Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sharing Tapestries at Tapestry Weavers South Retreat

We did have more open time in this retreat than I understand normally happens. We did fill that time then with sharing. Since this group had met there were two members that had traveled to Africa and brought back photos and weaving samples to share.

The first group here is from Ghana. A number of colors could be chosen and patterns would vary within the piece. The TWS member was even able to spend some time weaving on one of their looms. She could not have been beaming more in the picture of her a that loom.
The second member had taken a trip to Egypt not long after her first tapestry weaving class. She was a weaver otherwise, but the class allowed her to fully appreciate what she was seeing in Egypt. Note that despite the patterns, these were made WITHOUT a cartoon. These weavers simply begin and go as they see fit. The weaving is very tight, but the pattern is free flowing and often eccentric. Therefore, the weaving was frequently not flat.

The first piece was about 12" by 8". Nearly all of the rounded patterns were made by weaving eccentrically. A detail of the that weaving follows. Hopefully you can see how the surface "bubbles" from the tension and the eccentric weft.This second piece was about 36" wide by 20" tall. Again remember there was no plan written down by the weaver prior to the weaving.
I took many detail pictures of the birds. These first are in the lower left hand corner of the piece. Aren't they just sweet???
These next are at the top of the piece and are in order moving from the left to the right. Here is a detail of the flowers in the mid region of the piece. You can see some of the 3D effect of the eccentric weaving, but it's better in the next picture I took from an angle to the side. PS This post took me 45 minutes - we're heading in the right direction!


Life Looms Large said...

Cool cloth - thanks for sharing it!! I do love the little birds!!

Interesting that the cloth is so bumpy. I wonder if that's considered desirable by the weaver - like we might get obsessed by straight selvedges or something else.

Glad your posting time is starting to get shorter!!


K Spoering said...

These are great, Jennifer. I love eccentric wefts, and have long been interested in the Egyptian WW school,where children are told stories, then they weave them with little technical instruction.

Valerie said...

Very cool! Thanks for taking the time to share those photos!

Jennifer said...

It is amazing to consider creating tapestries without a plan. If it were me there would likely be a lot that I would have to let go of to do this (like straight edges...), but then again would it not be very freeing also. I wonder if I still have enough child left in me or have I lost that???

Tommye McClure Scanlin said...

Jennifer... your posts about the retreat are just GREAT! You should become our official documentarian (is that a word?!). Thank you so much for doing this.

Jennifer said...

Tommye, I'm glad you like it - especially since you were there!!! I'm glad to do it - especially to keep a journal for myself. And it's just gravy to have others like it also.

Theresa said...

And like it we do! That's a really interesting piece with the little birds
and there is certainly a ton of inspiration in those cloths from Ghana.
They make me want to do something quilt wise with them. Inspiring post
Jennifer, now I need to go do more than scan something fishy! :-)

Jennifer said...

Theresa, do you every weave and then quilt with the fabric. THat's an interesting position. Of course that would require my learning to sew!!!

lyn said...

Hi Jennifer,

I am catching up on my blog reading... as far as posting goes, have you tried using Windows Live Writer? It used to take me forever to write & format posts when I did it straight into the blog, but Live Writer is a free download from Microsoft & it is much easier to use for posting. It only works for PCs, not Macs, so hopefully you have a PC. Check it out here--

I have always been fascinated by the Egytptian tapestries from the Wissa Wassef school; they sell a book of the tapestries you might want to check out--


Jennifer said...

Lyn - I'm pretty sure that's where these tapestries came from - I just couldn't remember the name! Also thank for the link. I'm about to add a post to my blog and I think I'll try this out now!


OzWeaver said...

I love the details on these tapestries! The repeated motifs and the birds... it's wonderful!