Bev’s Corner: First Tapestries

I am new here at Damascus Fiber Arts School. Been thinking about tapestry for years. I finally signed up for a 3-day beginning workshop and the excitement began! Instructor JD welcomed us into the cozy, old school house. Picture being surrounded with tapestries in process, completed pieces on the walls and a shop of colorful yarns. AND THERE IT WAS:  my very own, easily portable, inexpensive, copper pipe tapestry loom, ready for me to weave on!

Our teacher started us on our journey with clear instruction, demonstrations, weavers’ vocabulary and a handout to take home. After three days we felt comfortable with our loom and understood how to carry on. This workshop gave us a strong base with encouragement to be independently creative.

I signed up immediately for a term of support and on-going instruction with Terry on Tuesdays. She travels back and forth between the two classrooms assisting where needed. Many of the other weavers have years of experience here and are confident artists. I hear them exchanging ideas and brainstorming together. They are obviously here for each other. And they welcome me.

This is school for some: There are vocabulary words to learn – warp, weft, half pass, shed. Do not forget to “bubble” when laying in the weft.  There are techniques to practice. I’m so slow but I’m having fun! It’s so good to be weaving. Start left. Pick up every other warp, just a few. Insert the yarn “butterfly”. Bubble it. Beat it. Repeat. And repeat and repeat, carefully. 

 I’m not counting the one I did in the workshop. My first weaving’s warp ends are tied into casual knots. Looks like beginner’s work. This is my second tapestry. There wasn’t much contrast between the blue and green. Terry suggested outlining or having more contrast in the future.

My third weaving is curving horizontal lines where I used contrasting colors and outlines to make the shapes clearer as Terry had suggested. Very helpful. Thanks, Terry.  Here I am doing my first “show and tell.” Whenever a tapestry is completed, someone rings the school bell and we gather around to listen to the weaver talk about their newly finished piece.