Thursday, March 10, 2016

AIR 2016 Week Two weaving

Great afternoon, despite serious competition from warm sunny weather, but I still did get visitors, and many questions. This is one of the unexpected things about doing this sort of process. You have no idea what is going to be asked!

Deciding what to ask first..

Weaving,both art and functional items, and ref books
 I brought in two framed pieces, each from a series, which will appear again at the June exhibit, as well as sawblade weavings, also to appear then, along with older works, such as the wild mask, woven from copper wire, and telephone wires with various inclusions, and a piece of knitted wire inserted.  The bag and the little pouch in the background came from ideas in the weaving book, as did the hanging landscape piece on the bottom left.

Today, two visitors spent a long time each, full of thoughts, one a philosophical convo, but with new plans for introducing weaving to her daughters.  She took a pic of the Weaving Without a Loom book, one of my favorites, with a view to trying out some of the ideas in there. I do recommend that book for sheer beauty of illustration as well as a friendly and encouraging approach.

The other visitor had a practical, more technical set of musings, and plans to bring in a piece of her own artwork when she comes back next week!  We talked about her possible use of goldwork in conjunction with leather and/or wood, so we'll see what she comes up with.

In the course of this sort of discussion, people tend to tell each other the stories of their lives, a big part of why textile arts have always been valuable to women particularly, and why I am very willing to be available for this sort of informal exploration of art and how to fit it into a busy life. Or in my case, how to fit a busy life into the ongoing art work.

The various forms of weaving I brought with me were interesting, and I think surprising, since most people think of weaving as scarves and fabric to wear, so the sheer art function was a new aspect to consider.  The current artwork I'm involved in which will become part of a bigger piece, is a Teneriffe lace piece, hard to photo, since it's fine white thread on a white background! but once it takes its place in the bigger piece where it belongs, you'll see it.  Not that I got much done today, since I gave priority to visitors.

And then there were the simple and humble tools I brought in -- the potholder loom you made your mom a potholder on, which I used for the Doorway Series piece I brought in, the cardboard looms, on which the bags were made, the weaving sticks, used to make the strap for the bigger bag, the sawblade, used for several pieces here, including the representative of the Planet Suite.  And the materials, Spanish merino roving, alpaca roving, llama yarn, fun fur,copper wire.

There came along a European lady who saw the weaving tools and asked if I knew anything about machine knitting!  she had finally got out her machine, and after years, wanted to learn how to use it.  I gave her a couple of ideas, one of them the Ravelry website, because if there's any help anywhere, it's there, and maybe she would find help near at hand via Rav, too.

And a young Indian graduate student of architectural design, embarking on her thesis on the use of fabrics as design elements in architecture, was interested in the whole area of weaving.  We had a great wide ranging chat about the Japanese use of fabrics in interiors, Indian hangings, and medieval tapestries, and she took a pic of the tapestry reference book I had with me, to search it out.  

She commented that until now she'd been thinking of tapestry as simply fabric, not as artwork.  I referred her to the Four Sisters tapestry one floor up, as an example of an art tapestry that was not a wall covering.  Very interesting young woman, and I hope our chat was useful to her.

And the Library staffer, Darren, who writes the newsletter stopped by, made pix, and promised space next week in the newsletter, to encourage participation. Loved this visitor!

So today was all about quality, rather than sheer numbers. And I have to decide what to do next week!

All this showing and telling and working is resulting in the dreaded framing.  I quickly framed a Doorway Series piece this morning, seen on the table, at left, because I decided it was too fragile not to be protected, though I'd rather not cover textile works, but needs must.  And then the goldwork piece I'm pushing on with, almost to the end, will need a frame.  And the other doorway pieces will, too.

I'll think about that tomorrow..but first I'll think about what form of textile fun will happen next week.


Quinn said...

Wow, Liz - you are having a wonder-full time! I love all the zingy energy that floats around when people are sharing info and experiences and tools and ideas and vague (or not so vague) ideas for creative endeavor. Carry on! :)

margaret said...

it is gong to well and having fewer visitors met they got more quality time with you, like the lady who is coming back with her work for your advice she will learn a lot

mittens said...

Fascinating, ive seen the same thing happen when quilters get together, they start sharing ideas and families and histories very very quickly. Hand work is so universal, it's a common language.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Those types of discussions are not only good for the visitors but I'm sure their ideas also must fuel your creativity as well. Sounds like a 'high' of the best sort!