Friday, February 17, 2012

Artist's Date

I'm spending A few days in Sarasota FL to meet my new baby grandson! He was born on Feb 9 and is my first grandchild. I know, I know, you're saying she can't be old enough to have a grandchild! Oh but I am! I've already started my grandmother's brag book! I'd bore you with a picture but I'm writing this on my I-pad and I haven't figure out how to get those pictures on my blog.

I came down to help my son and daughter-in-law because I remember what a crazy hectic, tiring time it was trying to get use to the needs of a newborn when sleep is at a premium. I'm happy to say that he is such a good baby that they are not experiencing that at all. This baby actually sleeps!

So today I had some time to go on an "artist's date". Tonight was the art walk at Towles Court in Sarasota. I've been to this before and always enjoyed it. It was great fun to walk around and see the art and meet the artists who are so engaging. Being in this atmosphere replenishes my artistic soul. It makes me feel energized and gives me lots of inspiration. I feel excited to go back to my studio and work on new ideas.

The life of an artist is so isolated that going to events like this and talking to other artists is almost a must. It is so easy to become one dimensional when one is holed up in their studio alone working. These artists are so lucky to be in a place where they can be a community
and share ideas and thoughts. I feel like I am in the right place when I am visiting there but I also have a longing to have this experience at home. Inspiration comes from many places but there is nothing like being around a group of artists to discuss, discover, and explore together.

It was a fun night. I met some new people and had some wonderful conversations, was inspired, and saw terrific art! What more could an artist ask for!

How do you energize your artistic battery? Where does inspiration come from for you? Would love to read how you answer these questions. And while you are thinking about it, check out the website for Towles Court at

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

What's New on the Loom?

I'm back to weaving again after spending January doing inventory, gathering info for taxes, and filing Sales and Use Taxes in several states where I do shows.  While this is necessary for the business side of what I do, it is not the most creative time for me!  It feels good to sit down at the loom and weave.  It almost doesn't matter what it is I'm weaving.  I just have to get into that rhythm of throwing the shuttle back and forth across the warp.

So what am I weaving to get back into the groove?  I had a few chenille scarf warps in my basket that didn't get woven last year so they are my first task.  It's familiar and a good way to ease back into producing new work.  This task of weaving what is left behind helps me to clear my studio of projects and move ahead to designing new work.

So here's the process so far:

After putting the warp on the back beam, it gets threaded through the heddles.  This is one place where the pattern is determined by the threading sequence.

The next step is to bring all the threads through the reed which will keep them in sequence and the correct spacing.

After this the warp gets tied onto the front apron bar and a heading is woven in.  This step helps to even out the spacing of the yarn.  It can be any material. I use toilet paper which is easy to rip out when the piece is taken off the loom.

Ready to Go
This is a new color way for me. While using compliments (opposite colors on the color wheel - blues, purples, orange in this case) can be a challenge to find a weft that blends well and is pleasing, I welcome it.  When it works, the piece usually pops! It is never dull! So my task at this point in the process is to weave a sampler of colors for possible wefts.

Completed Sampler
So I have at least 8 possible choices represented here.  I added a textured yarn called "Wool Pom Pom" from HABU yarns in NYC for interest to see how this might work.  I like the effect it makes.
Here are close up pictures of the sampler. I have my favorites. What ones do you like?

Amethyst and Navy

Navy with Pom Pom and Blue Purple

Eggplant and Dark Teal

Dark Teal with Pom Pom and Hunter Green
I think I have made my choices for the six scarves I will weave from this warp but would love to hear what you think. Comments are always welcome.