art retreats, Cannon Beach, fiber art, Oregon, Pacific beaches, tapestry, weaving

Tapestry Retreat with Susan Maffei and Archie Brennan at Pam’s cabin, Pt. 1

View of the surf and trees below the house.

On Friday morning I got up to find Jeanne sitting at the table drawing with watercolor pencils and the other women gone downhill to walk on the beach. Jeanne offered her pencils for me to try them and I ended up, quite unintentionally, with my tapestry design for the retreat. I am fascinated with the trees on the cliffs.

When we got to Pam’s cabin, I decided to rewarp the loom that I brought instead of using the loom there. I learned my first lesson when I heard Susan advise another weaver that she had warped her loom too tight. I’ve always warped for tapestry as tight as possible, and I go pretty tight on other weaving also. So I didn’t worry as much about tightness this time, and I was surprised to get an even tension this time right away.

One of my goals for working with Susan and Archie in this workshop/retreat was to get more comfortable with weaving vertical lines in tapestry, so I wanted to weave this design the way I drew it. Susan talked me into weaving part of it from the side, which was much easier but still gave me a few challenges. This turned out to be a psychological advantage as well, because I told myself that this was a sample for the full-sized one I eventually would weave, I could let myself experiment.

Pam Patrie, our lovely hostess, stayed busy cooking dinner for a big crowd each night and she cooked lunch for Susan and Archie each day. Fresh baked bread, delicate soup, and delicious meals. She and Jeanne ran errands and worked hard to make us all happy.

I now think of Pam as my fairy godmother. She brightens my day every time I talk to her and spending time with her is a joy. I really can’t express enough how positive her influence has been on me in the past year.

A few of us walked down the steep path to the beach below where a “bloom” of bright blue jellyfish had washed up on the tide. They looked like sapphires with tiny crystal sails. There were no tentacles but they did stink.

That evening Susan showed us some of their actual small tapestries, as well as an artist’s book of photographs of her very long tapestries.

I went back to the cove house with the intention of weaving more, but the sound of the surf below lulled me to sleep almost immediately.

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