Many of the craft schools in Appalachia feature weaving in their beginnings. Mary Crovatt Hambidge (1885-1973) started Hambidge Center as a weaving business in her home. In the mid-1930’s she created the Weavers of Rabun near Rabun Gap, GA, where I am sitting today. By 1937 she was selling the items produced here in her shop in New York City.
After about a week of hard work, I finalized this large tapestry design. You can see part of it in this image. This is the next large work you’ll see me weaving. I struggled with imagining how big the design was actually going to be, so I did a mock-up in paper full size. This allowed me to see what parts of the form were going to be more difficult to weave, how to adjust things to make the curves better, and decide what sett to use. It also impressed upon me just how big this piece of weaving is. It will be a massive dye job followed by a whole lot of weaving.
Some days you can look at your travel adventures as a blessing or a curse. I choose blessing. Because otherwise midnight with hundreds of other tired travelers at Atlanta International would be a lot more difficult.
I finally made it to Hambidge this week for my artist residency here. I spent about 10 hours longer in the Atlanta airport than was desirable, but who needs sleep?
Mistakes in dyeing can be messy... but sometimes there is a happy outcome even when you think it is all going to crap partway through.
I made a measuring error while dyeing a violet/blue yarn and as the dye was already in a jar with water in it, I couldn't easily save it. I wanted to use this large volume of dye so it seemed the right moment to try some overdyeing.
A friend recently gave me quite a lot of churro yarn that was dyed by someone else. The colors weren't quite what she wanted and she asked if I could use it. And not being able to say no to free high-quality yarn even when the colors were a little bold, it came to live in my studio.
On social media I often use this hashtag, #notafraidtodye
I've been waking up in the night the last few days with a lot of pain in my back. This is unusual for me and in my middle-of-the-night confusion I couldn't figure out how I could suddenly feel so old and creaky. In the morning I remembered. I've been dyeing yarn for almost two weeks now and that is enough to make anyone's back ache.
Maybe this visual will help.
True confessions. Every time I spend any time in the textile conservation space at the Denver Art Museum, I want to be a textile conservator. I love what they do--such a mix of research, history, science, and art.
I was able to go to Preview Open Window, the Wednesday morning talks led by Allison McCloskey (and currently her fellow Emma), last week. I never know what they'll be working on when I get there, but it is usually something that is going to be displayed somewhere in the museum soon. So the added benefit is that I get to go and see the piece finished and on display at some point in the future.