I was going to write Part 2 of my spinning adventures, but I really wanted to write about what I have been working on the last two weeks. Some very dear and long-time friends are designing a permanent installation of a Day of the Dead altar for the Natural History Museum and commissioned me to weave the LA. River as part of the piece. It was a great project, so of course, I said yes, then I found out the short deadline and the size. It needed to be 6-7 inches tall x 10 feet wide which ordinarily wouldn’t be a big deal, but in this case the waves need to go horizontally and I couldn’t use one of my regular looms. I decided to build a loom. I made it 12″ x 5 ft. figuring I could weave the piece in two sections and then splice them together. It was a little more work than I thought since first I had to measure 1/4″ marks on both sides and then hammer in 600 nails. Yes, 600 NAILS!! Here’s a pic of me starting the piece on my homemade loom. Please ignore the mess in the background, there’s no time for housework when working on a project like this, lol!
I jumped right in and didn’t even take the time to make a sketch. It was design on the fly! Not the way I normally work, but time was short. The loom was a bit cumbersome, but worked great!
After many hours and late nights of weaving, the first panel was done. It was a great feeling and I was pretty pleased with how it came out, until I realized I needed to weave the other panel. I was pretty exhausted from running my graphic design business during the day and then weaving into the wee hours every night. But, I had to buck up and weave part two, which thankfully seemed to go a bit faster.
I finished it in time (whew!) and here is a pic of the piece just installed on their altar.
Of course, I now keep wondering if it would have been easier to weave it on my Saori loom using the comb reed. Best not to drive myself crazy and think about that too much, I guess. It was a challenging project and I am happy with the result and so were they. I also like knowing that I contributed to this representation of a tradition in my culture that will be part of a permanent installation in a museum.
Yes, I needed and deserved a long sleep after this.
that it looks like this is going to another mostly picture post. I’m trying to make work for my Etsy shop, so I’ve been pretty busy and not much time to blog, so photos with captions it is.
First up, I’ve been making many necklaces, both tassel and woven. I am also working on some bracelets, but don’t have a photo to post just yet since they aren’t quite finished.
Next up is clothing using a combination of weaving and sewing. I’m still working on a vest and camisole in this same yardage, then moving to a black palette.
This is a linen cross back apron commissioned by a friend some time ago and I finally finished it. I have one just like it and I love it!
And, last, but not least, I found time to do a study for a painting for my Jazz Series. This one is based on Thelonious Monk’s “Well, You Needn’t.” I think it would also make a great tapestry, but that would be challenging and perhaps drive me over the edge, lol!
I like keeping Sundays for myself to play in the studio. I either paint, weave, block print, rust/eco dye or sew. So many fun choices that sometimes I can’t decide. It’s a great time to experiment and not worry about any deadlines. This past Sunday I spent a relaxing day in the studio working with pine needles and wool. The tricky thing about pine needles is that the tips are fragile and you have to be careful not to break any off while weaving. The other hard part is keeping them steady when starting the weave since you can’t really warp them on a loom. I made two weavings, but only one of them (this one) seemed to work. I really like it and will be making more for my Etsy store.
Weaving, my new obsession. I love all the different textures and materials. The artistic possibilities seem limitless. I just started a tapestry based on one of my abstract paintings. It is extremely challenging and painting now seems so much easier. I have to say that I prefer weaving on a frame rather than my rigid heddle loom, but this is probably due to the fact that I am not very proficient yet. I am taking a class and maybe as I learn more, I will like it more.
This week, I made this red linen tote for my aunt’s birthday. It is hand block printed with one of my new linocuts. I also added a little hand painting and embroidery to it. I had never made a tote before, so I was quite pleased with how it came out. It was supposed to be an every day bag for her to use on her errands, she said it was really nice so she was only going to use it for special occasions. Not what I had in mind at all, lol!
The other thing I made this past week was a baby pinafore for my cousin’s new baby. I’ve never made baby clothes before and it was so easy and so much fun. And, it was so tiny! I think I am going to make another!
Lastly, I’m just going to toot my own horn a little and post that my oil/wax painting “Epistrophy” based on a Thelonious Monk song is hanging in the window of Random Framing. Any exposure is good exposure, right?
This weekend was filled with various projects. Some fun and one not so much. First on the list was rebuilding my graphic design website. My former host company went out of business without notice, so I woke up one day to find I had no email or website. What a headache! And, of course, they were unreachable, so I signed up with a new host and now have a website again. It still needs tweaking and I have to write the About section, but it’s off to a good start. I am looking for a few new clients, so if you or somebody you know needs some graphic design, please send them my way. Thanks.
Of course, I had to work on some fun stuff. Here is a picture of some boro strips I am working on to add to the cuffs of a blouse I made. I love boro!
And, lastly I am playing around with frame loom weaving. I haven’t yet tackled the new rigid heddle loom I purchased about a month ago. It’s a bit intimidating, so I think I am going to register for a class. Here are two pieces I am working on now. Working on these is a bit like figuring out one of my abstract paintings.
The one on the left is 100% wool and recycled sari silk and is on a 12’x16″ frame loom that I made. The one on the right is recycled silk, raffia, wool, tea bags and I will be inserting some painted paper strips. This is a on a small lap loom. It is so relaxing and really fun. If you’ve never tried it, give it a whirl.
Okay, that’s it for now. Gotta get back to the graphic design salt mines. Have a great day everybody!
I am very happy with how versatile this block print has turned out. I originally made it to use for home items on my Etsy store, but I think it also works for a wristlet. Of course, I had to keep this one for myself. 🙂
Here are the hot pads and a potholder:
There are so many possibilities for this block print, pillows, bags, tea towels, etc. What do you think?
Sometimes I get on a roll and I just can’t stop. I should have started earlier, but the neighbor came over, so we could walk our dogs together and we decided to have a hot toddy on the deck first (Honey, lemon, ginger and bourbon). Then, one of my tenants came by with cupcakes, so a couple of hours flew by before the dog walk actually happened. Hence, the late start, but I was determined to try out my new linocut. I worked until 5:30 a.m. and then fell into bed. Thank goodness it was Sunday and I didn’t have to get up early for work. Well, I have to say I was really happy with the results especially the eggplant color that I mixed. I also finished some napkins that were a housewarming gift.
Most of these pieces will be used for items (hotpads and zipper pouches) which I will be selling in my Etsy shop.
I started two new paintings that I haven’t had a chance to post about yet. These are part of my Jazz series. Here are the two sketches, both based on Thelonious Monk’s Well, You Needn’t. The finished pieces will be oil and wax on canvas, 36″x36″. I am in the middle of several sewing and knitting projects, and I haven’t even had a chance to start weaving on that new loom, so not sure how long it’s going to take to get these done, but at least they’re started.
I have been working like a crazy person to get ready for my holiday sale. I rent a gallery space at the Avenue 50 Studio complex and every year they have a holiday sale that I decided to participate in since I am already there (as least until the end of the month). It’s a Saturday night/Sunday day sale. So, I show up Saturday night and there is an art opening happening, but no vendors. WHAT?? Where is everybody? It turns out I had the wrong weekend and had been advertising the wrong dates all over town for over 2 weeks. It’s next weekend. The good news is that since there was an art opening, people showed up and I sold a lot of stuff. Now I have to make more for next weekend. I sold out of the coasters and most of the hotpads (which I had posted earlier).
Here are the scarves and wristlets. The designs are based on my artwork.
Well, I’d better get crackin’ if I want to have stuff to sell next weekend.