Some things take a long time to finish. This little piece was one. I wove it mostly while onboard Pandora for the winter. For a couple of years in a row we encountered Portuguese Men of War while we were sailing in warm waters. This tapestry is from the second sighting. We were in Lake Boca, on the eastern side of Florida, and a few of these had been pushed into the harbor by strong winds. I think it was just after a long session of strong easterlies that blew them inshore. Normally they float up the Gulf Stream (which was our first encounter with them, which is another story entirely). The one I’ve chosen for this tapestry had been blown into the harbor, and Bob and I motored right near it when we headed ashore in our dinghy. I spotted this creature floating closer and closer to the dock. I don’t think it had much longer to live in the murky harbor water. It was strange to see this, when I associate these creatures being in the clear, pure waters of the ocean.
It is mounted on green dupioni silk that matched the murky green harbor water. I felt it needed a braid, but I cannot tell you why. It took me several months to decide what kind of braid. This is a 16-tama braid called Hira Kara, which Claudia Wollny demonstrated in a 3-color placement that she calls a snake braid. Although it does resemble snake skin, there is something about the color placement and design that seemed to go well with my little Portuguese Man of War. Sometimes there is no reason, there is just a strong sense of this is it.
It now hangs on the wall in my weaving studio.