Friday, July 9, 2010

The Price of Eggs in China, aka Talking Pears

I did finally take an afternoon to weave while we were anchored in Hadley Harbor, on the Island of Naushon just across from Wood’s Hole.

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I’m working on a small tapestry that was an assignment from a workshop that Archie and Susan gave to the Wednesday Group several months ago. They called the workshop “Talking Pears.” For the workshop we were to bring two Bosc pears, our sketchbooks and pencils, and a variety of colored papers.

For the morning, we arranged and drew our two pears several times.  After our lunch break, we took the sketches we liked best and used them as ideas for making several paper collage designs.  The nature of the paper collage designs being so graphic led to other ideas.

pears cropped

At the end of class we lined up our paper collages and discussed shapes, arrangements, and color choices.

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This may be more than you want to know about the “price of eggs in China,” but I’m certain that Archie and Susan carefully chose this workshop as a clever way to make us start thinking in the language of tapestry rather than in the language of pure image.  Many of us are often intrigued by an image first and foremost, and we attempt to make a cartoon that will be weaverly.

Here, the relationship of our pears as two shapes coming together, along with the relationship of the surrounding area, and the colors we chose to use took precedence over the image itself.  The simple paper collages we made prevented us from creating shading and contours.

This simple exercise has allowed each of us to focus on how to create the shapes of the pears and the surrounding areas.  I’ve never paid so much attention to my curves and slopes!  I’m usually too busy also trying to create light and shadow.  I had a lot of fun choosing the colors for this little project, and with only six colors I really concentrated on the relationship between them.


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Here you can see the frame that Bob made for me to hold my copper pipe looms.  This frame allows me to adjust the loom up and down so I’ll always be weaving at a comfortable height.




One Wednesday Grouper has already woven eight small tapestries!  Several others have already woven two.  This is my first one, and I do hope to weave another.  I’m so slow that two will probably be my limit!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Where I am Weaving (NOT)

I've been in some lovely places lately, not weaving! I missed opportunities to weave in the Mystic River, on Cuttyhunk in the chain of Elisabeth Islands, and in Tashmoo Lake on Martha's Vineyard. I can't explain why I haven't been weaving as the days pass. Hopefully I'll remedy that tomorrow while we sit in Vineyard Haven.

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View from the high point on Cuttyhunk.  The church steeple is a United Methodist church, but the list of multi-demoninational services available only mention RC and Episcopal!.. not even a Methodist service!


cuttyhunk june 2010 034 The 4th of July parade in which everyone decorates their golf carts (the main vehicle on the island) and drives through the island throwing candy at spectators!


In the interim I have been spending some frustrating time fiddling with wifi on our boat with a cell booster a the top of the mast for connection. Nothing is ever as simple as advertised, and as I write I am not connected. I am just making a word document!

And I am attempting to learn to crochet. Actually, I know several crochet stitches and have managed to make trim for my knitted items over the past few decades, but I have never made a crocheted piece. When I visited WEBS in May, I was smitten with the crocheted market bag (made from 8/2 linen), which is finished with a lovely leather handle from Homestead Heirlooms (also now available at WEBS). I chose a dark aubergine leather handle. I am determined to learn this! Thank heaven for the internet because during the brief moments when I had access to it I managed to watch a video on how to do a “Half Double Crochet” as well as how to do a “Back Post Half Double Crochet.” It sure is hard to recognize when I've come to the end of a round (would new knitters say this too?), so I'm trying to use a marker to keep me on track. I'm forging ahead….but slowly.  I’m not sure that crochet will ever feel natural…