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Summer Weaving Challenge 10: A Slice of the Outdoors

Summer Weaving Challenge 10: A Slice of the Outdoors

The Summer Weaving Challenge that was all about seeing your surroundings.

This was Summer Weaving Challenge 10, my baby. Let me refresh you if you've forgotten the essence of the challenge. It was: Grab your camera and get outside. Let your dog take you for a walk in a nearby city park. Wander down your favorite street. Take a ride on a tree-lined bike trail. Drive through a threatening summer storm and gaze up at that huge mid-western sky. Lose yourself in the colors of a tree in full bloom. Embrace the beauty of a tree heavy with fruit. And take a photograph. This week’s Summer Weaving Challenge is to weave something you’ve seen outside that inspires you. You can choose your style from the very realistic to the very abstract. Turn that lemon in the tree into a splash of gorgeous yellow in a bed of green or that sky into many shades of hatched blues and grays. Or use the inspiration from that image to weave how that photo makes you feel. Let the artist in you create a statement of your foray into the great outdoors.

I am a little behind. I relied on my handy view which spans a pasture, mountains and a big blue sky. I didn't so much copy this magnificent view as I used it to inspire an astract piece with lots of rick color. I used my hand-painted silk yarn and ribbon and just allowed the view inspired me. I live with this view. I paint yarn looking at this view. This view occupies my brain even when I am not looking at it. It changes all the time. And so it is a fountain of constant inspiration for me. But this is the first time I let it actively inspire a tapestry.

For my tapestry, I used a mini Mirrix with combs. Since the combs have eight dents per inch, in order to successfully use my silk yarns besides combing them in two, three or four strands, I wanted a thicker warp. I combined two strands of hemp warp. This gave the piece a lot more texture because of the ridges. The reason I did not use the shedding device is simple. The entire piece is made from a sumak knot. Sometimes it was a single knot, under and around one warp thread. In other cases, it was over three warps providing a lot more texture. I thought about adding materials other than silk, but I decided not to. I wove from the bottom to the top but then started weaving at the top and heading down to the bottom. The reason for this is this will be a piece with no warp ends and I thought weaving at the very tip-top would be harder than needle weaving in the body of the piece. 

This is the piece finished on the loom.


And this is the piece off the loom.


How did you fare with this Challenge? Where did find your inspiration?