Archives for posts with tag: yarns

It all starts with a pack of adhesive foam sheets. There are many different sizes of adhesive foam sheets, I bought a small size with 65 sheets so I could play and not worry about using up all the sheets

One side of the foam sheet has a white paper sheet covering the adhesive surface. If you want, you can draw on the paper sheet, marking the foam underneath

Pull the paper backing from the adhesive sheet. You can see that the adhesive sheet I have drawn on, is yellow.

First create a border by sticking a yarn all around the edges. The adhesive is very sticky and the border helps to keep your fingers off the surface. ThenĀ  outlineĀ  your sketch with another piece of yarn

Once you have edged your outline in yarn, start to fill in the background with more yarn

Continue to fill the spaces with yarns

Add as much detail as you want

you can pull out and replace any colors and yarns if you want to make changes

Yarn drawings are very forgiving, cheap, fast and simple to create. This is the perfect use for scraps of yarns and threads, even ribbons. For me, it’s a quick way to see how different colors and textures look together and even helps me lay out simple compositions. The different colored adhesive sheets help to jump start different color combos, and because the materials are so cheap and plentiful, it encourages a more playful and adventurous approach. Try it and see! Then send me some photos of your work, I’d love to showcase them on the blog.

Tapestry Weaving Weekend Workshop

While visiting family in Edinburgh, I had the opportunity to attend a tapestry weaving workshop by Fiona Hutchinson, an accomplished Scottish tapestry artist and teacher.

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My First Tapestry Sample

The workshop was held at Fiona’s WASPS studio, in Stockbridge. It was so inspiring to be able to see her beautiful tapestries, some of which were at different stages of development and to see the sources for her tapestry designs.

Fiona taught the basic tapestry techniques but first and foremost, she emphasized the importance of research and preparation of the artwork for the tapestry design.

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Fiona’s color trials and sketches for a series of tapestries based on the sea

Tapestries today are not created as woven versions of illustrations or paintings; they are created as artwork in their own right where the weaves and fibers create a unique piece that cannot be interpreted in any way other than as a tapestry.

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Tools of the Trade
Fiona explained that tapestry weaving is a very slow process; it calls for careful preparation of artwork, extensive color, weave and yarn trials and then it takes a long time to weave. The tools and techniques are relatively simple and have not changed in eons; that gives a sense of continuity, a feeling of being part of a long history of textiles. I like that.
Maybe because of these very same reasons, tapestry weaving is no longer taught at degree level, at any college in Britain.

For more information about Fiona, her tapestries and her tapestry workshops: http://fionahutchinson.co.

On returning to USA, I went to see The Beat Goes On Tapestry Weavers South at the Southern Highland Craft Guild Folk Art Center, Main Gallery, Asheville, NC. This is a show of Southern Tapestry Weavers at the Folk Art Center from September 14 – January 12, 2014

Designing Baby Knits
October 25-27, 2013
John C Campbell Folk School,
Brass town
NC 28902

This Fall, in the beautiful mountains where North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee meet, I will be teaching a knit workshop on designing knitwear for babies. There’ s great food, live music and dancing, over a dozen workshops and good company.

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C’mon join us y’all!

I don’t know if you have noticed, but magazine articles that feature artists in their studio, tend to show the artist in a magnificent work space, huge and spacious, with massive picture windows overlooking the Grand Canyon or overlooking possibly, a pristine beach on a small remote island in the South Seas that can only be reached by trained dolphins.
A glance around this work space reveals art materials and tools immaculately stored and displayed, and completed artwork the size of the floor plan of the Sistine chapel, are hung under vaulted ceilings.

As you can imagine, this kind of article can be very discouraging for those of us whose work space is not quite as palatial or picturesque, and whose artwork is measured in inches, not football fields.
So, in the interest of balance, I am showing one little part of my studio, the part that is relatively tidy and not completely covered with books, fibers, paints, frames, unfinished paintings, drawings, fabrics, bags with more materials, threads, yarns, knitting needles..and so on.
My sole purpose is to emphasize that as long as you can get a space to work in, no matter how small, as long as you can make it your own, you are in business.

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Tell yourself a picture window would only be a distraction.

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