Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Convergence. Reno. July 2018.

This post will be of particular interest to my weaving friends out there.  Weavers know that Convergence, the biennial international fiber conference hosted by the Handweavers Guild of America (HGA) is not to be missed.  There's a huge slate of workshops and classes, a vast vendors hall, fiber art exhibitions, a fashion show, talks and field trips and tours. You can view the schedule of all the events  HERE.  And of course, there are lots of weavers walking around in their jaw-dropping handmade creations, giving each other the "weaver's handshake" (you know what I mean!).

I'm thrilled to be going back this year for the second time as an instructor.  I'll be offering two classes:  a 3-hour seminar called "Plan Your Tapestry Diary," and a two-day workshop called "From Collage to Tapestry Cartoon."  Both are geared to tapestry weavers who have some familiarity with basic principles and techniques.  Beginners are welcome.

Priority Registration opens today, November 29, at noon EST and runs until Dec. 6 at noon EST, when regular registration opens.

Molly Elkind,
2017 tapestry diary in progress (March - July visible)

"Plan Your Tapestry Diary" is just what it sounds like.  If you're curious about why so many tapestry weavers have adopted a daily practice, this class will answer your questions and help you plan your own.  We'll look at lots of examples of diaries and discuss the many possibilities for format, size, theme and techniques.  For me the most important benefit of keeping a tapestry diary is that I can play, learn, and practice techniques in bite-size chunks (as little as 15 minutes) every day.  Every diary is as unique as every weaver--you make the rules, and you can break them.  (You can see in the photo above how I've changed up the rules each month in my own diary this year.) And you don't need to wait for January 1 to start yours!

There's no need to bring a loom or yarn for this class--just pencil and paper.  A basic familiarity with the tapestry process is helpful.  Go HERE and scroll down to 3-hour seminars on Friday afternoon for the details.

cropped portion of collage
Molly Elkind, "Huh?"
4" x 6" tapestry inspired by collage

"From Collage to Tapestry Cartoon" is geared to tapestry weavers who want to explore ways of designing for tapestry that don't start with drawing or painting.  You will gets lots of hands-on experience with collage, consider what makes a good design, and--this is the exciting part--explore how to translate your cut-and-pasted collage into a weaveable cartoon.  How will you convey the colors, textures, lines and shapes of your collage in tapestry weave?

Again, there's no need to bring a loom for this workshop.  We will focus on design and making a cartoon; you will leave with a design (maybe more than one?) ready to weave.  The supply fee is minimal and all you need to bring is blank paper or sketch book (8 1/2 x 11"); colored paper or old magazines in variety of colors, textures and patterns, and glue sticks, markers and/or colored pencils.  I'll share from my stash of interesting materials as well.

Molly Elkind, collage for Mary (greater is what she bore in her mind)

Molly Elkind,
Mary (greater is what she bore in her mind), handwoven tapestry, 2015
Questions?  Email me or ask in the comments below.  Hope to see you in Reno!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

What's looming

For the past couple months I've had this note stuck to my studio door:

It reminds me that my chief task right now is to finish things for my upcoming show, ICONIC, in February.  You can read more about that show HERE.

So here's where we stand.  So close to finishing Mary (Yes) I can taste it!  That black horizontal line on the warps about 2" above the weaving is the finish line.  I think the hand came out OK.  Foreshortening and shadows made for an strange rendering.  And of course the whole image is being woven from the side.  My one complaint about weaving on this horizontal loom is that I can't see much of the tapestry at any one time; the completed weaving rolls under the breast beam.  I do unroll it occasionally to check how it's all looking, but I kind of hate to do that.  (What do the rest of you horizontal loom tapestry weavers do?)

Molly Elkind, Mary (Yes) in progress.  (c) 2017 
I've finally begun weaving the last of the illuminated manuscript-inspired pieces for the show.  The background of Red Letter Night will be wedge weave, as you can see from the work so far.  I'm weaving this from the side, so the image is turned 90 degrees to the left. It's about to start getting interesting as I weave those big shapes and patterns in the center.

Molly Elkind, Red Letter Night in progress.  (c) 2017

And, since it's the beginning of a new month, I've started November's tapestry diary.  This month the name of the game is texture, in various pale neutral yarns.  We'll see how many textures I can come up with. 

Here's a closer look at the weaving so far.  So far, from left to right, I've experimented with countered soumak, plain weave, plain weave on doubled warps, twining (the thin gray rectangle in lower right), and eccentric weaving (above the gray rectangle).  I may have to break down and finally try rya knots one of these days!

Finally, there is one more piece I'm going to make for the show.  I'm not going to say much about it yet, but here's a sneak peek at the fabric and trim I will use.  I've got some ideas simmering that I can't wait to try out.

I hope you are finding time this fall to be creative in your chosen field of play.  Thanks for keeping me company here.