Friday, May 1, 2015

Studying Tapestry Weaving

Bread and Puppet 2015 Calendar
I know I said I would do a new post in a week, and that was three weeks ago, but really, three weeks is much better than a year--and I do say I am an "erratic blogger" right up there under my name. So here is my tale of how I came to my current study of tapestry weaving--a meandering story of course.


Taqueté study by Bhakti Ziek, 2015
Taqueté is a weft-faced structure using two warp systems and multiple wefts, and it is one of the structures I taught last summer at Belinda Rose's studio in Scotland using her Thread Controller loom. The basic structure of taqueté is always plain weave, like tapestry, but the wefts travel from edge to edge, unlike the discontinuous wefts of a tapestry. The wefts should completely cover the warp, and you can see in my study above, that my warp is definitely showing--especially at the bottom. So I began to think I could learn something from tapestry and tapestry weavers and contacted a few friends who are experts in tapestry.


Emergence II by Rebecca Mezoff, 40"h x 40"w, hand-dyed wool tapestry, in the permanent collection of Craig College, Craig, Colorado
It seemed like everyone kept pointing me to Rebecca Mezoff and her online tapestry courses. I wasn't really thinking to take a class, and as a former teacher of weaving (well, I still do teach sometimes but not full-time) I have taught tapestry--but Rebecca has posted some wonderful free videos on the internet and I began to watch everything that was available and realized I could learn alot from her. So I signed up for her Three-in-One Course. You can read all about her different courses and options HERE.



Front (left) and back (right) of Bhakti Ziek's Part 1 sampler from Rebecca Mezoff's online tapestry course.
What works for me, besides the fact that she has made professional videos that are in focus, clear to follow, and funny (so you enjoy watching the videos), is that these are self-directed courses. There is no meet-up time when all the students and Rebecca are online together--you work at your own speed, whenever you want, and you can ask as many questions as you want. Rebecca tries to answer everyone within 24 hours, but my experience is that she responds much quicker than that. I can watch her videos over and over--and I do. In fact, I watch so often that Mark and I think we have a roommate. You also can see what the other students have done in any section--after you post what you have done. That is a really nice feature because you get a sense of sharing without feeling competitive.

Tommye Scanlin's mirrix loom, on loan to Bhakti Ziek
Okay, here is the truth--I wanted a new loom. I saw people using the Mirrix loom in one of the workshops when I taught at the ANWG Conference in Bellingham, WA in 2013. I loved what everyone was doing, and I loved the looms. So for two years I have been wanting one of those looms, and I got it in my head that if I got one, I could work downstairs at the kitchen table by the woodstove at night, instead of going to bed and reading. And Rebecca demonstrates most of the steps so far on a mirrix loom--and that tap tap sound of her beating the weft into place is very enticing. You can hear that tap tap sound at about minute 2:30 of her splicing video.

Macomber loom set up for tapestry in Bhakti Ziek's studio
But I have this perfectly wonderful 24" 8-shaft Macomber loom in my studio and I haven't used it for a long time, and I knew it was a great loom for tapestry--so I couldn't legitimize buying a loom, especially if I didn't know if I was going to be serious about tapestry or not. So I started Rebecca's class and put seine twine cotton (I didn't know about this wonderful yarn before watching her videos) on my macomber.

Start of Part I of Rebecca Mezoff's Online Tapestry Course being woven by Bhakti Ziek
What I was totally unprepared for was my reaction to doing tapestry. I was completely mesmerized and engaged and loved it. My friend Sandra Brownlee explained it perfectly: she said "my fingers were thirsty." (You can experience Sandra's wisdom in The Tactile Notebook workshop she is teaching at Longridge Farm this summer.) I am going to write more about this in a future blog because I think it is an interesting topic, about the differences I perceive between the jacquard work I have been doing and the hand manipulation of tapestry--but it is a big topic and I think I should leave it for a future discussion. Let's just leave it that my hands, which have done so much brocade in the past, and yes, I have done tapestry before, felt at home with the butterflies and moving of weft threads that is part of tapestry.

Tapestry rug woven by Bhakti Ziek about 45 years ago with holes carefully chewed by her beloved dog when she was a puppy--and now is gone but the holes remain
Of course, the same week that I set up the macomber for tapestry, my brother and sister-in-law who own Wild Hair Alpacas in Colorado Springs called to see if I could weave some alpaca scarves for them (that too will be another post). Suddenly my macomber loom was in high demand. And that is when my friend, Tommye Scanlin offered to lend me her Mirrix loom--so I could test the loom in person to see if I wanted one and also free up my macomber for the scarves. The mirrix is pictured above, and yes, I do want one.

Front (top) and back (bottom) of Part II sampler from Rebecca Mezoff's Online Tapestry Course as woven by Bhakti Ziek
I had to finish the warp on the macomber before I could start the scarves, and you can see my work from Part II of Rebecca's course. We are weaving from the back and in Part III I will learn how to deal with all those tails hanging down, and then the back will be almost as clean as the front, and I will be sure to post it for you to see. 

Area of different ways to join wefts in a tapestry, part of the lessons in Part II of Rebecca Mezoff's Online Tapestry Course, as woven by Bhakti Ziek
I am constantly amazed at how the smallest detail can change the effect of the weaving. I pulled out my Peter Collingwood The Techniques of Rug Weaving (the weaving books are all coming off the shelves these days and piling up by my bed for night time reading) and just couldn't understand how the difference between one weft going over the other versus the other going over the first could make a difference, but when I tested it at the loom I saw that he was completely right. That is another thing--tapestry is an ancient process and one that has been used by cultures all over the world--so there never is one way to do anything, and what is right for one group is wrong for another. I really like how even-handed Rebecca is about all the variations. She is quick to point out what others do, and often sends us to videos by other artists, and she is very clear about why she does something, and of course she is teaching us her way, but she always leaves it open for the student to decide what works best for them.

Sisyphus, a seven panel weaving by Bhakti Ziek, 2015; each panel is 88.5"h x 28"w, silk, cotton, metallic yarn, handwoven satin damask; woven on TC1 looms
I didn't have enough warp on my loom to finish all the exercises in Part II, so I will either finish them on Tommye's mirrix or--isn't it funny how things happen-- I met some friends at Brattleboro Art Museum last week so they could see my weaving Sisyphus (I will do a blog post soon about this piece), which is up until Sunday, May 3rd in their current exhibition. Of course I went on and on about studying tapestry, and one of my friends who is moving her studio soon offered to give me her tapestry loom, which she isn't using.

Nilus Leclerc Tissart loom now residing at the home of Bhakti Ziek
So yesterday Mark and I drove over to her place and got the loom. Although she had sent me a picture, I was rather surprised in person to see it is really a sturdy big loom. Luckily we had the topper off the truck, and it just fit perfectly. This loom makes me think I had better get serious. I actually don't have any idea of what I want to do in tapestry. Right now I just love the process of learning and understanding. At the moment I have the sense that despite all my years as a weaver, I know nothing, and there is so much to learn that I am never going to get "there." Of course, I also know there is no "there" and that one of my pleasures right now is that I do know something about weaving, and can grasp the nuances of the differences I am being taught--and this was not something I could have understood when I did tapestry in the past.

I have more to say--and obviously I have many more blog posts that I have to do, since I have promised them to you in this post--but I think I will end by saying, I could finish up Part II and do Part III on my Nilus Leclerc Tissart loom OR I could do it on my own mirrix--since I am buying one from another weaver next Monday. This story has a happy ending.

And thank you Rebecca Mezoff for being such a wonderful teacher and artist and a generous soul. Rebecca also blogs--so go here to see more. The color work she is doing for a new class is totally inspiring. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Card or Tablet Weaving

Burmese Bands, card/tablet woven
It is almost one year since I have written in this blog. A busy year, a good year--and now I hope to be more consistent and catch you up and stay with it. Is anyone out there reading anymore?


From left to right: inkle band by Bhakti Ziek circa 1969; tablet band by Bhakti Ziek, 2015; Burmese tablet band; double weave band by Bhakti Ziek circa 1992; Mexican pick-up band; Mexican pick-up band; Guatemalan double woven brocaded belt from Nebaj, made before 1960.
I have bands on my mind. The image above is just a small selection of the many bands in my collection. I never have used them. Well, that isn't exactly true. The inkle woven band on the left in the photo above is the first band I ever wove, and I did use it as a strap on a bag for many years, then removed it and put it with all the others--usually tucked away in boxes but sometimes hanging to be admired, or wrapped in circles, like the Burmese prayer bands above that reside in a cabinet with glass--so they are always on view. I find these strips of cloth very appealing--just as they are.

But that doesn't explain why I am thinking about bands, and making them. In January, on a wonderful trip to California, I presented a talk to the Santa Cruz Weavers Guild and met Don Betterley and Gudrun Polak. Gudrun is a well-known tablet weaver whose website, theloomybin, has wonderful information on this type of weaving (card weaving is what most Americans say, and tablet weaving is more common in the rest of the world, but they refer to the same process--I think I will use tablet weaving here) including a link to Don's new card weaving loom. 


All the ingredients used for making the band in this photo--Don Betterley's loom with the beautiful turquoise inlay on the front beam, cards, clamps, weft, a beater, weights, and the all important instructions--these are by Karen Henderson
I was intrigued (I love new tools for weaving) and got Don's loom. You can get his link from Gudrun's website or write directly: <betloom(at--use @ no spaces)gmail.com>. Don's loom allows for easy spacing of the warp at the back, and clamps to tables.


Books on tablet weaving, I used Linda Hendrickson's instructions for my new band
I pulled out all my books on tablet weaving, and ordered Peter Collingwood's The Techniques of Tablet Weaving, which had been out of print the last time I tried to buy it. The only disappointment when it arrived was that this edition is a black and white print from 2002, and it is very difficult to read the images without the color--but the information is all there, and I am busy reading it at night. The book I used to make my band was Linda Hendrickson's wonderful little pamphlet Tablet Weaving for Parents and Children.


My original set up with warp tied around front beam the way I would do on a floor loom (note Don Betterley's nice inlay design); the warp is weighted in six sections with knitting machine weights, and the warp is stretched out across the back beam (which proved to be too wide)
I set up the loom and started weaving. I am going to teach a beginning weaving summer class at Penland School of Crafts (July 5 through 17, 2015; it is full but you can contact the school to get on the waiting list because people do change their plans) and I realized that doing this tablet weaving project was perfect preparation for that class. My own awkwardness and confusion about what was going on (tablet weaving is twining, not weaving, so threads twist around each other and it took quite a long time before I could see the elements and understand what they are doing....not that I totally understand yet) is a reminder of how my summer students will feel confronted by the loom and the many steps involved with weaving before you actually throw the shuttle.


Many bands woven by Alice Schlein

Selection of bands woven by Belinda Rose
I am lucky because I have many expert weavers as friends. Both Alice Schlein and Belinda Rose have recently taught classes on tablet weaving, and if you contact them I am sure they will be doing more in the future. Click on their names for links to their websites. I immediately started a three-way email conversation and barraged them with questions. They patiently and carefully immediately sent me responses. Belinda said she might even do a video--so watch her website to see if she posts it (and if she does, I will mention it on this blog too--another reason to keep posting regularly).


Warp readjusted on back beam so the threads would stay warp-faced
I realized I had spread my warp out too far on the back beam and when I adjusted it, I was able to keep the threads tight and covering the weft.


New clamps with flat square clips that hold the band evenly
I also went to the hardware store and bought new clamps for the front--smaller ones and these have a square holding clamp that seem to hold the band more evenly. Anyway, like I said, I love to purchase new weaving tools.


Finished band and detail of some of the patterns
It took me much longer to weave than I expected, and of course the results are very wobbly and uneven--a true beginning experiment. I don't think I am going to add anything to the world of tablet weaving any time soon, but I am reading the Collingwood book and will try again soon. I realized that despite the hundreds of cones of yarns I have on my shelves, almost everything I have is much too thin for a novice tablet weaver like me to use. Luckily I have a trip to Webs planned for April 14 because I am giving a talk to the Pioneer Valley Weavers' Guild which meets at Webs. (That talk is free and open to the public if you want to attend.) So I will look for some heavier smooth yarn in colors that are more harmonious than the red and blue I used above.

Details of woven bands: two Mexican pickup weaves on left; Guatemalan brocaded band in center; inkle woven band on right by Bhakti Ziek, circa 1969.
Actually, this card weaving study made me remember how much I loved weaving inkle bands when I first started to weave. Maybe my Penland beginners won't be able to afford a floor loom but they certainly can afford cards and perhaps an inkle loom (or make one themselves). So I pulled out my sweet Gilmore inkle loom, and will look for appropriate yarn at Webs--probably the same yarn for both my next tablet project as well as the inkle loom. If I practice enough perhaps someday I can make bands as beautiful as the Burmese prayer bands below.

Various images of three Burmese tablet woven prayer bands, and one Bhakti Ziek feeble band.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Stardust

Stardust by Bhakti Ziek, a permanent installation at Whitman College, Princeton University (photo by Ed Wendell)

I have been working on Stardust (a permanent installation at Whitman College, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ) since May 2013. It was installed March 19-20, 2014. There are six panels, each 16 feet high x 27.25 inches wide. They are handwoven weft-backed jacquards made out of silk, tencel, and metallic yarns.

It was an incredible year. One that called on me to use all the knowledge I have acquired over the years related to weaving and art, and still it pushed me to new territory and insights. I will write more about it soon (relatively soon) but for now you can see more images (photos by Ed Wendell) on my facebook page if you go to this link.


Princeton University commissioned a video on the making of Stardust. It was produced and edited by Michael Sacca. Click here to see.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Familiarity

New York City sky

I used to say that New York City is the only place where I know north, south, east and west. Just put me down somewhere in Manhattan and I can tell you where I am. I was born in Manhattan but raised on Long Island. My siblings and I knew that we didn’t belong there, and as we listened to our parents moan about life in that small town (whose edges blended seamlessly with all the other small towns on the south shore), we would encourage them to move back to the city. Maybe it was lack of courage, or maybe they really meant it when they said they had moved there for us—but it certainly didn’t make any sense since the schools were better in the city, the ease of attending cultural events couldn’t be argued, and the ability to have dim sum every day, or real Indian, Italian, Middle Eastern, or any ethnic food was an important point. I guess riding your bicycle in the street was a plus for Long Island, but by the time I reached junior high I was taking two buses, and a subway almost every weekend to the city to attend a Broadway play with another friend whose parents had excelled her on Long Island.

Guggenheim Museum, NYC 
We were raised to understand that school meant kindergarten through college, and then we could move back to Manhattan. That is almost exactly what I did—with a few months in Europe before moving to the City. Until I was 42, I moved in and out of the city—thriving and excited until I would reach the point where I was reading the New York Times on a Sunday, mentally attending all the week’s activities, and then doing nothing. The four walls of my apartment would become my boundaries, and I would know it was time to move. The last time I left the city (this time from Brooklyn, not Manhattan) I went to graduate school. In a way it marked a change in my life because it opened up the possibilities of jobs with responsibility and creative outlets. It helped that my first full-time job was only two hours from New York City. That first year or two we drove there almost every weekend. I distinctly remember the evening we were stopped in a traffic jam trying to enter one of the bridges, and pulled over, singled out because our car had out of state plates. That $200 fine really hurt, and our trips to the city dropped off as we began to investigate Philadelphia.

33 Years! 
There have been lots of moves in my 33 years with Mark (anniversary next week), and now we are trying to figure out the next one. Just last week a friend looked at me with an extremely severe, stern expression on her face and reminded me that I have a beautiful house with lots of room (meaning studio space). Yes, I know she is right. But I can’t help thinking that we are pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, me and Mark, locked together and trying to find the surrounding puzzle where we fit. You know how you have a puzzle piece that looks like it should fit in a space, and you move it around in every possible position trying to get it in, and you sort of can even squeeze it in, but you know it isn’t right. When the piece fits, it eases into place with an audible sigh of relief. We are looking for that ease.

Mark Goodwin's studio in Vermont 
In the last few years, now that we are back on the East Coast, we have had the chance to return to New York and Philadelphia, and a few other places we have called home, and just this week I returned from a fabulous two weeks in New Mexico, the last place we called home. What I have learned is that my compass has expanded. New York, Santa Fe, Philadelphia—each of these places is familiar. Walking their streets is like an embrace by someone you love. There is a constant nodding of recognition, an internal ahhhhh, the yes of knowing where you are and what is around the corner. Of course there are changes—and despite the economic woes of these times—those changes feel vital and good.

Love my Friends!
Returning to these familiar places has also shown me what a people person I am. I love my friends. I love sitting with them (in that Chinese buffet where the food is not really very good but where we feel comfortable to sit for hours and talk; or in their kitchen which is a new place for me but still feels known because of all their possessions moved from the old house to the new) and catching up on their children, or siblings, or mutual friends, or themselves. Names of people I have never thought of since the last time I sat with them bubble up in my consciousness and I can ask how they are, what they are doing, where they are. It isn’t just gossip, or chatter, it is taking a reckoning of position, it is settling into home.

Folk Art Museum, Santa Fe, NM 
Maybe once we leave this place, we will return and find the same sense of the familiar. Five years have brought many shifts in my feelings. This spring/summer/fall were so beautiful that I couldn’t help seeing and acknowledging how gorgeous the world is in this area. But the cold has started, my arthritis is acting up, the days are too short. The litany of reasons to move doesn’t evaporate, despite the almost equal list of reasons to stay. Another place has become familiar but it still doesn’t feel like home. We have enough energy to believe that we could be happier somewhere else, enough energy to pack again and jump off the cliff. We just don’t know where we will land. I came home from Santa Fe with the same reaction I had to Philadelphia-- we can return. We just don’t know if we will return.

New Mexico Sky

Friday, October 26, 2012

Consumerism


I don’t think of myself as a consumer, but I love to shop for some things. Groceries are top on my list. Did I write about this before? How I came home late one evening from two years living in Guatemala and Mexico and immediately went to the grocery store and walked up and down every aisle. I just starred at all the boxes of cereal, all the types of cookies, all the cheeses, and all the fruit and vegetables out of season for that area but available to purchase anyway. These days I don’t go up and down every aisle, in fact I never go past the boxed cereals or canned vegetables, but I still love going to the supermarket and slowly going through my list. I try to limit myself to a written list, but never manage to succeed. Besides the monthly bills that must get paid (like the mortgage), the grocery stores get most of my money. When times are rough, I ask Mark to do the shopping. He sticks to the list.

The other item on which I spend money is books. I used to buy textile related books. I have learned that if I see a book that looks good, I had better get it, because it won’t be there next time I look. The bookstores in Santa Fe always had something to tempt me. One memorable trip there, a fantastic bookstore was going out of business, and we flew home with armfuls of heavy art books. That was before the airlines started to charge for luggage. The books stay with us, from house to house, as we crisscross the country. They fill shelves in almost every room. Sometimes I don’t take one off the shelf for months, but when I do, it is like visiting an old friend.


 I go in cycles of topics. Indonesian textiles were high on my list for a while. In fact, almost any book on ethnographic textiles will catch my attention. These books are usually filled with lots of photos, and admittedly, I have looked at the pictures more than I have read the texts. I also like how-to books on weaving. No book has come close to Deborah Chandlers’ Beginning Weaving, one of the first books I owned, but that doesn’t stop me from buying all the ones that have come out since hers, explaining how to wind a warp, or set up a loom, or weave simple fabrics. There is this thing that comes over me when I find one of these books—I think it is called greed. I just have to have it. It’s as if my life will not be complete unless that book is put on my shelf. This hasn’t happened in Vermont because I have never seen a book on weaving that I don’t already own in any of the bookstores here.


 Lately cookbooks are calling to me. There used to be a Borders within a half hour of my house, and I would loose myself looking at all their cookbooks. Now I find I am creating quite a long wish list on Amazon; books on chocolate are piling up fast. I haven’t actually made any chocolates yet—but I am reading about them—and lusting after more books on them. Reading is definitely less fattening than making and eating, but I know that soon I am going to start…and then my list of needs will increase to molds, and dipping forks, and exotic ingredients. Cookbooks always seem to lead to purchases of kitchen tools.


 Desire is an interesting phenomenon. I can thumb through dozens of books and put them back on the shelf without a flicker of interest—but suddenly, when something catches my fancy, it seems like dozens of others are suddenly enticing. I have some control, so I whittle things down to one or two purchases, which then trigger a delayed action. Sooner or later I will be back to get the others. I have rationalized some of it. A book on weaving or cooking is something you return to again and again. It isn’t an item you can get from inter-library loan because you never are quite finished with it. Even if it isn’t a very good cookbook or textile book, still you might need to use it again in the future; and if it is a good cookbook or weaving book then you definitely will need to use it again. These are research items. Research is such a respectable word that allows me to indulge in consumerism. Mark thinks I should do some weavings based on cooking. Now that will really legitimize my research.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Master Weavers

Mark Goodwin deciding what to install next after hanging My Roof by Bhakti Ziek on back wall at AVA Gallery and Art Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire.

I am currently in two concurrent exhibitions with Cyndy Barbone, Deborah Carlson and Fuyuko Matsubara. It surprises me that many people think we are showing the same work at both venues, since their dates overlap. So just to be clear, the makers are the same, the work is different. The Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Massachusetts is hosting Grand Tales of the Loom: Four Master Weavers until January 20, 2013; AVA Art Gallery and Art Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire is hosting Affinity: Cyndy Barbone, Deborah Frazee Carlson, Fuyuko Matsubara and Bhakti Ziek from October 19 - November 16, 2012. Since we hung the AVA show on Saturday, I can post pictures from that installation in this post.

Margaret Jacobs, head of exhibitions at AVA Gallery (on ladder) and her assistant, Kayla Gilbert, did an amazing job hanging Fuyuko Matsubara's masterpiece, In the Earth 2, at AVA Gallery and Art Space, Lebanon, New Hampshire.

This is a good time for weaving and textiles in general. Material explorations have exploded and when one sees work using fiber materials in art galleries now it is just identified as art, not ghettoized as fiber art. Most of these artists will roam from media to media, as their ideas or fashion dictate, and I have no problem with this. Nor do I mind that many of them are reworking ideas that have been done before--though I do think it is sad that their education has not informed them of the artists who trod the path before them. And I do mind it when I read statements implying that they are the first ones to combine concepts with fiber materials--a blatant sign of ignorance and self-aggrandizement. On the other hand, one has to excuse some of their ignorance because many artists using fiber materials that express ideas have been excluded from major museums, galleries, exhibitions and catalogs just because they were using those materials.

Cyndy Barbone (left) and Deborah Carlson (right) photographing the installation at AVA Gallery and Art Space, Lebanon, New Hampshire with Cyndy's weaving on the left wall and Deborah's weaving on the wall between windows.

So I think it is a great thing that the walls seem to be coming down (okay, I am skeptical--just like when I think that women have come a long way since my youth, I realize how few women are in the senate or house of representatives or hold positions of real power, and I wonder if they will repeal the woman's right to vote after they take away her right to choose). And I think this is the time for all of us who have been working for years to make an effort to show. So naturally I am thrilled that I can be part of two strong shows happening right now. Thrilled because when I stand in front of the work of Cyndy, or Deborah, or Fuyuko I am reminded of why I love weaving (as a medium, not as a process). Of the awe I feel when I realize that they have patiently manipulated vertical and horizontal threads to create these personal, passionate narrative works that evoke place and spirit and light. I can get lost in front of each work in these shows, whether small in scale or large, mesmerized by their beauty and substance. 

Portrait by Cyndy Barbone (on display at AVA Gallery and Art Center, Lebanon, NH) is woven with inlays of yarns of different densities creating a figure from degrees of transparency. 

And I realize that what I am looking at is the product of years of study, research, exploration and learning. Each of us has been weaving for more than thirty years. We bring knowledge of dyes and dyeing, materials, and weave structure to the table. Double weave or triple weave isn't used because it is complicated but because it is the right method to produce the elements needed for the ideas being expressed. The slowness of a process is not an end goal, but if the only way to produce the idea is slow, then that is the path that must be followed. The fact that I am using a computerized loom ("new technologies") is something I have grown into, from hand manipulated supplementary weft to weft-backed satin structures; it facilitates the making of my current work but it doesn't do the work for me. And our work is informed by the awareness of great works of art in textile form, from Coptic textiles to Safavid to Bauhaus to contemporary fiber art. We know we are the current practitioners of a long lineage of artists who have found their voice at the loom; a practice that dates back to centuries dated B.C. We want people to understand through our work that the expression of woven threads is sublime and spiritual.

Deborah Carlson's woven portrait of a memory, with its golden heart, and surrounding gold leaf will draw you into the room at the exhibition Affinity at AVA Gallery and Art Center, Lebanon, NH.

Just like I have earned the right to use my Thread Controller loom, so all of us have earned the title of Master Weaver. We aren't the only ones. I can name a handful of amazing artists who are also master weavers and could easily be in the shows with us. So I hope this is just the beginning. That our work will travel, that there will be other shows with more people, other shows with more work to dazzle the eyes and entice the contemporary public to appreciate weaving as an art form.

Deborah Carlson's work on left of left wall; Bhakti Ziek's weaving Vowels to right of it; and Bhakti Ziek's My Roof on back wall--on view at AVA Gallery and Art Center, Lebanon, NH.

Fuyuko Matsubara's weaving to the left; Cyndy Barbone's weavings are in the center and to the right--on view at AVA Gallery and Art Center, Lebanon, NH.

If you want to read more about my thoughts, there is an interview with me on the Fuller Craft tumblr site. I don't remember sending it off with all the typos and misspellings and words that should be other words (like wave for weave), but maybe I did. So if you can overlook those things, you might find it interesting to read. Click here.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fall Catch Up

Fall in Vermont
This fall is going so quickly that I am just going to play catch up and post briefly about several events. It has really been a beautiful fall, following a magical summer, so I have some hope for winter.

Four "Master Weavers" standing in front of Cyndy Barbone's work at top left with Cyndy second from left; standing in front of Deborah Carlson's work with Deborah at right; standing in front of Fuyuko Matsubara's work with Fuyuko second from right; and standing in front of Bhakti Ziek's work with Bhakti at left (photos by Cyndy Barbone).
The Fuller Craft Museum exhibition opened with a reception for the four "master weavers" (I love writing master weaver and really, we all have earned that title and deserve to be honored this way) on September 30th. It was a lively, well-attended event and the work of each of us shone on its own and worked in harmony with the other weavings. This exhibition will be on view through January 20th. On November 18th we will return and give artists' talks at 1 p.m. Here is a walk-through of the exhibition:

Top left is view from the entrance and top right is looking back to the entrance showing the title wall with work by Deborah Carlson and the side wall with work by Deborah Carlson; the middle left image shows the right wall with work by Bhakti Ziek; and the middle right image is the back wall with work by Fuyuko Matsubara; the bottom left image shows Cyndy Barbone's work which hangs on the left wall; and the bottom right image shows work by Deborah Carlson which is on the front wall.
Top left: Marianne McCann in front of her gypsy wagon and studio building; Top right: Holly Jennings at left, Marianne, Barbara Moon Boertzel and Harry Boertzel; Middle Left: Marianne in front of one of her paintings which she made for her mother but I always think she is talking to me; Center Top Right: lunch on Andy Wasserman's porch--Andy is on the right at the back, I am across from her; Center Bottom Right: Vermont view; Bottom Left: spur of the moment salad--yum; Bottom Right: Andy's chickens. 
A visit by Barbara Moon Boertzel and Harry Boertzel brought together a group of us who all know them from different times related to Cranbrook. We had a delicious Portuguese dinner their first night here made by Holly, Marianne and myself because we are all focusing on David Leite's The New Portuguese Table for this round of the Dowdy Corners Cookbook Club. No pictures but good memories. Next day we visited Marianne and Andy. We had plans to go to Montpelier for lunch and drink Vermont beer but never got there. Instead we had a marvelous spontaneous lunch that was truly a feast at Andy's house. The stop at Marianne's reminded me that despite her M.F.A. (all the women at the lunch table have their M.F.A.s from Cranbrook) she is truly an original folk artist. If the right person from the outsider art world fan group discovered her, she would have a long list of people wanting her work.

Jennifer Moore from Santa Fe, NM standing in front of a table of her samples that she brought to the Vermont Weavers Guild workshop at the White River Craft Center.
Just this morning we took Jennifer Moore to the airport. She came to Randolph to teach a workshop on doubleweave for the Vermont Weavers Guild. I know Jennifer from Santa Fe, so was happy to spend evenings together catching up. You can see from the photo above that Jennifer loves color and knows how to use doubleweave in so many ways to bring color and structure together. If you want to know more about her work check out her excellent book, Doubleweave. And if you are a member of a guild or group that brings in people to teach workshops, you should definitely put her high on your list. I walked through her class yesterday morning and was so impressed by the energy coming from each loom.

In just a few weeks, the trees went from green to a myriad of color. To my eyes, the sumac is an especially vibrant red this year. I googled garlic and read that when the hills were a field of color, that was the time to plant the bulbs. So I did. Then heaped on leaves, which are falling fast. The color never lasts long enough, just like summer never stays quite as long as I want. But the beauty of each season seems particularly beautiful to me this year, and I am curious to see what Winter will bring. Meanwhile the fires in the wood stove, which have begun, seem more like a luxury than a necessity.

One of the last walks before all the leaves are gone.