie get on

East Riddlesden TapestryBit of a patchy week, what with colds, dental appointments and some grown up jobs to see to, but progress on the tapestry has been steady and good. I’ve decided to put some detail into the design of the foot, rather than the amorphous blob previously. Quite glad no one saw me trying to take a photograph of the sole of my foot – not too easy.

100_5134Also very glad with how the hatching has turned out at her waist; I had thought earlier about taking it out but resisted the temptation. It adds a bit of interest, a contrast to the more blocky areas of colour and breaks up the dress area. It’s also a bit of homage to the Flemish tapestry in the Great Hall downstairs which inevitably has a lot of hatching.

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Of course I’ve always enjoyed going to the hall, very honoured to be there; tired yes, but I knew it would be a pretty intense few months. But I noticed this week a palpable change, a very real looking forward to going in and getting on with it. I think having reached the half way mark I can accept that the design is now established and turning out well, those tricky areas of vertical soumak are now in the bag, the colours are set and the warps are – miraculously – still where they should be. I’m also on schedule. Now I needn’t worry about the actual weaving so much, I can let myself truly enjoy the experience. Many of the staff here are becoming good friends and there are laughs aplenty, and the grounds are changing weekly, the blossom largely gone, the clematis climbing up one of the ever-greener trees coming into its own.

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It is another bank holiday tomorrow so I ought to have an early night. But before I go I thought I’d share my system for organising my bobbins in case it is of use to others. This has been somewhat of an evolution from baskets to jars to these divided wooden boxes.

On a plastic plant label I write the name of the colour/area (‘nice’ brown, ‘slug’ brown etc) and on the reverse I record what colours go into making up that bobbin in case I forget and I keep it in place with a small blob of blu-tack. There are plenty of compartments including one for empty bobbins, tools, and my radio and phone.

Right, bath and bed. Do all have a lovely week x

 

Week 8: Halfway!

It is Monday morning and I am in front of the laptop and not the loom – I am an unwell sniffley bunny, cuddling a hot water bottle and a tub of Vicks. Ah well, at least it gives me a moment to catch up with my posts.

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I’m now halfway through the project and miraculously I also hit the halfway mark on the tapestry – it is nice when one’s calculations actually work out. The design is now clearer to anyone looking at her, she no longer exists just in my head, she is no longer just mine – I don’t know if any of that makes any sense, but I guess she has been part of my life quite intensely for a long time and there comes a point where one has to accept that she is not mine to keep and is hopefully destined to live elsewhere.

I’ve been taking photographs at the end of each day and putting them together and have enjoyed watching her build up – I was going to leave this until I had finished it completely, but it seemed a way to celebrate the half way stage. Oh it seems I can’t add videos here without coughing up some loot, but it is over on my FB page is you want to take a gander.

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I got a lovely present from a wood-turning visitor keen to try something  new. It really is my favourite bobbin now, such a great shape, and it has got me thinking about having a go on a lathe myself. I know there is one over at the Hive in Shipley, perhaps once this is over I think about it seriously.

Another nice surprise was the project getting a little mention in the Guardian Guide which was an unexpected loveliness; my very missed brother – who was the real artist in our family – must be looking down and having quite a chuckle.

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As for Riddlesden, the breeze brings is bringing in the smell of the buxus from the sunken rose garden below my window, and it takes me back to my grandparents’ garden every time. The falling blossom is coating everything white and pink, and ducklings have started appearing on the pond in front of the house. I am going to be so sorry to leave all this behind.

This isn’t me by the way, but such an ace picture and one I’ve been meaning to share for an age. Ta ta for now x

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Weeks 3 & 4: Chrissie & Gracie fall out

Officially my tapestry is called Maides Coign after the inscription that inspired it, referring to daughters as cornerstones. But I call her Gracie, after the supposed daughter of the man who remodelled East Riddlesden. Up until last Saturday everything was going so swimmingly I wondered what I would blog about. But that was before I began weaving the first of her hands.

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I really didn’t like the shape and initially assumed it was just tricky because it was at the selvedge and I wove it and rewove it at least three times before I realised the problem was not actually the shape, but the colour. It was that damned Ginger of Doom I had such trouble dyeing that was causing the problem – it was too orange and Gracie started to remind me of David Dickinson from Bargain Hunt and once I got that into my head it was not to be borne. At first I tried softening it with other colours but it was only after weaving it another three or so times I realised the only thing to do was to ditch the ginger completely and weave some more colour samples from scratch.

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It was an incredibly frustrating time (you can see some of the wasted yarn from the unwoven hands above), and inevitably I began wondering if I even knew what I was doing. I didn’t help that I was so tired, having been working on the Hanging Tree in the evenings. We’ve also been open to the public this week and constantly dropping my bobbins to chat with the visitors meant I simply did not have the time or space to properly address the problem.

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Eventually I got there, but what should have taken a few hours, ended up taking five days. I am now behind and am working extra hard to catch up. I am learning to rope off my area when I need to focus and I have also done some FAQs to try to take the pressure off a bit. Needless to say the staff at East Riddlesden remain marvellously supportive and helpful.

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I am now very pleased with how she is turning out and we are becoming friends again. I can’t quite believe it is me who is making her.

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A fabulous sight one morning was a queue of ducks at the tea room door – apparently they were waiting for breakfast – I’ll try and get a photograph next time I see them. There are a pair of ducks I am particularly fond of – two male white ones that are never apart from one another. But it seems they too fell out and only one was seen this week, but yesterday there they were together again and seem to have made friends once more – sorry for the blurry pic – I was running for the bus!

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Cheerio until next week. x

 

 

 

 

 

Week 2: Settling In….

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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!

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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.

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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!
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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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