coffee pot posts, fiber art, Slow cloth, tapestry, weaving

Saturday morning coffee pot post

I enjoyed this week, even with the brain zaps and the intense hot flashes and the excessive heat outside, because it was SO QUIET at work. My co-workers were out for various reasons and I had the office to myself and I caught up on my work. Then I reveled in the peaceful air conditioning, answered the occasional phone call and email, and worked on these projects on both sides of my little frame loom:

Sorry about the quality of the pics – after four tries and a battery change I decided that it just wasn’t happening for me and I needed to move on with my day.

It also gave me some space to reflect on what makes me the happiest in my art making. I really, really love doing this. I also really love making paper. I have tried so many different media and I always move back to the simplest process. Maybe I should just do found object tapestries until I am ready to do something else, however long that takes.

The four small bands were destined for wrist cuffs or book art, but now I’m considering weaving across the top of all four and connecting them, letting them hang down like tabs.

Really, I don’t care about selling other than I hope that it helps me break even on my co-op rent and pay for some of my supplies, and sometimes I enjoy weaving on the loom for the rhythmic aspect. I have been attracted to pattern making since I was a small child, playing with a plastic grid and Lego-like color tiles that my mother probably regretted buying for me after my father’s complaining about stepping on them on the floor barefoot so often. They were my favorite toy next to my Creepy Crawlers set.

Anyway, the weavings on my loom should look quite a bit different after the tension is released and they are washed, so I’m trying to take before photos.

We spent the Fourth at home. I’ll sound like a Grinch, as usual, but since we live close to the baseball stadium fireworks happen so often around here it is no big whoop to me. I’m not interested in sweating in the middle of a crowd watching my tax dollars pay for a spectacle when there are so many needs in the community and it is a fire hazard. It was different when it was a special annual thing. Now I just as soon read a book inside and look at the photos other people take.

My sister Lisa must have influenced me because I’ve been cooking again. I still would rather be doing other things, but if we are planning to retire to Ireland, we need to 1) take care of our health, and 2) not eat out as much.

Critters finally got the last of my seckel pears. One day, I hope to eat a pear from my tree. But I have gotten three Juliet tomatoes and several Zephyr squash, and I noticed that I have a handful of butterbeans that have formed. I’ll be lucky if there are any more because this dry heat is murder on butterbeans. I’m not going to water more than once a day.

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Let Freedom Ring

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

(In memory of Terrilynn, who posted this on her blog every July 4.)

fiber art, Slow cloth, tapestry, weaving

Fiber Art Update

Here is a update of what I have in progress, artwise. I have kept a little air conditioning unit going on energy-saver in the back studio for the past week so that I don’t have the excuse not to go back there because of the extreme heat wave we’ve been dealing with. The light I work under is hot too, so I should probably change the lighting. In a way it is good because it forces me to take a break when I get too hot. At the same time, it should be changed because it changes my perception of the colors I’m working with.

Suzanne lent me her Critter for beating paper pulp before I went to the lake, but I haven’t used it yet. When the weather dips back down into the mid-80s during a time that I don’t work, I’ll get right on that! I have a lot of different fibers that I want to experiment with on this nifty little piece of equipment. I’m lucky to have access to one, since they are made one at a time by paper artist Mark Lander in New Zealand. His web site seems to be down – he has had many challenges this past year, unfortunately – but here is a good web site about Mark and his Critter.

On the four-harness loom in the back, exploring huck, a lace weave pattern. I’ve finished two scarves, or table runners if they don’t wash up soft! These should look quite different once they are washed, so I’ll repost the after photos. I’m going to weave off the entire warp before I cut them off, so it will be at least a couple of weeks.

At the lake, my good intentions were to work on collage and book covers and bookbinding and inkle weaving. That didn’t pan out, because although I carried half my studio with me, I left certain tools home that would have made the creative process frustrating. Fortunately, I also took my tapestry loom and a bag of thrums (leftover yarn from weaving on the loom). Since I need a lot of quiet time when I’m making art, I decided to start a tapestry that was based more on intuition and randomness. I’d been thinking about doing this project with found objects from the lake for a long time. So I dived right in.

The idea was that I would reach into my bag of mostly cotton yarn scraps and use whatever I pulled out. I quickly realized that this was not going to result in a piece that I would be happy with, but I liked the concept – a free-style,Saori-like, wabi-sabi kind of aesthetic. So I started four little tapestry bands on the back side of the tapestry loom. If the yarn I chose at random really did not fit the movement and colors and feel of the lake experience at that point in the weaving, I flipped the loom over and picked one of the four little bands to weave it into.

I just can’t express how much fun this is, and it’s portable. I keep the whole thing in a backpack and so I can just grab it and go.

Family, Lake Waccamaw

Lake Waccamaw 2012

Here it is, the Lake Waccamaw post. Last year was the first year in a long time that we did not spend a week or long weekend at the lake, so we were really happy to go back and spend some time. My sister and brother-in-law were staying four doors down at a little rental house with a pier. That is where Tim, my brother-in-law, took this photo of me paddling his kayak. It was very nice to be able to sit on a pier and look at the stars and catch the breeze off the lake in the evening.

Although sometimes the wind barely made a ripple in the water.

On other late afternoons, we sat out in front of “our” (Cousin Fred’s) house and drank beer. The water was usually lukewarm. Tim dubbed us “The Redneck Hot Tub Club.” I’m going to design some t-shirts for us to wear next year. This is Tim and my brother Thad – usually there were more of us out there but the wimmins wuz in da kitchin fixing supper.

On Thursday, Sandy and I drove to Wilmington and roamed around the “art/antique” district shops (really more antique and vintage shops) and ate at The Jester’s Cafe. My sister sent us there for the pimento cheese sandwich with bacon and carmelized onions and she was right about it. Sandy had the smoked sausage quiche and we shared a slice of peanut butter pie. Eye rollin’ back in the head good. Then we went to Old Books on Front Street to see my nephew, Seth, and we met his girlfriend, Jess, who was working in the store cafe and gave me some peanut butter cookies.

And that was only one day of all the good eatin’ we did down east in North Carolina. When we weren’t eating something simple and amazing cooked on the gas grill at my sister and b-i-l’s house, we ate at Dale’s Seafood in Lake Waccamaw, which serves up the best Calabash-style fried seafood and vegetable plates at lunch. If you are snooty about traditional Southern food, don’t go to Dale’s. There’s no point in wasting all that goodness on the likes of you.

On Friday, I got up early, drove down to the farm and picked butterbeans, and then brought Mama back to the lake to spend Friday night. My brother and his wife and my cousin and his wife came down that afternoon. So we had a great family get-together.

Sandy spent a lot of time painting on the porch. He started out in the yard, but we had an invasion of midges for a couple of days mid-week, and it seemed prudent to leave the painting studio on the screened porch. I wove some fun wabi sabi kind of stuff and read two books. I’ll post photos in the next post.

We didn’t see many big gators or strange critters this time, so I was quite happy about that. It’s funny how you get to know the different ducks when you stay there for a while. The weather was cool at the beginning of the week and it didn’t rain but one night. I like the rain at the lake, though, and would have liked to have a big storm at least one day.