Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My studio

This is my studio during the weaving of one of the squares.

Last one

This is my final tapestry in the 16 series. It's been a long road, but a fascinating journey. I have woven only two other tapestries in this time and am looking forward to new projects which will hopefully be one-offs - though there is always the lure of 'projects'.
It has been interesting combining the material strips with the traditional wool weft. I wouldn't do this in all my work, however much I like the amazing colours and intensity you can get with tightly-crushed material.
I want to thank one of my tutors, Sara Lindsay, for introducing me to weaving with material. Do check Sara's work - particularly her work with gingham and her very particular placement of the fabric. It was at her workshop that I saw the possibility of the effect and gradation of colours that can be found in woven materials and knew I would want to try it again in future tapestries.
Once I have these tapestries finished and mounted, I will be able to photograph them again together as a 'moth' and in different sequences to reveal their abstraction.
Then, to get them out and into the public domain - that will be my 2011 project.


And here, fnally, is 'moth'. The final square in the top row with a lot of hatching around the wing tip.

Subtle colours and moth search

I love the colours in this one - it is the only square of my golden-sun-moth jigsaw where I have used this combination. I have included a close-up detail of the material which I hope will show up well enough to display the subtleties of the shades.
The Department of Sustainability and Environment has been advertising in the Hamilton Spectator for people to help find the Golden Sun Moth colonies around Dunkeld. The only one I know of so far is the colony in the grasslands of the Dunkeld Arboretum - even though I haven't yet personally seen a moth. In fact it's a bit unreal to spend nearly 18 months on this weaving project and to have never eyeballed one of them.
Maybe this January I'll have to stake out the grasslands during their mating ritual. The females should be easily distinguished with their golden wings spread wide. The males will perhaps lead me there as they should be flickering around the tops of the grasses, heads down. Anyway, the DSE is also asking if farmers will allow them onto their land to see if they can find the moth.
The problems the arboretum committee had - when they were told they couldn't mow the entire arboretum, in case the moths had spread their wings so to speak and colonised other parts - may deter them. We'll see.


The pupa. Of course we don't actually see the pupa in this tapestry - that honour goes to the first one published on this blog. This is an exercise in lettering - and I am not happy with my 'a'. Of course it was woven first, being at the bottom but I'm leaving it as it's not wrong, just squashed. Otherwise this tapestry was fun and quick to weave.

Golden wings

The moth's wings - this is a female of the species - which means it has the distinctive golden hind wing that attracts the male as she sits on the ground, glowing, waiting for her moth in shining 'amour' (had to put quotation marks in case people think it's a spelling mistake). For this tapestry, I wove in some metallic thread, which you can see in the detail - for extra glow!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sun, but does it shine?

Not sure what happened here. I tried to get the two images side-by-side, but they didn't work out. Not to worry. I had real fun weaving this panel because I started blending the material strips in the background. This was done for no other reason than I was trying to follow the shading of my original painting. It's not accurate, but it follows the light and shade patterns and was a welcome relief after keeping most of my other backgrounds fairly straight. Whether it works is debatable. I want the attention on the moth design, not the background, so in this instance I may have failed. The word 'sun' should have been literally glowing, but it's not. I think the photographs are a bit dull - in reality, it's a nice piece of work, even though the areas of woollen weft lack the dominance they should have.