I haven’t posted in quite a while because life took a bad turn about six months ago. My husband’s health began to decline in November; he was hospitalized for a week in February. He has several health issues which won’t be resolved but he is stable and doing as well as can be expected.
Meanwhile, my studio practice and writing ground to a halt this winter. The past month or so, I have begun to bring things back up. I started by working on a tapestry I had started on my Louet Jane 8 shaft loom. It measures 22 1/8 inch across and will be 36-38 inches in length in the loom. I haven’t worked this large in a while but it’s going well.
This is a twill tapestry, something I started experimenting with about 10 years ago. It is woven like tapestry—the weft completely covering the warp—but with a twill rather than a plain weave structure. This one is an advancing, undulating 3/2 twill.
Here is the draft for those interested. The brown in this draft is the pattern area which is visible in one pick and the gray is the ‘subtext’–the name I’ve given to this part of the weaving–which is visible as the other pick. Both together complete each row of tapestry.
I’ve completed about 1/4 of the piece. Here are some images of the work so far.
In this image, you can see the collection of yarns I am using. I blend 3 to 5 shades of each color into the yarn bundle. There are 5 color areas in the design with a brown background.
Here are some bobbins wound with yarns. The variegated one is a blend of the 5 different colors within the design. I’m using this for the ‘subtext’ part of the weaving.
After a plain weave hem, I began to work the twill pattern. The sword is lifting one pick of the twill pattern.
I was originally thinking I would mount this piece on gallery-wrap stretcher bars. These are thicker than regular stretcher bars, designed to mount a painting without a frame. I was leaving an area of the tapestry at the beginning to wrap around the bars and the pink thread going across the beginning of the weaving indicates where the fold would be. Haven’t decided if I’m going to do that after all, but I’ll make that decision when the tapestry is off the loom.
Here is a detail showing the pattern/subtext relationship and the weave structure. At this point, I have woven 6 inches above the fold. The pink stitching along the side marks every two inches of weaving.
Here is the weaving at 6 inches At this point, I have begun to hang the bobbins on a cord stretched above the weaving to help keep the threads straight and keep the bobbins off the weaving.
Here is the tapestry after about 8 inches of weaving.
This is the tapestry cartoon folded to show the remaining design.
I am also back to writing my book—or I should say, books. I’m working on two right now. One is the big book I started working on about 7 years ago about my coiled basketry techniques which keeps growing and expanding. Lots of samples to make and images to take for that one.
I’m also working on a book about the Color Journaling techniques I have developed over the past 10 years. This one will be faster to finish so it will probably come out first. And I expect I will eventually write a book about twill tapestry … but not for a while!
Hopefully, I will be able to post more often but life has its own ideas about what’s going to happen.
I hope you are all well and that fiber and/or color is a part of your life.
3 thoughts on “I’m back! Here’s what I’ve been up to”
Hi Lin, I just found your blog posts after a comment in today’s Quellezine article. I love your work. I hope all is well with you and your husband. It is now October as I write this. How is the twill tapestry going?
Hi Phillenore. The twill tapestry is going slowly. I don’t have as much time to work on it as I’d like–trying to finish 2 books and I’m teaching again. But, it’s going well and we’re both doing well. Hope you are well. What are you weaving these days?
Cottolin/linen curtains for south-facing windows! Have to get them done before the sun gets any lower. I’ve about given up on weaving tapestries. Too slow and too many other projects I want to weave.