Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Little Engine that Could

Today was my intro-
duction to tapestry weaving taught by Toni Lowden through the Nevada Museum of Art. She provided copper pipe looms as part of the materials fee and that's what we're warping here.

I've tried to learn tapestry before and it's been a disaster. The hardest thing for me was working from the wrong side. You do what your cartoon tells you but you don't get to see your finished work until you are done - that's the traditional method. It felt like work to me, not art. Oh, and that 2 x 4 assembly on the wall, rear right? That's the loom Toni uses for her large museum-sized pieces. She wraps her warp around construction nails. Her work faces her as she weaves, and she gets to enjoy her design develop from the cartoon (picture) that she tapes to the wall. This workshop was stimulating and fun!
This is my piece from the workshop, which may not seem like much to show for being there from 10:00-3:00, but because it was so simple and we did it a technique at a time, I know exactly what we did and I know what I learned. I'm exhausted tonight but the actual weaving was peaceful and fulfilling. I went to it today feeling like The Little Engine that Could. I think I can, I think I can - and I came home with the affirmation, I know I can, I know I can.
This is the first loom I ever bought more than a dozen years ago. It's a 22" Mirrix tapestry loom. I've struggled to teach myself, Allison and I got together and tried to teach ourselves, and somewhere in there I took a class that was probably too advanced. I meandered into floor rooms and put tapestry out of my mind.

The missing piece was Toni. The Mirrix is still too much loom for me right now, but after the follow-up class in June, I'll be ready to give this one another try. I know I can, I know I can.
Meanwhile, Alexia has finished her scarf and given it to her stuffed dog. She has started knitting a matching scarf for herself. For adorable, click for big :)


LA said...

Wow! You made a lot of progress on your tapestry! Also, Bravo! Bravo! on teaching another to knit...especially the young. That will always be a wonderful memory for her!

Carolyn Jean Thompson said...

Sounds like you had fun. I didn't know the traditional method was working from the backside. I always worked from the front. I look forward to seeing more projects on your blog!

Annie said...

Looks like this was a fun class! I did some tapestry and actually liked it, but somehow never went on with it. I'm looking forward to hearing all about your projects (and seeing them, of course)

bspinner said...

I think you got a lot done for one day and it looks very good. I tried tapestry once and gave it up. It was probably just me. Sometimes you think you want to learn something then once you get into it turns out you don't care for it at all.

I'm very impressed with Alexia's knitting.

Benita said...

Tapestry weaving is fun! And, of course, you can, given the proper teacher to get you going. I've never heard of weaving tapestry where you only see the back. I can see how that would frustrate you.

I think it is sweet that her first scarf went to a friend. That is so cute!!

Tina J said...

Look at those even stitches on Alexis scarf! Beautiful! Oh, and you are brave to dive into a whole new way of weaving, good for you!

Leigh said...

I took an Online Guild tapestry weaving class, but we learned to do it front facing us. Sounds like it wasn't traditional! Still, I think I'd go crazy not seeing the front during all the weaving part. Of course, I have warped a loom upside down a time or two. ;)