Monday, April 29, 2013

Preparing to Weave

Our house got hit by the flu again three weeks ago.  It had my daughter in bed for three days, up for one, and the down for another.  Then of course, a day later I had a sore throat and then I was in bed for four days, and did little but lay in bed and watch television.  Now, after two weeks, I seem to be recovering, with just a few lingering effects.  So, last week I started winding butterflies for my new tapestry.  It is a time consuming task resulting in a pile of tabby butterflies and a pile of pattern butterflies twice the thickness of the tabby butterflies, and a scattering of yarn in half my studio.  While winding the butterflies I have to agonize about the colors, the mix of colors and which will be the tabby and which will be pattern.  I have delayed starting for all the agonizing, but finally decided that I had to dig in.

I finally finished enough butterflies that I felt that it was time to start weaving.  I am weaving a red frame around this tapestry.  We have white walls, so I thought that the white peony might fade into the wall, hence the "frame".  I am glad to be weaving again.  I am looking forward to seeing how this piece develops.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Weavings in Spain

We just returned from a trip to Spain.  It was a lovely trip, and we visited all kinds of beautiful places in the northwest of the country.  Although we weren't in Madrid on the right day for me to visit the tapestry works there, I did manage to find other weavers in the country.

In Barcelona, much to the chagrin of my children, we visited a modern tapestry studio in the old part of town, Teranyina. Here you can see my corralling my reticent daughter as we enter the shop.

 It is mainly a teaching studio but with a few small things to buy.  The proprietor, Teresa Rosa, does not speak English, but luckily one of her students was there and spoke beautiful English and showed me around and translated.

There is a half floor with 6 upright tapestry looms sitting on it.  It was a great space for the women there all of whom were considerably shorter than me.  I smacked my head once on a beam and had to remember to duck as I walked around.  

On the main floor there were a couple of horizontal looms.

Mainly, the shop is there for teaching, but there were some beautifully woven scarfs and woven jewelry there for sale.  My daughter left with a beautiful little woven necklace.  I particularly liked the way they displayed the scarves.

I asked the English speaking student what she was going to do after she finished her course.  She replied that she hoped to weave and sell her tapestries.   There seem to be few weavers in Spain, but as I said, we missed the enormous state run weaving facility in Madrid.  It was an enjoyable half hour conversing with the women and seeing some of there work.  Here are a couple of pieces woven by Teresa Rosa.  To see more of her beautiful work, go to her website.

We all loved Barcelona, and I would love to visit again.  I have to say my favorite place that we visited was Parc Guell and Palau Guell.  If you go, then you must see one or both of these lovely places designed by the architect Gaudi.  I loved this little house and would love to live in it.  It had very organic lines and lots of natural light inside.

Another weaving mecca that I wanted to visit was this little shop in Ezcaray, in the mountains of central Spain.  Ezcaray was the weaving center of Spain until the early 1900's.  However, now only one shop remains, Artesani Textil, which has been owned by the same family since 1930.

It is small shop with a loom in the front and the back is filled with blankets and scarves.  The woman there did not speak any English, so we couldn't really ask where the blankets were woven.  Although they are all woven in Spain, just not in that shop.

It was really hard to decide what to buy there, everything was lovely.  Most everything there was made from local wool and woven by this family.  In the end, I chose not a wool scarf but a linen one.  The color was so lovely and the weight so delicate that I couldn't resist.

My son chose a blanket and we bought my daughter a scarf.

Finally, we chose a lovely blanket for our living room made from local wool.  The blanket is so soft it feels like cashmere, and we bought it for only 70 euro.  I thought is was an unbelievable bargain considering the beauty of the wool and the weaving.

Now, I am going to my loom to weave just a little while before I have to meet the school bus!