Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tapestry Workshop with Rebecca Mezoff (Michigan League of Handweavers Workshops 2012)

Thursday evening, August 9th through Sunday, August 12th I spent in Holland, MI at Hope College's campus with some of my favorite people: Weavers and Fiber Artists!

I had chosen to take Rebecca Mezoff's "Color Gradation Techniques for Tapestry."  I was dropping something off at Millie Danielson's house and she brought up that I should look into taking this workshop.  I'm not a "workshop junkie" (a term I learned this weekend and liked) because I have so many things that I have to get done with my artwork that I hate to distract myself with ideas and new techniques. However, I do want to support MLH and the learning opportunities that they have right at our back door.  I have zero formal training in weaving wool tapestry at a tecnical level or how to color gradate. So I applied for an MLH Learning Grant and signed up for Rebecca's class.  Along the way, the Arts Council of Greater Lansing announced a new grant that is for individual artists.  It's the Chris Clark Fellowship Grant.  I decided to apply for it and see if I could get the other portion of my workshop weekend paid for.  I recently found out that I was awarded this grant also, along with a number of other artists.  The 2012 Chris Clark grantees can be found HERE.

What a class!

Day 1:
I learned how to splice so that I have no funny knots and smooth transitions.

Back of my piece/sample.  Please excuse the stray yarns...

Front of the piece, looking through the back of my loom so there's warp in the way.

Rebecca was very organized and had a wonderful power point to show up exactly how some of these techniques are used and how to do them.  She had samples all lined up for us to work on, but what I loved about her teaching style is that there were no hard and fast rules as to how you had to weave your piece.

Day 2:
I decided to try using a cartoon (line drawing behind the weaving) to follow an idea that I had.  I am using pick and pick, transparancy and gradation in the teal/black/grey piece.

Day 3:
On to serious gradation!  The yellow is the yarn we had been using (2 ply), and I started in with a purple block of single ply yarn that you use 3 strands at a time.

And then I got home, set it down in my loom room, and it sat like this until last week.  Nearly done, but after 3 full days of over 30 hours of weaving (my choice, they weren't 10 hours days!) my fingers were ready for a break.

Last week I sat down ad finished my gradation in the purple and yellow.  I remembered it feeling overwhelming because of the counting of single yarns and getting just the right mixture for a smooth transition, but it was't when I got back to it.

#1 "Stream of Consciousness"

#2 "Wing It"

#3 Gradation Block

This is the first workshop weekend that I have taken with the Michigan League of Handweavers. Since these were such new techniques in tapestry for me, I was really driven over the 3 days to get as much information out of the thress days as possible.  The last piece that I did, with the gradation block has potential for me to weave my beaded sculptures through it because the side of the purple block are completely open.  I'm playing with design ideas now.

Chekc out Rebecca Mezoff's Blog about her weekend with our class HERE (there's some good photos of me!)

I thought for a moment that it was the first 3-day workshop I had taken ever, but I'm wrong, Briony Foy did 3 days with the Greater Lansing Weavers Guild in Spring 2011 (Blog post here).

Thank you so much to both the Arts Council of Greater Lansing and the Michigan League of Handweavers for providing me with this opportunity!  I will be blocking these pieces and will soon hang them at Grove Gallery!

This activity is made possible in part by a grant from the Arts Council of Greater Lansing.

1 comment:

Rebecca Mezoff said...

Thanks Jenny! The class was great. :)

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