Thursday, October 8, 2015

Cassette Tape as Weft

Music on cassette tape by Ryan Dennison.
My current piece and the next few are my attempt at exploring the relationship between sound and self-actualization or sound and Creation. Or, the voicing of either oneself or a people into being, into existence, or into newness.

We've perhaps all heard the story of how light was born. All was dark and quiet, and then Someone said, "Let there be Light." And it has never left us since.

And the story of a Five-Fingered People declaring themselves so, and they were, are.

And that People giving names to Places, and Plants, and Animals so that they too would be.

And that People, too, when one of them passes over to where dead people go, don't ever voice his or her name again.

It must be because sound breaches boundaries and dimensions and it is tangible waves that can reach and pull and bring forth.

Babies, before they are born, wrap themselves in the sound of their mother's heartbeat. They stay warm with that sound, and there is nothing else that will keep them here until they are strong enough.

And they would stay there in the womb and be crushed by it if outside sounds didn't draw them out.

So, I incorporate into my current weaving the only "string" I know that has sound attached.

Music on cassette tape by Ryan Dennison.
I saw Ryan Dennison perform a couple times, the last time at the 1Spot Gallery in Phoenix, Arizona. It was an enthralling performance in which he used a "Navajo loom" to create music. Perfectly fitting, don't you think?

Even more perfect is earlier this summer, I ordered a hat from Ryan. Along with my order, he enclosed this tape. I was so excited, especially since I haven't played one of these in at least a decade, and my son and I had an enjoyable night of listening together. Afterwards, I sent Ryan a note asking his permission to allow me to use his tape in my current project. How could I not? When the Universe sends you something, it is already done and you don't question, just move forward. ;)

I've included a link to Ryan's music above and in the photo caption. Please, listen and send Ryan your wonderful feedback.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Untitled - Weaving Workshop at Idyllwild Summer Arts Camp

Untitled (18 1/2" tall X 12" wide - approx. 13 wefts/inch)
This is what happens when you're allowed to choose three colors of yarn and told, "Go weave."

You might plan a design and find that you're not happy with how it looks on the loom, so you take out what you don't like and improvise the rest.

And then later, toward the end, you might ask your son (who is also working on his own weaving right next to you) if you can have a small piece of his red. He agrees, so you add a star to break up the brown.

I wove this piece in a Navajo Weaving Workshop held in Idyllwild, California this past summer which is taught there every summer by Barbara Ornelas and Lynda Pete, two amazing Navajo weaving instructors and insanely talented tapestry weavers.

Weaving this was like taking a relaxing breath. Not knowing initially where the design would take me was freeing for me. Not having anything planned out allowed me only to focus on the rhythm of weaving, the interlocking of joints, the tension of the warp strings, and my handling of the weft.

When I got home, I gave this weaving to my husband. I hope he can steal from it the peace and freedom of creativity that filled its maker while she wove it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Bar Code / QR Code

Bar Code / QR Code (24 1/2" tall X 16 1/2" wide - approx. 32 wefts/inch)
Velma Kee Craig's table at the Heard Museum Weavers' Market
Before it was even off the loom, this piece—my largest one to date—was acquired in November 2013 by the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, as part of their permanent collection.

The "stripes" portion of the flag is modeled after a generic barcode. I left the numbers off because I didn't find any reason to add them. (Also, it's beyond my skillset.)

For the "stars" portion of my American flag, I duplicated a QR code off of a sign posted in the front yard of a home in my neighborhood that was currently in foreclosure.

In 2013, back when the house listing was still up and when the textile was on display at the Weavers' Market, spectators were able to scan the QR code and it did take them to the house listing webpage.

A lot of people who see this, thinking they're being helpful, like to tell me that I should have woven into this design or should in the future weave into my designs a QR code that will take my customers or viewers to my website. Not to be rude, but they've missed the message.

This design was an exciting one to weave. No one knew where I was going with it, especially since it starts out with only black and white stripes and continues to be stripes or bars for half of the design. When the red stripes and blue squares and rectangles were added, the design did get more interesting. When enough of the parts of the design were finally added, it was always fun to see the amazement cross over the faces of those visitors who may have seen this piece before its completion.

My version of the flag is not a positive one. It's one to get people thinking about what should be important to the health of our country.