Flapping in the Breeze

Isn’t August the month when almost everyone goes on vacation? …when almost everyone takes some time off to relax and recharge?  I’m feeling pretty overwhelmed this month, like I’m hanging on to a frayed cord that is snapping in a gale.

But most of what is happening these days is good news.  If I weren’t so slow at accomplishing the things I am driven to do, I’d be thrilled at what’s coming down the pike.

Here is the postcard for the upcoming exhibition of fiber art at the Eclipse Mill Gallery in North Adams, Massachusetts.  I had no idea that my tapestry would be included on the card.  What a happy surprise!


I joined this group when it was formed by Betty Vera this spring, but I have not yet met the other members.  This weekend I am going to one of the monthly meetings and am looking forward to getting to know the other artists.  I think Betty Vera and I are the only weavers in this group (not entirely certain about that), so I am interested in learning more of what the other artists do.

A few weeks back I was catching up on reading the various journals and magazines I miss when I am away for the winter.  In an issue of  “The Journal for Weavers, Spinners, and Dyers” (from the UK guild), I saw an advertisement for an iphone case made of Harris Tweed.  I became single minded about obtaining one of these.  A google search led me to Amazon.  Yeah, Amazon.  There are more, if you’re tempted too.  I just love it!


My two small tapestries are now mounted.  It feels so good to finish things.  I wish it happened more often.  I think I’ll call this one “Primary Source.”   I hope some of you get my signature.


And here is the other, “Blown Off Course.”


I think it needs a braid, and with that in mind, I am sampling.  My first attempt is too thick, but I like the design.  I will try it again as soon as I finish this one.  Next time I’ll put fewer strands on each tama. And next time I’ll take a better photo! Now you know what a mess I work in when I’m on a role.


My generous friend Clare is still letting me use her taka dai.  Really!  After this I think I’d better let her play with it again, since it’s her toy.  This time I am trying a 2/2 twill.  With these experiences under my belt I hope to work up to double weave braids in my class with Rodrick in the fall.


And here is a close up so you can see the colors better.  I like it!


So, why am I doing all of this?  I haven’t touched kumihimo in about 15 years.  Well….. I only recently learned that an American kumihimo society has been formed.  It piqued my interest to get back to this.  I’d like to use the flat braids from the taka dai as embellishments on clothing and handbags.  As of yet, no fabric with which to implement these ideas!  Isn’t that always the way? —  at least for me! —  to put the carriage before the horse.  It’s thrilling to be enthusiastic though!  Clare and Julia and I are investigating other silks for these braids…that is, other than the pre-cut fine silks you buy in packages.  We want to find the same fineness on cones so we can choose our warp lengths.  Hopefully we’ll have a source soon.

And I’ve been thinking of adding other braids to my tapestries.  In fact, for my ‘real’ Portuguese Man of War tapestry, that currently only exists in my dreams, I plant to use a number of braids, along with other handwork techniques for embellishment.  In my mind this piece is a tour do force.  No cartoon yet …..because I actually don’t know if I can capture something so wonderfully ephemeral down on real materials, like paper or warp and weft.

So August marches on like a house on fire.  I hope I can keep up….


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