Saturday, September 12, 2009

Tapestry Weavers South Retreat Anderson 2009

In late August, I went to a retreat with a group Tapestry Weavers South. It was two days prior to the opening of the Woven Visions exhibit where I have send Intersecting Sine Waves and Comet in the Night Sky. I wanted to take advantage of this retreat because it was close enough to allow me to commute from home. I'm going to take few blog entries to talk about the whole experience - like breaking out the exhibit itself, and the location of the exhibit. But for this entry I'll just talk about the retreat!

As I said before we had two days prior to the opening of the exhibit. One member who coordinated the exhibit invited everyone over to her house for dinner Wednesday night. It was a simple and great meal. I enjoyed meetin everyone and getting to listen in at the meeting for what the buzz is in the tapestry world. I was welcomed warmly and I looked forward to the next two days.

Thursday we were supposed to start first thing with a lesson in wedge weaving, but I think we were all to excited to go in and see the exhibit. It was just being finished as we started gathering. Here are my two in their "natural habitat".
I particularly liked the venue. We were at the Anderson Art Center which is a renovated CSX warehouse - complete with interior brick walls and large windows. I'll blog on it later!

We finally did allow ourselves to be coralled into a conference room for our class. Many complemented Connie because she not only demonstrated, but had us actually weave with acrylic yards aon matboard looms as she would do with her elementary school kids. It will be interesting to see if more wedge weave shows up in other's pieces!

Lunch that days was sponsored by Yes Yarn and was a "lunch and learn" session that was open to the public. We had many weavers to visit, but the group that really captured our hearts were the 6th graders from the Montessori school. During the more official part of the lunch, the president of the TWS talked about the basics of tapestry weaving and asked the kids in particular to try and figure out which direction each piece was woven as they wandered about the exhibit.

We later overheard three of the boys who went even further and began a game of interpreting the pieces. It was impressive and eye opening to hear what they thought.

We then did go shopping at Yes Yarn. We were greeted quickly by the resident rabbit. I'm sory but I can't remember his name. As you can imagine, his fur is periodically spun!
I restrained myself to only a couple of skeins of silk that will go with some other silk that I was gifted. I did though learn that there is a local apalca farm that spins them in their natural colors. I will be looking into that. We wandered back to the hotel and gathered around laptops to hear about people's experiences in Africa and teaching classes.

Dinner that night was at Olive Garden!

The next morning the juror - a prof from U of Georgia - came and gave us a critique on all of the pieces. I thoroughly enjoyed this because I learned so much. There were a few things that she said I had heard before, but the main takeaway was to design such that the viewer will continue to look through different areas of the piece. Then the afternoon was with the professional photographer who came to record the show. Prior he talked to us about how to use our camera to make better journalling of our pieces.

It wasn't long before the opening began. It was great to see friends there that had driven an hour to see me and the work. Another surprise was running into my advisor from college. It was a great time and I look forward to doing this again! Now how can I get more vacation...


Life Looms Large said...

There is so much in this post!!

First and foremost, it is wonderful to see your two tapestries on display in the exhibition!! They look great - and they look like they're in great company!

The retreat seems really cool. More social and low-key than our weaving events around here - which seem jam-packed with content.

The way they had a juror and a professional photographer to teach all of you new things, plus work with the exhibit seems really smart. I'm curious about specifics of how that went for you....were there new things you learned, but I understand if you don't want to post directly about it in your blog. It might just be things that will inform your future work.

I love the story of the students walking around interpreting the work! And of course, the photo of the bunny! I recently learned that one of my real life weaving friends has an angora rabbit and a spinning wheel, but she doesn't know how to spin. I'd say she's probably going to learn this winter...because she's all set.

Glad that you'll be blogging more about the experience! It sounds really wonderful....and close enough to commute...which I'm a big fan of!

In a few weeks, I should be able to get back to a better studio schedule...and after reading a post like this one, I feel really motivated and inspired to get a lot of indoor projects done this winter!

Looking forward to your next installment!


Theresa said...

I was wondering when we were going to hear about the show! It looks like it was all just super fantastic. Your head must be spinning with thoughts and ideas.
Thank you for sharing.

charlotte said...

Your pieces look so great in this exhibition! The art museum and all tapestries are so beautiful. And what a great opportunigy to learn from an art professor and a professional photgrapher. Congratulations on the exhibit!

Laura K. Aiken - Mosaics said...

Wow Jennifer, great post on the exhibit...sounds like a trip to Anderson for me! Best of luck

tommye said...

Thanks for posting about the TWS retreat! Your photos really are great--mine were too orange (should have had the photographer's tips BEFORE I started shooting!). Your pieces looked just grand in the exhibit, by the way... congratulations--now, coming up next.....???

Jennifer said...

My head is spinning and I did enjoy the experience. I'm still processing and wondering where to head next. I know the best thing is just to simply get back to the loom. My issue there has been focusing so much on Shadow's training and exercise. I have also found that what I have chosen to weave right now requires thought and focus - so working on it in front of the weekend night DVDs is not working. I'm beginning to see where Intersecting Sine Waves happened and that was before Shadow!!! I'll just need to carve out and protect a time slot!

Jennifer said...

Sue - the retreat was laid back and allowed for some learning and some free form talking. Many of the memebers commented on how they liked it because so many times the retreat is jammed packed that no one gets a chance to even speak to one another much less get to know one another.

Hopefully I'll answer your other questions in other posts - if not remind me!!!