Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Field Trip - Penland Scool of Craft

Today I had the opportunity to take a tour of The Penland School of Craft with a small group of weavers from Tapestry Weavers South.  It was a beautiful drive up the mountain and a very inspiring day.

Stunning views were in abundance throughout the campus.
It was a special treat to visit the tapestry class.  All the instructors for this session at Penland were from Australia.
 The entrance to the Lily Loom House.

 Tapestry samples.
 The tapestry classroom.
There was more than just weaving, this is the painting studio.
What an inspiring view.

 Creating beauty can be a messy process.

Clearly we visited the wood turning classroom as well as glass blowing, photography and metals.  Our tour guide was Edwina Bringle.  She began exploring textiles at Penland School of Crafts in the early 1960s. For 24 years, she taught weaving and textiles at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte until 1997, when she retired, returning to Penland.
This is the original dye studio, also referred to as the Toll House as it had the only telephone on campus for many years.
"Penland is a stimulating, transformative, egalitarian place where people love to work, feel free to experiment, and often exceed their own expectations. Penland’s beautiful location and historic campus inform every aspect of its work."

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Focusing on Tapestry

I became intrigued with tapestry after seeing the work of one of my guild members. 
It was a small tapestry of a black cat walking away down a path.  It was striking and memorable.  I did a few samplers and looked unsuccessfully for local workshops.

On Ravelry there is a tapestry weavers group and much discussion about an online tapestry weaving class.  Rebecca Mezoff has a variety of classes and I have jumped in with both feet.

I love the way Rebecca has structured these classes.  There are videos, handouts and instructor feedback.  Above is the very beginning of my class sampler for the Part One class.  You are actually seeing the back as I am weaving from the back.  Rebecca weaves from the back and splices her ends as she weaves.  This results in a very flat tapestry with a very clean back.

This is my tapestry thus far, see how neat the back looks.  This is a sampler with each section demonstrating a different technique.  After reading the handouts and watching the videos you weave a section.  In order to complete each skill you post a picture for Rebecca's evaluation.

I am using my 12inch Mirrix tapestry loom warped at 8 ends per inch.  The warp is 12/6 seine twine and the weft is Harrisville Highlands 2 ply yarn that I dyed with Greener Shades.  I am enjoying learning these new skills and very surprised at how well this online format works for me.


Throughout my life I have always believed I cannot draw.  It is true, I can't.  However, all these wonderful ideas for future tapestry are rolling around in my brain and I need them on paper. So I splurged and spent all of $6.99 on a visual journal kit to try my hand at  sketching and water colors.  What have you told yourself you couldn't do?