Study for Meditation Mat

Study for Meditation Mat
Handspun Tapestry Weaving

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Smoke From a Distant Fire: Sea of Joy Continues

I live nowhere near a forest, except the urban one planted by my house, but this has been a summer of haze and smoke. The northern part of the province burned earlier this summer. British Columbia, Washington and Oregon are burning now; the smoke from those fires has made it difficult to be outdoors for days at a time. We do not suffer like those caught in the middle of the disasters, but the smoke is a reminder that everything on this planet is connected and that we would be wise to acknowledge and accommodate this. 

I've spent the last two days hiding from the smoke, heat, humidity and mosquitoes, which means full days of working on "Sea of Joy." She's coming along - there has been some unweaving, but only a bit, and I'm past the quarter mark of the piece. Here she is after Day One:

The little Sea Creature wasn't working. He looked rather frightening, a strange head stuck on a different body and he didn't flow the way I intended:

So, "Off with his head!" Here is he now, much better, I think:

There were some problems with value; The lighter green of the long vine disappeared into the light blue behind it. I spent part of this morning cutting out the light blue background and needle weaving in a darker blue. 

I'm working more embellishments into my tapestries - stitching small details onto the work to highlight images and add texture. The catch is not to use embellishment as an excuse for laziness or to fix something which doesn't please me. Anything added to a piece must add to the design.

In addition to viewing each day's work in black and white, it's important to study it as it will be presented. By flipping the image on its side, I can see what will need to be reworked: 

One of the things which delights me about tapestry weaving is the way it demands my full attention. Sections of the cartoon which seemed fine in the drawing surprise me when they're woven. If my mind wanders, if I shift into lazy weaving, it will cost me hours of unweaving. Tapestry weaving is always an exploration, an excitement about the process. In "Sea of Joy," my willingness to weave on the fly gives the sense of movement I'm looking for here. Whether or not my weaving is a success matters less than the fact that I have fun while I'm doing it. I make my best effort in every piece I weave and that's enough.

As I weave the images into this tapestry, as I connect foreground with background, I'm reminded that, on a tiny scale, I'm giving physical expression to the connection of all Life. What happens any place on Gaia drifts into and affects everyone. Which is Figure and which is Ground? Yoga tells us that they're One and the Same.   


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