Friday, February 1, 2013

More Portrait Progress

I have made some more progress on my daughter's portrait.  I became a bit discouraged by the amount that the piece is pulling in at the edges.  I thought about cutting it off the loom and discarding it, but in the end decided I would never restart this piece again so I am carrying on.  I have had some difficulties with the loom.  I think it needs some adjustments, but I will have to figure those out before I make the next tapestry on the loom.

In the meantime, Helena Hernmarck in her workshop stated that she never unwove anything.  However, I am certainly not Helena, and I as I wove on the second eye and eyebrow realized they were both out of place.  So, I did unweave that piece.  Luckily, I noticed pretty early on that they were not in the right place so it wasn't too difficult to repair.  Another piece that is not quite right is the shadow on the chin.  However, I will leave that to be fixed after it comes off the loom.  Because it was in a pattern part of the piece, I can use a tapestry needle and the thread to fix that.  You can see that thread in the photo hanging loose at the neck.

This tapestry has been a BIG learning experience for me.  I learned to warp a floor loom with a fair amount of success thanks to Rebecca Mezoff and Klaus Anselm and their generous help.  I have gotten the process of Helena Hernmarck's technique in my head if not in my hands yet.  I have learned some of where my mistakes are coming from thanks to Winnie Johnson, a student of Helena's, who has kindly answered lots of questions, and to Helena herself who answered several of my questions.

I have four more inches to weave, and I am excited to see how the piece looks after it comes off the loom.  One thing about this technique which is interesting, it is best viewed from several feet away.  When I look at the portrait as I am weaving, I am a bit unhappy with it, but when I view the photographs of the piece, I am much more pleased with the results.  That will present a challenge when hanging the piece, but that is a problem I will address much later.

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