Friday, July 11, 2014

Prepping for Convergence

I'm heading out soon for HGA's Convergence conference.  The last two weeks have been a mad rush to finish things for deadline, prep, clean the house and get my head ready for the largest weaving gathering I've ever been too.

I was awarded a student assistantship in May; it a tremendous opportunity and I'm so grateful I get to go.  There are various duties students are asked to do and one of them is assisting a teacher in a class.  I will Rebecca Mezoff in her color gradation class and I'm very much looking forward to meeting her.  I am taking her online tapestry class this summer and I've followed her blog for years.  I picked up a Mirrix tapestry loom a few weeks ago from The Yarn Barn while traveling through Lawrence, KS.  I wonder what the TSA will think when they see the loom in my suitcase?  And the yarn, and tapestry tools....

I'll also go on a bus tour to the American Textile History Museum which has a very interesting website.  I've made a list of the all the gallery exhibitions, and started packing everything I'll need for a very exciting week.

I'm looking forward to meeting folks I've only known online and in print.  It will be great to expand my network of people who understand and can nerd out over textiles as much as I can.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Summer Start Up

Summer has arrived and things have possibly slowed down a bit.  Mark graduated a few weeks ago and it was a wonderful time.  It was nice to have a ritual to note such a monumental achievement.  He was happy and I was so proud.

We slipped away for a few days to Lexington, Kentucky.  Kentucky has always been one of my favorite states.  When I was a kid I declared any place that had horses on their license plates was my kind of place.  I begged my father to rip up our old lawn and plant bluegrass.  Perhaps I thought if we planed bluegrass, horses would sprout up as well.  This trip was quick, but just the refreshment we needed.

I have some deadlines early this summer and I'm weaving to meet them!  This piece and I will sit together for awhile.  It is a large brocade tapestry that I'm quite excited about.  My work took a turn towards the end of the semester and something clicked.  Through the encouragement of my peers and professor, I'm embracing some intuitive design concepts and going big.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Finished Work

The semester is flying to a close and I've been running to keep up.  This semester has been about transitions and experimentation.  I'm finding myself at a time of discernment.  Now that certain life questions have been answered, it has led to others of a more personal nature.  Weaving provides a lot of time to work through issues and questions.  While all my questions haven't been answered, I've been learning a lot through the interlacement of warp and weft.

Mathematical Woven Doctorate
21" x 20"
Hand dyed cotton double weave pick up wall piece.  

Woven for my husband on the occasion of his graduation.  This piece incorporates imagery from his doctoral thesis. 

Painted Warp Ikat Overshot Fabric
19" x 21"

9.25" x 11.5" tapestry mounted on grey canvas 14" x 16"
Hand dyed cotton 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Tools We Have

This past weekend I had the opportunity to pick up a few new to me tools for weaving.  I came home with five gently used shuttles to use to move my yarn from one selvedge to the other.  I sat down this morning to begin to use one.   I discovered the previous owner had written her name on the side of the shuttle and it has fadden over time.  I did not know this weaver but many in the guild knew her, loved her and helped disburse her weaving stash after she passed away.

I have very few tools that are new.  Most have had long use by others.  My looms are used.  Most of my spinning wheels aver very old and have grooves from long ago spinners.  Even my hand tools are used - hammers, wrenches, saws and others are all from my dad and perhaps they can trace their use beyond him.

I love old tools.  I love sitting at my looms,  thinking about the people that once sat before them to bind warp and weft together.  I love sitting at the wheels, thinking about fibers binding together to create yarn.  Old tools bring a shared history and memory into new years, new uses and help the makers always be present in the making.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

At It Again

I thought I'd share some progress photos of my current piece on the loom at school.

This piece is a double weave pick up wall hanging with a lot of special woven into the cloth.  I designed it to incorporate elements of Mark's dissertation.  I worked his PhD into a lot of my work at school last year and it is still lingering in a few pieces.  This woven cloth was started in the last four weeks of the semester and obviously, I didn't finish it then.  I've been haunted by problems with this work. So it lingers and I've finally reached my Zen in the weaving.   The weaving is pleasurable again and I finally reached the halfway point yesterday.

Once the weaving is complete, I'll do a lot of embroidery to finish off the imagery.  

In other double weave news, my Time Squared piece was accepted into the Undergraduate Exhibition at SIUE.  

Friday, January 31, 2014

An Amazing Feat

Something happened yesterday.  My husband's pursuit of this doctorate degree came to a final climax.  I've been trying to come up with something profound to say about the experience.  Perhaps it is still too new.  He successfully defended his dissertation yesterday and I'm awe of him.  I took off school to attend the open session where he spoke for an hour.  I've heard the talk a before and the preliminary ones too.   One would think that it would increase my understanding of what his research was all about.  The truth of it is I have no idea what he has worked on the past six plus years that I've known him.

Before I met Mark, I had no idea people researched algebra.  I had no idea that math was so big and had its own divisions and areas.  Now many years out, I get that it is a whole world.  The parts that I can understand are incredibly detailed and ..... beautiful.  I've been to the joint mathematics conferences three times now and each time I'm in awe.  Mathematicians are a unique tribe and I'm glad that I've gotten to know their world.

Though I don't understand what Mark has been doing all these years, I get other parts.  I understand how hard this has been.  It has been hard on us individually and as a couple.  I often joked to friends that I was a math widow.  Weekends were hit and miss.  Sometimes he would steal away, but then he would miss out on work time.  I also understand how difficult it is to go after something you really want, even when people, life and circumstance all seem to get in the way.  I get that you have to have persistence and stamina even when you think both are limited. We've had a lot of life changes over our time together.  Yet he persisted and now he is on the other side.  He is Dr. Pedigo now.  He just has to fix a few minor formatting issues and submit the paper.  In May, he will put on his robes and have a bit of a walk.  What's a little walk, when he has come so far already?

I'm proud of him.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year, New Commitments

Now that the school semester is put to rest and the holidays have come and gone, I've had time to take a breath.  I've take a few days off to rest up, but for the most part I've been working.  It is hard to rest from work that calls to your body to return.  I've been weaving, sketching and hatching some ideas for work that will take me forward into the new year.  

I can't believe the end of the year is once again upon us.  That means it is time for me to look back at my past commitments (or goals if you like) and and set some new ones.  See past commitments: 2011, 2012, 2013

Completed 2013 commitments

  • Submit work for a juried show 
  • The year of weaving
  • Continue to learn and explore indigo dyeing
  • Continue to explore quilting 

Still need to do
  • Learn to make paper
  • Pursue noncredit courses to strengthen drawing skills

I was able to complete most things on my list.  It has been a busy year with a lot of unexpected opportunities.  Working at the yarn shop has been a tremendous boost to my art practice.  It has offered a chance for me to teach once again, and I learn a lot from my students. 

I also made networking and building a community of artists another goal.  I'm so glad I did.  Having a community offers a lot to a largely solo career focus.  It is important to have people that understand what you do and can offer support and cheerleading when it gets tough.  

I expect this next year to be a year of a lot of changes.  My husband is defending his doctoral thesis late in January and beginning his job search.  Of course I cannot predict what that might for our lives - moving certainly a possibility.

With all the potential change in the air, I'm going to narrow my focus to two big commitments.
Keep submitting work for juried shows and sales.  Continue to network and expand my community - hopefully by attending the Handweavers' Guild conference in July.

I'll spend this last day of 2013 at the loom.  I cut a piece off yesterday (above) and now I'm beginning a new one.  Weaving is a great way to mark the passage of time.

Happy New Year!