Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July Already!

Bhakti Ziek preparing her Mirrix Loom
It's July already and I never got to post in June. So much for my intentions to be a regular blogger. But here I am today, preparing my Mirrix loom so I can take it to Penland with me. I leave on Sunday and have a full class of beginning weavers. Some people have expressed "sympathy" to me about teaching beginners but it is my choice. I could have proposed anything for my workshop but I want to work with new weavers. I hope to entice them to begin a journey that goes on for years.

Two tencel scarves woven by Bhakti Ziek in June 2015
I plan to start my students with 8/2 tencel and weave scarves (or table runners or just plain cloth). If someone wants to work with other yarn, that is fine--I see my role as explaining and demystifying the process of weaving on a floor loom. I wove the scarves above because I didn't know whether I prefered 24 epi or 30 epi for this yarn. Guess what--after washing and ironing I still don't know. At least the students will have physical examples to touch to help them make their choices.

Detail on top shows the two sides of scarf woven as a 1/3 twill (so reverse is a 3/1 twill)--there are changes of structure woven in stripes but always 1/3 tie-up; bottom shows the other scarf, woven as a 2/2 twill, with the weft color sequence forming a plaid (both sides of this scarf are the same); scarves woven by Bhakti Ziek, June 2015
Alpaca and silk scarf woven as a deflected double weave, by Bhakti Ziek
Here is an image of the second deflected double weave scarf I made using alpaca from Wild Hair Alpacas and silk from Henry's Attic. I was really pleased with the results and look forward to more exploration of this structure with those yarns. I sent this scarf and the other alpaca scarves out to Colorado to the store at Wild Hair Alpacas. They are having several open houses this summer and fall, so check their website for more information.

Third tapestry sampler woven by Bhakti Ziek for the online course taught by Rebecca Mezoff
I am continuing with Rebecca Mezoff's tapestry class online. This is my third sampler, which concludes the end of part two. There is another part to go--which makes me happy. I still have to finish the three studies--sew in the ends, that kind of thing. The instructions are in part three, along with learning to work with cartoons and weave shapes. I am going to do another study though of what we covered in parts one and two before proceeding with the rest. That's what I am doing in the first image--preparing the warp for another study that will probably be blocks and stripes, hatching and interlocks, demi-duites and floating bars. Rebecca has a video showing work by many artists using these processes and I am in awe of their skillfulness and creativity. Most of them are quite intricate narratives, which of course is a great tapestry tradition, but I am feeling very minimal these days and I think squares and color are going to be enough for me for now.

Demi-duites in top form are very neat on the face of the tapestry, but a mess on the back; detail of tapestry weaving by Bhakti Ziek, woven as a study in the online course taught by Rebecca Mezoff
Mark Goodwin preparing walls of Chandler Gallery, to hang Sisyphus, a seven panel weaving by Bhakti Ziek
There is another opportunity to see my seven panel weaving Sisyphus! The current show at Chandler Gallery in Randolph, curated by Rebbie Carleton, is called Creative Cosmos. It is up through September 7th. There will be a reception for the artists on August 8 from 6-8:30 pm and earlier that day, at 4:30 pm, the artists will talk about their work. My wonderful husband, Mark Goodwin, once again helped me hang my work. Okay--he did all the work and I watched.

Three panels from the seven panel weaving, Sisyphus, by Bhakti Ziek, 2015. Each panel is 28"w x 88.5"h, silk, cotton, metallic yarns, handwoven satin damask, hand woven on TC1 looms
Mark Goodwin's studio, June 2015
I will get home from Penland the night before Mark has an opening of new work at BigTown Gallery on July 18th. Perfect timing. His work and paintings by James McGarrell will be up from July 15-September 6, 2015. Meanwhile if you haven't seen the Viva Cuba! exhibit that is showing there now, it is not to be missed. 

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