Tuesday, June 26, 2012

More about Me

Michelle from Threefold Designs and Crafts For Misfits has been interviewing tapestry artists that she has come across through her own interest in weaving tapestry. She is currently a student working towards the Australian Diploma in Tapestry Weaving. A very capable and interesting fibre-artist in her own right, she recently asked me to reply to some questions related to tapestry weaving. To catch my interview and that of two other tapestry weavers, click on the link to her site below.

The Link Between Sketchbook and Weaving

Sketchbook drawing
Finished weaving based on sketch above
All sketches have the potential to be used as a basis for weaving a final design. These sketches were part of a series of work that still continues to be a point of reference for me. 

The initial workbook drawings, some of which are shown here, were the result of driving through the Tokoroa/Taupo area where the forestry blocks of pines were being clear-felled for miles around. Although a sustainable crop, the visual effect of recent harvest on such a grand scale was dramatic and brutal. 

This same scenery I remember as a child was a new plantation, bristling the hillside like a scalp-hugging razored hair cut. 
As a teenager the  trees grew to cover the steep gullies and flat plains with an even covering of young healthy looking trees. 
As an adult the landscape became thickened by the undergrowth, the trees looked permanent, strong and sadly non-diverse, a mono-toned investment that looked close to harvesting a return. 
The harvest of this scenery was always part of the plan, always expected, but the totality of it's sudden removal was a violent and apocalyptic scene. Mother earth had been brutalised and it was impossible for me to not record it in some way. 

Sketch for Tokoroa series

Weaving: From 4th With Love

When people have viewed these weavings at exhibition, they have shown a mixed response. Some have been intrigued or captivated, others disturbed and uneasy. For me, neither reaction an audience shows towards the work is more desired than the other. The intent for me is for the viewer to feel a connect with the essence of the piece. Did they experience similar feelings as I felt when I saw the the results of the clear-fell harvest. They certainly wouldn't have identified the with images as forest trees, but they may have had feelings of emaciation, or recognised attributes of the feminine being ravaged or threatened in some way. 
Sketch detail

Weaving detail
At exhibition you normally have the opportunity to read about the ideas behind the series of work you are viewing. Often the work itself is self-explanatory, or can be viewed without any explanation so that the viewer forms their own opinion of what the image is saying. 

However it is always a good idea to make use of any background information the artist has to share, as it can often give you a completely different perspective on the the work. Artist statements offer insight and information that helps the viewer to better understand what it is they are viewing. 
Weaving in progress on loom

Idea taken from section of sketch book page

Postcards From The Mothership
Completed weaving from Tokoroa series.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Sketchbook Musings

Away from the studio, trying to get focused on a day of sketching and planning up here on the farm, but to no avail. I'm being totally un-disciplined, shall I tidy the yellow room/library which screams chaos so as to allow myself a small work-space for fore mentioned creative doodles and musings, shall I snatch an hour in the garden, or will I warp up the loom in the kitchen? No. I shall post some pics from my sketch book and then skype Max. Sorry for this little self indulgence folks. 


Weaving in Progress.

Quick post showing progress of work on the loom for the weaving But The Suiters Do Not Suit Her. 

Try and remember to keep a visual record of all your work whenever possible, including some of the work in progress. It helps to put what you have achieved on the loom into perspective by reminding you of the time frame involved and the technical choices made. It keeps a record of the process and design involved in the making of that particular piece, what worked well, what challenged you, what made the piece relevant to you and the rest of your work as a whole. 

Tapestry Weavings By Stephenie Collin


I hope you find Warped Art & Design both interesting and inspiring, and that it will encourage anyone working with fibre to investigate and experiment further within their chosen field.

The basic loom, which is my tool of trade, has remained technologically unchanged. This aspect appeals to me as I weave contemporary images on a machine of such simple and ancient construction.

And if the loom be silenced,
then needles, threads and fingers
have plenty more to say.

About Me

My photo
Waiuku, Auckland, New Zealand
I am an artist, weaver, gardener, mother and grandmother, home food gatherer, political sceptic, modest future eater, and much much more.