Tiny tapestry landscapes of Penland

After much deliberation, I brought my little pipe loom to Penland where I am teaching a two-week class about color use in tapestry weaving. I debated about trying to weave a large piece on a floor loom, but I'm not the kind of teacher that can really accomplish my own work while teaching a workshop. I need uninterrupted time to make work and teaching is definitely a full-on task.

I usually travel to teach with a Mirrix loom but I wanted to do some four-selvedge experimenting and the thinner bars on the pipe loom work better for this. So the decision was pipes. 

I wove this little four-selvedge piece the first week at Penland. I wanted to make some small pieces that I call "Penland landscapes".

Rebecca_Mezoff_Penland_Landscape.jpg

Now I am working on a second one. This one is woven with Weaver's Bazaar, a yarn I have wanted to spend more time with for a long time. The surface of the weaving is completely different than the fuzzier Harrisville single above. I used a closer sett with two strands of the Weaver's Bazaar 18/2 wool. I had one of their lovely color packs and it turns out even if you are only mixing two strands you can get a nice gradation. Hopefully I'll finish this tomorrow. Since the session ends Friday morning, it seems unlikely I'll finish a third, but we shall see!

One of the things I love about Penland is its distance from the every-day. And by that mostly I mean the consumer culture we live in. This is a place where there is trust everywhere (I have never seen so many unattended Apple products left about willy nilly) and there is (almost) no place to shop (I think the school supply store turns a pretty good business). It takes a few days for this fact to sink in, but once it does, it is very freeing. I must say however that the gluten free cookies in the coffee house do become more precious when you're without means to find other GF food. Of course there is plenty here for me to eat... but old habits of "food foraging for the celiac" die hard.

It is also a wonderful atmosphere to learn. The students in my tapestry class are making some amazing things. Here are a few more photos.

Alice's yarn wrap (above) is turning into a beautiful gradation (below). I find yarn wrapping to be an excellent way to play with color mixing.

Abbi's moth wing tapestry is really starting to take form (below).

I love Mandy's gradation and simple forms (not to mention the interlocks). Beautiful blends.

Carol's use of the teal and close complement, yellow-orange makes for a really vibrant hatching section. She shifted the colors very subtly and the effect is really lovely.

Robin did an amazing job with eccentric weaving and color gradation (below).

And Kay has been playing with black and white gradations. I can't wait to see this piece come off the loom because she did at least three variations which are all surprisingly very different. Some were with solid colors and some were mixes with a singles yarn.

I am so happy with the work that has happened here these two weeks. Friday will come soon, but there are still two full work days for more marvels to happen. 

Here are a few more Penland images. Those of you who have been here will enjoy the memories and those of you who haven't, start looking for next year's catalog.

 Esther Shimazu's figurative clay class has made some enchanting things. I believe the hand on the top left is Esther's work.

Esther Shimazu's figurative clay class has made some enchanting things. I believe the hand on the top left is Esther's work.

 Letterpress studio

Letterpress studio

 Bookarts, stitching paper

Bookarts, stitching paper

 Lily Loom House is the textile building. We have taken over the second floor.

Lily Loom House is the textile building. We have taken over the second floor.

If you are interested in learning some of these tapestry techniques, I teach two online courses which you can find out more about here: http://www.rebeccamezoff.com/online-learning/