Saturday, December 19, 2020

Remounting small tapestries

Some of you may have caught the Zoom webinar I did a few months back for the Damascus Fiber Arts School, about different ways of mounting small tapestries. One method I demonstrated was mounting them on stretched artist's canvases. I did this with several small open-warp tapestries I wove this year. At the time I was entranced by the way all those open warps dominated the work, but after a few months of gazing at them on our living room wall, I've realized I can do better. Sometimes Less is not More, it's just Less!  So this week I've been ungluing the warps that I wrapped around the canvas edges (matte medium is a pretty powerful glue) and I'm stitching the warps through the canvas.

Here are some images of the revised versions of a couple of the pieces, along with the original versions. You can see the whole series on my website. I'm not remounting all the pieces, just the ones I think will be improved. 

Second version:  Summer, (c) 2020 Molly Elkind. 
Second version:  Glow, (c) 2020 Molly Elkind.

First version:  Glow, (c) 2020 Molly Elkind.  11" x 14" overall

Second version:  Roots, Rain (c) 2020 Molly Elkind 

First version:  Roots, Rain (c) 2020 Molly Elkind

Here are a few process shots:

 I cut a tracing paper template for the line, which I drew on the canvas with  a blue washout marker (tested it first on the back!  It really does come out with plain water.)  Then I poked holes in the canvas with an awl, threaded a needle and drew each warp through a hole to the back. 

Warps are tied together with a square knot in groups of four.
I will cover the canvas backs with paper to hide the damage done by ungluing the warps, 
and move the picture wire.   

So often mounting can be an afterthought.  We are excited by our design and want to start weaving, and we'll figure out the mounting later.  I can't tell you how many times I've learned the hard way to spend more time at the beginning thinking about how I want to present the piece.  In fact, as you can see from the above, this was one of those times! 

This talk about beginnings and endings seems fitting for the last blog post of this year.  Wherever you are and whatever you're doing these days, I wish you the joy of the season and the gift of abundant hope for a better new year.