Wednesday, December 19, 2007

TEAPOT WITH LEMON TAPESTRY

TEAPOT WITH LEMON  WOVEN TAPESTRY

I did not want to end the year without trying to finish at least one tapestry. I have not done any weaving since September so I am slowly working my way back in to it. I only weave with bobbins never butterflies and I made the mistake of unwinding my larger bobbins off this tapestry so that I could use them on the large tapestry that I am weaving. I stupidly replaced them with small bobbins thinking that the finer sett would be OK with them. My bobbins are made by Michael Perry who makes the bobbins for the Victorian Tapestry Workshop. They have brass tips and come in two sizes, and they are beautifully made, you can see two of the small ones on the end of the picture here They look cute and feel nice in your hand when you pick them up but if you have tendinitis like I have or any form or R.S.I. please don't be tempted to use them. They are too small to grasp. Maybe if I had used a mixture of the two sizes it may have not ended up such a problem as I would have been grasping different sizes and not just the small ones. Never mind you live and learn and the most important thing is to listen to your body when it tells you enough is enough. I have had tendinitis for almost 13 years and I got it from working as a chef not from weaving. I know that it will never go away, you just need to manage it the best that you can.
I am often asked how I finish the warp ends on my small tapestries and I have written the instructions for people but it is better to be able to see pictures so I decided to include some here.

When you begin the tapestry you weave the floor as normal. The floor that I am refering to is just a few passes of tapestry weft and this gives you a surface to begin weaving your tapestry on. You can see a picture of the loom with the bottom rows of weaving here
You then do a row of double half hitches with about half the number of wefts that you plan to use in the tapestry. You then weave about 4 passes in another yarn don't weave around the end warps as this is later pulled out and it is easier if the ends are loose. Another row of double half hitches is then put in. Followed by 4 more passes of yarn that is later pulled out. Next is a row of double half hitches with ONE STRAND of fine 2 ply. This sinks into the next row and helps to support it when the tapestry is finished. Next is a row of soumak with less weft than you plan to weave the tapestry with. This soumak forms the bottom edge of the finished tapestry so you can make it a feature or do what I have in this tapestry and used the same colours as the beginning of the tapestry. You then weave a row of double half hitches and begin weaving!!!!!!!! A diagram would look like this.

AND WORK FROM THE BOTTOM UP AS YOU WEAVE.


BEGIN WEAVING;

ooooooooooo
ooooooooooo DOUBLE HALF HITCHES

>>>>>>>>>>>> SOUMAK

eeeeeeeeeeee SINGLE THREAD ONE ROW HALF HITCHES

~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~ PASSES TO BE PULLED OUT LATER

ooooooooooo
ooooooooooo DOUBLE HALF HITCHES

~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~ PASSES TO BE PULLED OUT LATER

ooooooooooo
ooooooooooo DOUBLE HALF HITCHES

START HERE AND WORK YOUR WAY UP
DON'T FORGET TO TURN THE INSTRUCTIONS
UPSIDE DOWN AND FINISH IN THE OPPOSITE WAY!!!!!

I have included a detail of the tapestry on the loom so that you can see what it should look like and a detail of the tapestry ready to have the extra passes pulled out. The other photo shows what the back of the tapestry looks like with the warps sewn down.
If there is anything that you don't understand feel free to email me I am happy to answer any questions. This method can be a bit tedious but what it does is it keeps the warp threads even on the back of the tapestry. I have used this method in different ways.Sometimes I use the soumak and not double hitches at the beginning of the tapestry and for my postcards in the Finding Home exhibition I used no soumak or double hitches.

If you are looking for a good Christmas present I don't think that you could go past Sue Walker's new book, Artists' Tapestries from Australia 1976-2005 you can get a feel for the book and read my Review here


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