Thursday, October 22, 2009

tapestry weaving

Tapestry weaving is a very ancient craft. Pieces of weaving have been recorded as far back as the Coptic period. Small pieces of tapestry weaving were created as decorative inserts on plain cloth woven for clothing.   texture sampling

During the Medieval period (C12th - C16th) these tapestry weaving became much larger wall hangings that were used to keep the interior of stone castles warm.
More recently Tapestry weaving became a less functional form of craft work. William Morris was known as one of the pioneers in creating decorative panels of tapestry weaving for the modern domestic interior.  

There are few full production art houses currently in operation across the world.
In Australia we are lucky to have the Victorian Tapestry Workshop. The workshop was established through a government grant in 1976. Although tapestry weaving has been established as a major component of commissioned artwork for industry and public spaces, educational faculties that provide instruction are becoming very rare.
I am lucky at the moment to be studying this beautiful form of artistic expression through one of the foundation members of the VTW, Cresside Collette, and Joy Smith through the Studio Arts programme at RMIT, Melbourne.

Monday, October 19, 2009

rather large lap rug

I started this small lap rug as a winter project to pick up in the evenings and just do a few rows as I wound down from the day. Somehow as I slowly pottered it grew, and grew and grew. Now I have a very large warm blanket for my bed. I love the way crotchet seems to find its own rhythm and the various colours in this project sit happily with each other, even though I didn't pay much attention to which colour I used when. Somehow I think the randomness of the colourways adds to the snuggly homely feel of the overall piece. I think my nana would be well pleased with this one.
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Saturday, October 10, 2009

A week of breaking things

Now for a tale about a very frustrating week. After returning from our retreat, I was invited to visit friends in Gippsland. Lovely opportunity to explore the outdoors, scramble in their large garden and enjoy some delicious meals and good wine - he being a wine buff and consumer for many years. After having enjoyed some excellent rain, the countryside was looking very lush, and so was the garden. So off we went to do a little spot of weeding. First mishap, bitten by a bee. Yes I was wearing gloves, but it got right through and into my knuckle. Ouch... big pain and panic as the finger throbbed and began to swell. Rush indoors with friends to find 1st aid, swallow anti histamines, swab area with tea tree oils and laugh over mishaps as we calm ourselves with a cup of tea.
Not to be outdone by a small bee, we gallantly return to the site to continue our task of clearing the weeds. With my right hand now out of action for small motor tasks I decide to use the left for pulling weeds and somehow the right hand became a holder of tree branches that are hanging low. Well, next moment, hand slips, branch lashes back and slices into my left eye. Owwwww... big pain, major rush back to 1st aid kit, lots of ice packs, 2 large brandies, several pain killers and about 2 hours later bundled into car for trip to hospital. Fortunately the drugs worked and the ice seemed to freeze all possible sense from face... I arrived at hospital with very black swollen eyes, rash over extremities of body, finger throbbing... as I had now broken the top joint (probably when I let go of the branch) and feeling quite groggy.
I didn't even feel the tetanus injection or antibiotics. Finally numb, tired and ever so tipsy, I was returned to the 'safety' of home to recover. Two days later, feeling a bit better, and with a moderate return of vision I decided I might just do a few little tasks. Next thing I know I am leaping around the room in agony, having not quite seen the edge of table and stumped my left foot. Yes, it hurt... and yep I broke my toe!
So here I am, a week later, feeling ever so slightly tenuous of touching anything, one very sore finger, one very black swollen toe and one nearly recovered eye. However, I did just check out a friends blog (marymac)and it has cheered me up immensely, and inspired me to think of what I might do tonight. I know I was always told to not play with my food, but..... Check it out and let me know if you have ever done anything similar.

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