It has been such a long time since I last wrote – where to begin!! There has been plenty of wood working and weaving projects completed over winter. But now spring is definitely in the air and I thought I would share with you what’s been happening – three things in particular.
Tasman Sculpture. This has been a project involving a lot of effort on the part of several artists and craftsman in the Tasman area. Fundraising had to be done and it has taken two years to complete. Last week was the opening of this nine meter high sculpture. Which is made of stainless steel with native bird cut outs. The sculpture I think even though it sounds large it seems to appear to fit into the landscape and enhance it. Early on the morning of the opening which was to be speeches and then BBQ – quite an event! Tony noticed that there appeared to be flags flying on the top of it. But as he got closer he realised that someone had placed road cones on the top. Hmm… after thinking that it must have been quite a logistic feat!! thought they had to come down which he managed to do. Makes for quite a story.
Ruby Coast Arts 2015-16 trail map. This has just been published which is a colourful and easy to follow map of the artists in our area and there are a few new members from last year. It also contains the dates for the two art trails that are held each year. I always feel quite proud when I hand them out to people showing them what the area has to offer.
Nelson Art Expo 2015. This is on Labour weekend which is only a week away. A lot of work that Tony and I have been doing recently has been for this event. There is going to be around 170 artists displaying their work and a lot of them will be there ready to chat about their inspirations and processes. Hopefully we will get some images up of how it all looks. It will be an exciting busy weekend as we will also still have our studio open. Tony and I will be alternating between the two places hopefully we will be able to catch up in the middle.
Over the last year I have ben privileged to have been part of the Whole House Reuse Project (WHR project). this project was started a few years ago as a result of the Christchurch Earthquakes, and the subsequent demolition of 1000s of home, often with little or no recycling. The Whole House Reuse Project concept was to demolish a families home, but keep all parts from the demolition. Then all the parts were given to artists around New Zealand to create something from.
The project is coming to a close, and has an exhibition at the Canterbury museum, from 5 June 2015 to 23 August 2015.
There has been a good amount of media coverage including this clip on Stuff. The New Zealand Herald had this article which shows some of the materials.
With the Whole House Reuse project, all the materials are recycled. Read about the materials in this post
The bench seat was the first project I had in mind, when considering the materials. There were a number of lengths of weatherboard, mostly quite short that needed an interesting new life. I enjoy making benches, so wanted to use these for the bench. But instead of having the weatherboard running the length of the seat, I decided to run them across the width.
Here are some images from my most recent warp – cotton tea towels. I thought a traditional pattern of stripes with the main colour in the warp being creamy-white and the stripes in navy and brown. A few of the tea towels were woven to form checks. The rest were done using each colour in the warp as the weft colour for each individual tea towel.
They were woven in plain weave which was quite refreshing to simply use the colours as the point of interest not texture as well. I have tried waffle weave, m’s and o’s and other textured surfaces but I think I prefer the plain weave. My logic was having the texture would make for better tea towels – and I found that’s not the case. Also having less bulk in the fabric means hemming is much simpler and tidier.
The label that I sew on has changed position too. Instead of being held in by the hem I have separately sewn it on and am much happier – it looks more professional and practical.
Sometimes I think it is good to step back from your work and question is this the outcome I really wanted. How could this be improved? It is a concern that you get so engrossed in the weaving that things like, how the hems look, how the label sits, are left as an after thought. When really these wee finishing details can add so much to the end result.
These cotton tea towels are woven in 8/2 unmercerised cotton from Webs, at 20 epi (ends per inch). They are so satisfying to weave, as they are woven in one long length, each one differentiated by a colour and/or pattern change.
A visitor to the studio, after seeing them on the loom commented that you would need to design your kitchen around the tea towels – I thought it was a perfectly reasonable suggestion!