Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Joy of Finishing

Awhile back I griped in this space about having too many projects underway at once.  I'm happy to report that finally, finally I have got some projects finished, others well underway, and a couple empty looms sitting around, at least for a little while.

I finished the scarf for my sister-in-law, plus three extra for our upcoming show.  Please check my Facebook page for details about that event if you're in the Atlanta area, Nov. 11-13.

tencel and silk-alpaca infinity scarves (c) Molly Elkind

tencel infinity scarves (c) Molly Elkind

I selected several of the collages I've done this year and, thanks to the patient instruction of my dear husband Sam, learned how to cut mats for them.  What an incredible difference it makes to put a mat around something!  These affordable pieces will also be in our show.

collage of painted words and torn paper in sketchbook

dictionary page for "annunciation" and pasted paper collage

L to R:  "Huh?", Red (T)his, Annunciation,  matted and cropped collages (c) Molly Elkind 2016
L to R: Column and Spiral, Weeping for Istanbul, Manuscript/Portal, collages (c) Molly Elkind 2016

I was very happy to finish a set of four 4" x 6.5" small tapestries that I've been thinking of as small contemporary illuminated manuscripts, because they contain or allude to text.  Three of them were inspired by the collages in the top group photo above.  I'm happy overall with how they turned out, but boy, were they fiddly, in both the weaving (12 epi) and the finishing!  I did and re-did the edge finishes, first thinking I would hide the warp fringe (with a half-damascus that would turn the warps to the back) and then deciding to expose it.  I never could get the corners to be as neat as I wanted.  I like that the fringe is visible.  These will also be in our holiday show/sale Nov. 11-13.

Clockwise from upper left:  Huh?, Red (T)his, WTF, and Annunciation, handwoven tapestries  (c) Molly Elkind 2016

I'm still working on the large Mary tapestry, and I expect it to take several more months at the rate I'm going.  I'm discovering just how hard it is to weave a self-portrait.  Just call me Penelope. 

M3 (working title) in progress
Meanwhile I'm designing the next Mary piece, a smaller tapestry on the theme of Mater Dolorosa, the sorrowing or weeping mother.  Goodness knows, if Mary is paying attention at all, she must be weeping over our world.  I'm thinking of incorporating somehow tiny shards of obsidian I've collected in New Mexico, known as Apache tears.  Wonder if I can drill through them so I can thread the yarn through?  Let me know if you have any intel on this.  Would a bead-reaming tool work?

study for Mater Dolorosa, with Apache tears 
So, that's the way things stand here.  Don't ask about the quilt.


  1. I love these pieces, Molly. Please tell more about the upcoming show. I did not see the info on FB under events. Thanks!

    1. Just so you know... obsidian is a kind of glass, but made by nature not in a factory. It would be difficult but not impossible to drill through it, you would need to use whatever is used to drill through glass. If it were me, I would try using a diamond drill or burr, which could be found at Harbor Freight and used in a Dremel or flex shaft tool. You would need to keep the obsidian in water while drilling, it would be tricky.

    2. Martha, thanks for asking. See if this link takes you to the event info:
      Hope to see you there!

    3. Alison, thanks so much for this information. It does sound tricky. Perhaps I will explore glue (horrors!) or other options. Thanks for writing. Molly