Tapestries are an ancient art form. Historically, they have been woven using up to eight hundred different shades of all the colours in the colour wheel. It is a fascinating and absorbing process of mixing yarns together to create subtle colour differences. Not surprisingly, it is a slow process. I work on an antique vertical loom. Like a painters easel I can see what I am creating as I go.
I generally work from small oil paintings. I place a piece of transparent plastic, like mylar, on the painting so that I can create an outline of all the colour changes in the painting. That is called, of all things, a cartoon. It is enlarged, I place it behind the heavy twine warp threads and am ready to go. Unlike my scarves, the warp threads will be completely covered by the weft. The tapestry becomes a painting, but with texture woven right in.
Here are pictures of a tapestry at its beginning on the loom.
Ask any tapestry artist and she (or he) will tell you that weaving tapestries is the sublime combination of craft and art. Time spent at the loom flies by, while the work itself proceeds at a snails pace. And we wouldn’t have it any other way. A sign on the door of a tapestry studio in New Zealand said it all, "It’s not patience. It’s passion."
Welcome to my virtual gallery. Please enjoy – now and as I add new work in the future.
And I would love to hear your thoughts –about my work and about this ancient and beautiful art form.