critters, fiber art, tapestry, weaving

Art update – Tapestry studio space!

I’ve been known to say that I can only do two of these three creative pursuits at a time: art, cooking, and gardening. I may have to correct that because lately I seem to be down to one at a time. I reached my goals with my gardening. Yay for setting attainable goals! My passion for cooking was lost somewhere around 2009 or so, although my passion for eating is still here. What’s left? Time for my art mojo to come back.

Part of the problem this year was the little assholes pair of kittens we adopted last August. The older cats are terrified of aluminum foil and I found that putting foil over my weaving on the loom was a good deterrent. However, Pablocito and Diego aren’t afraid of anything. Guess it comes with being orphan kittens at the shelter. I’ve had to limit myself to either working when they are napping, which is usually when I am at my paying job, or figuring out a way to keep them away from my stuff in a studio without a door. It doesn’t help that they love to climb the curtains and so my wall hangings are just another toy. I’ve had to take down a few of my weavings to protect them. I’m not really interested in clipping their claws, although it may come to that.

Is it worth it? Yeah. I do love the little… felines. They are very entertaining and their personalities have developed. Diego is so much like Guido in looks and coolness and behavior. Pablocito reminds me of a puppy, more than any cat I’ve ever adopted.

Anyway, I finally figured out a way to have my tapestry loom in a small space where I can protect my weaving from those little… animals. We just put carpet down in this room and I got rid of a lot of stuff and rearranged things. We have a beautiful room divider that we bought a long time ago and there wasn’t a good place for it until now. It is very heavy and it leans up against a board against the bookshelf, making a protected space behind for this tapestry loom I bought when the Center for Creative Arts eliminated their weaving program over a year ago.

Because it is already warped and has a dog on the loom, and I’m having a hard time getting started, I decided to make a journal tapestry for the month of June and use the already woven part to embellish with whatever. Probably small samples from my indigo workshop coming up in a couple of weeks. Right now I’m using cotton thrums. I like finding uses for things that would be discarded, and I have a LOT of thrums. “Crumbs are the thrums of bread, and thrums are the crumbs of thread.” I believe this quote is by Barry Schacht of Schacht Looms, but can’t find the source. It has always stuck in my mind. In other words, thrums are the wasted yarns and threads from weaving when the fabric is cut off the loom.

I’ve been inspired by Tommye Scanlin’s tapestry diaries and I just discovered Janette Meetze’s gorgeous woven diary on the Tapestry Facebook group. I think that mine will end up as a mixed media piece or even a book cover, and I won’t be able to weave on it daily. I’m going to let it take me wherever it leads, I guess. That’s been my way, lately.

I can understand why the original weaver gave up on this project. I can’t think of anything more boring than weaving a large section of plain weave by hand with a white weft. If you want to learn to weave tapestry, please don’t make this mistake. Pick some colors and mix it up.

I’ve gotten so excited that I finally joined the American Tapestry Alliance. This is going to be a good summer. Yes.

1 thought on “Art update – Tapestry studio space!”

  1. Hi, Jack? Coley? Grady? First of all, thank you so much for the compliment. I come off a lot more together in my writing than I am in real life!
    Secondly, I am not a librarian, I’m a secretary at UNCG.
    Thirdly, I’m not quite sure what you are asking but I’m not a good person to ask. I’m mostly a recluse in the art world around here. You might contact Elsewhere Museum or the film department at UNCG or Weatherspoon Art Museum or Green Hill Gallery, but I have no personal contacts there. I don’t even have an active LinkedIn page or a gallery right now! I’m just weaving for my own pleasure now.
    Fourthly, I love love love your sister-in-law. She is the best, and we are all fortunate to have her in our lives, right?
    Warm regards,


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