I just spent four glorious days away from reality, or at least away from my “real” job. And what a wonderful time it was. I saw Finding Dory, which if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s Ah-mazing. Bring tissues. I also went to the beach with my friend and we collected seashells and had a picnic under a beautiful old, twisted crab-apple tree. We were joined by lots of bugs too, since it is summer and they like picnics as well. But mostly I got a lot of work done on my art, including finishing the weaving for my latest tapestry! It’s off the loom now and I’m letting it rest for a few days before I do the finishing work. The fabric needs time to relax after being stretched tightly on the loom for several months, and this resting period makes the weaving so much easier to work with later when I clean up the back, sew up slits, hang it on a wall, etc.
Like most of my pieces, there are things I love about this one and things that I would love to fix. On this piece in particular, however, I struggled more than any previous weaving, all due to not having a good solid cartoon and notes to follow. In fact, most of my weaving frustrations are caused by a lack of a good plan, and for the most part my designs depend on careful planning. Usually I’m so excited to start weaving that I just quickly draw out the cartoon, attach it to the bottom hem and take off, sometimes even saying to myself, ‘I’ll figure it out later.’ That clearly hasn’t been working too well! I also need to take notes on what colors I use, so that when I have to use that same color 7 inches and 2 months later, I don’t have to crawl behind the loom with a flashlight to see what colors were on the bobbin.
Another thing is just simply practice and experience. By making these mistakes, I’m gaining valuable insights on how to improve my technique for my next piece, and the next, and the next… I lost count of how many times I took hours of work out on this tapestry and rewove it to get the design and shapes and colors just right. Sometimes I had to rework an area several times. And some of those areas still aren’t right, but I know I gave it my best with the skills that I have. I can tell you that the moon and the symmetry of the background were the toughest parts. Although these corrections added extra hours into the piece, my skills and knowledge have increased as a result, and that’s certainly worth it. So note to self: plan a more detailed cartoon and take good notes!
I also began the finishing work I did for a tapestry from last year. It feels good to finally get some work done on these weavings, rather than just rolling them up and stuffing them in my closet… like I normally do.
This piece, Compass, is about trusting my intuition, my inner voice and guiding light in all that I do. I worked on it during a difficult ending of one chapter of my life, and my hope was that it would serve as a reminder to trust in my own individual journey. I already have my next weaving planned, a companion piece to this one, a continuation of my story and of trusting the unfolding of my life. And I think I have the skills and experience now to really make it shine. Now it’s back to reality. Until next time, happy creating!