For years I’ve been intrigued with miniature tapestry, and clearly its a growing trend. In Wednesday Group classes, Archie often talked about exploring how little it takes to convey the essence of something: a face, a gesture, a mood. Then came the biennial small format tapestry shows which I found endlessly inspiring! So many little tapestries conveying so many varying images and ideas. And then came tapestry diaries, an idea started by Tommye Scanlin.
Susan Martin Maffei has a body of work in miniatures as well, which I have always enjoyed. One of her pieces, “Travel Series: NYC to Mendocino, CA,” is a long horizontal strip of tiny tapestries depicting images from the long train ride across the US. There are wonderful subjects in these tiny works: farmland, signs from nearby highways, railroad tracks, water towers. This long piece is a gem of how much can be conveyed in a small work. And she worked on a very small loom which she could hold in her lap on the train.
Since I’m traveling on a modest size sailboat, I also need to work with a small loom! I often tell people that we are living small with a very large view!
With that in mind, I began the first tapestry, a small 4” x 6” with warp set at 10 ends per inch. This is the finest tapestry warp I have, and after struggling with this piece I placed an order with Joanne Hall at Glimakra USA for some 12/6 seine twine which can bet set at 12 epi. I am looking forward to seeing what I can do with a slightly finer sett. (I won’t bore you with how hard it is to get mail when you do not have a permanent address.)
My series will be called “Nomadic Winter 2015.” Here is #1: “January fog on the St. Marys River”
I’d like to do a small landscape for each month from January through April, but right now I have another January image from the St. Marys River that I’d also like to do. I guess I can do whatever I want since it’s my series!