New Exploration, Added Skillsets

sunflower and bee

Being an interdisciplinary artist means that I’m not married to one medium or methodology.  Creative projects for me typically start as an idea seeking form–which might eventually become a song, a tapestry, a story, or any number of options for making.  Adding to my toolset for creative expression keeps things fresh for me as an […]

The Finished Masterwork: Deceiving the Hunters

finished tapestry

The Finished Masterwork: Deceiving the Hunters The Unicorn Tapestries have been a fascination for me since I was a teenager.  The design and inspiration for this tapestry, though, began in graduate school.  Lovingly called “the five-year project” that has just been completed for this entry in year seven, the layers of research, of storytelling, of […]

The Tapestry Stitchery

tapestry restoration

The weaving may be complete, but the Lady and Unicorn tapestry is not ready for the wall.  Unlike Navajo weaving where, once off the loom, only the corner tassels need tying and it’s ready to go, Flemish style tapestry (including techniques from the medieval period) utilize “slit weaving,” which allows the weaver to focus on […]

The Sacred Unthinkable: Cutting the Warp

inside the studio

I purposely keep my textile studio low on the technology scale.  There isn’t even a phone there (unless I bring it in from the house) and rarely does my laptop make an appearance.  Just the wood and canvass, the looms with their whispers and thuds as they work, and one old CD player with a […]

Amazingly Close!

lady's full face

When speaking of Navajo tapestry, one weaving friend described the finishing process as “the last month of pregnancy, which is always the longest one.”  This is in part because Navajo tapestry features a “continuous warp,” and those last rows are packed in so tight, with hardly any room left even to see what you’re doing. […]

Yarns: A Tapestry’s Palate

yarn balls

In a tapestry, the warp (usually a plain, white, sturdy yarn or cording) is the structural framework for the piece.  It’s the backbone, but it doesn’t actually appear anywhere visually in the finished weaving.  This is part of what sets tapestry apart from other forms of weaving–complete concealment of the warp (vertical threads) within the […]

Re-Engagement and the Challenge of Faces

Navajo tapestry in progress

There’s no doubt that summertime is consuming:  farming, tending the Creamery, animals, visiting relatives.  Projects had to be “pick-up and put-down-able,” easy to carry around, and look like you actually made some progress after an hour (which would be about the time most I’d have for a sitting).  These parameters meant that tapestry wasn’t on […]

Being Unicorn

unicorn illumination

I’ve recently been leading a series of creative writing workshop, based on Natalie Goldberg’s “Writing Down the Bones.”  One of her challenges is to do a timed free-write starting with the prompt “Be an animals.”  Of course I chose the unicorn.  The following is somewhere between poetry and stream-of-consciousness. I am a unicorn—graceful, curving, smaller […]

My Tapestry in Progress

tapestry early phase

Drawing a tapestry cartoon, while the research can take ages, for me goes relatively quickly in comparison with the weaving itself.  Lines that can flow easily from pen onto paper can be agonizing or impossible within the precision of warp and weft.  The first two leaves and one branch took twelve hours alone to execute! […]

Finding a Lady for the Tapestry

receiving the unicorn

For my tapestry “Deceiving the Hunters,” it took a while in the design process to decide how the lady ready to lead the unicorn to safety should look.  In her position of alternative narrative, it did not make sense for her to be the same lady as shown in “The Unicorn is killed and brought […]