Susoolu was thinking about tapestry weaving a while back. Acrylik has bought herself a table loom and is well on her way. Sue would like one, and Isabella uses hers a great deal. And I'm heading into a massive downer with the inferiority complex** showing up first. I'm jealous. Yes, jealous of all the weaving that's going on. Actually, I'm completely envious of everyone with any skill.
I've been (sporadically) photographing pieces of my work, so that I can (finally) get my portfolio in order. So in that classic "please, please, look at me and what I can do" text book insecure personna way, I'm gonna share a couple of pieces of tapestry weaving made by these hands. Now, some folk may know that I've had a lot of training and experience with most of the Textile Arts. Weaving is one of them. I'm not too great with weaving per say, unless it's tapestry weaving. I've worked on all sorts of floor looms including dobby's and jaquards, can strip a dobby down and put it back together again (well, I could, but I've smoked a lot of dope since then) But tapestry weaving always tugs at me. It's it's fluidity, it's freedom to let loose the reigns and get creative that appeals. Regular weaving becomes, for me, like knitting large sections of stocking stitch for months on end. I love the look of it, all that patience and skill woven into a piece of cloth and greatly admire anyone who does it on a regular basis. But it's not for me.
Now, having said all this, the 2 pieces that have been photographed (the only 2 I could find) probably aren't the best examples. See how desperate I am? One of them certainly isn't mainstream, by a long shot. But then I suppose I'm not mainstream. Well, that's a good thing in my eyes. Maybe I'd better shut up and upload these photos, eh? You know the clicking to make biggable thing.
Ok. Only a small piece, made during a workshop when I was doing my degree at Goldsmiths. It has a monofilament warp, chosen specifically to allow the wire and hair to stand forward. The 'hair' is a few of my old dreadlocks, from my first ever crop. I was doing a lot of work with hair at the time (it's always fascinated me. I made a brick moulded from hair too, although it didn't really felt like wool and it got a bit icky even for me, working my hands in the water trying to get the hair to matt)
This piece is framed and hangs on my living room wall - I like it. Hair always seemed to make people react in a 'urghh' sorta way, which I always found daft as we wear wool, which is basically just the same. We're just another animal that produces hair, right? I mean, for my final installation for my degree show I spun and knitted a 7ft square patchwork blanket made from cat and dog hair, which was draped over an armchair that was 'purring' (I recorded my last cat, Twiggy, purring, put it on a loop and wired up the armchair). Folk wouldn't go near it. I was also heavily into the artist Emily Bates, who made a series of installations, elongated dresses knitted from human hair. I wish folk wouldn't be so squeamish.
This next piece is far more tame, and heading for the 18yr old mark. Made from mercerised cotton tapestry threads, on an old A4 Dryad weaving frame that I'd found in a charity shop. It's not great weaving, as the edges are wonky, and at the time (being young) I didn't know it was tapestry weaving - I was just 'making stuff'. There are loads of silver beads and chains worked in, long tarnished beyond salvation. The main silver piece with the eye bead is one I made myself during a short silversmithing course. It was damn fiddly soldering those tiny beads on the ends of the points, just so that I could incorporate it. Even though it reminds me of my naivety towards weaving at the time, it's still out and about and gathering dust.
Right, I think I need to go and buy beer, as there's a need for something to shut up the ramblings of my over active brain.
**yep, it's a downer for sure. Inferiority complexes are tricky and a right pain in the bum. I know that at some point I will wake up and be grateful for being me, but right now I can't see that. This is normal so no panic - I have clinical depression, anxiety disorder and a way too complex brain. 'Nuff said. Oh, whilst on the subject... a word of caution to any parents reading who have kids showing an above normal intelligence. If your child is showing a particular aptitude for something academic, please encourage, not push. If your child is also showing an interest in something you're not sure about, please explore, not discourage. I don't resent my parents for pushing me in certain directions, not now, it's fairly normal parent behaviour. But these kinda kids have pretty developed, curious brains and are easily bored. They could end up rebelling and exploring all sorts of things that could upset you; turn to booze and drugs just as a way of escaping from theirselves. You could hate them (although love them too) for a long time, spend far too long worrying about 'what might have been' and how you have failed, and feel disappointed. If you are lucky and open-minded enough you might, one day, be proud of the fact that your kid has turned out to be an adult with a good moral ground and an independant thinker. But it will be at a cost. Such lessons are only ever learnt the hard way.