of Cabbages and kings-nonce words and neologisms-and multi tasking

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,DSCN0303
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
Of cabbages—and kings—
And why the sea is boiling hot—
And whether pigs have wings.”
Through the Looking-Glass

Slight correction
There's got to be a morning after bThere’s got  to be a morning After part b

There’s got to be a morning after part A
entry1,Todd-Hooker,kathe, There has to be a morning afterpart1Making a small correction to the Tapestry Topics 2013 Fall issue. Part B was not in the Firestorm Exhibit. The confusion happened when I sent the two jpegs of the pieces to Tapestry Topics for the article I wrote on weaving tapestries in series –A Series of Studies on Changing Light  and  an exhibition review  Cheryl Rinker–Woven Together Firestorm. The two pieces  were conceived as a series, but part b was not finished until after the deadline so only part A was submitted and was in the exhibit. They were both used to illustrate the Review of the Firestorm exhibit.
  Due Diligence-really!
DSCN0280I should finish this piece by Friday.(editorial comment-I lied. It probably won’t be finished until I get back from Alaska-too many annoying  details conspired against my having any weaving time this week. Even this blog has taken 3 days longer then it should have. )   It feels DSCN0288like I have been weaving on it for ever. Well, maybe I have. I guess it depends on the def. of forever. Long enough-anyway. It’s fast approaching the rank of a “Dog on the loom.” My only is excuse is I used the time to finish my remodel and write a legal proposal for ending certain provisions in my Dad’s estate .. .Sounds a little like the dog ate my homework, but even Chene wouldn’t eat this piece. DSCN0298There’s only 2 days left of having contractors all over the place. The fence is done.  New sign is up. The roof is one-ones soffit with vents and a drain pipe to go.  All done before the autumn rains set in. Even though every time we tried  to do  work that shouldn’t get wet… The rains poured in torrential record breaking amounts.  We even struck water when digging the post holes.DSCN0297 It’s raining again so one day after I come back and they’ll do those and add the two new gates to match the ones I already have. They are being built for the space to match the two that were made by a women welder in Silverton, Or.  whose name over time has been forgotten. Only what at the time  that I purchased the was remembered was the uniqueness of a women creating and welding whimsical metal gates. How sad to be only remembered by your craft and gender.
My dad’s estate is over and done with. Sunday I leave for my 45th wedding anniversary cruise that should have happened in Je, but was just too busy to take.  Enough with my excuses for being so far behind in my weaving. Life happens. All that said the piece still isn’t done! I need 3 days more.

I have been having a lot of fun with symbols and cultural Icons-first the broken puzzle, maze, the the 7x 7x7x7x7…, feathers, The scientific formula in the background, the rock wall, etc.
But,  one of my favourites– is this symbol.DSCN0291
According to one page  source on the internet on iconic symbols in modern comic books it defines the moment of death, or of passing out of an idea,  when drawn over the head of a comic strip character. It is an ideogram or icon used to convey an idea, a phantasy, or a wish a dream that is suddenly annihilated or destroyed by an clip_image001instant awakening or realization or perhaps an AHA moment.
With this piece I wanted to use more silk and rayon. I was looking for-  hoping for a little bit of a shimmer-Different then the way the cotton threads reflected or inter-reflect light. I also wantedimg003 to see if I could find away or a bobbin that would make the process easier. Well, I can tell you it certainly isn’t easier with using European style bobbins or bones. I Still end up with this-DSCN0289SO I am back
So I am back to tying over hand knots  every 8 inches in the weft bundle. It’s a clumsy system as the hanging silk/rayon wefts tangle. It cuts down on speed as I sort through to find the one I wish to use. I have also discovered that I should always cut the loops of the weft bundles where I double back or fold the strands when doing the colour bundles. The loops catch and tangle everything I have tried  wrapping the bobbin with the wefts that are knot, but they always make a mess of the silk or rayon when they unwind when I use my over the know trick so the bobbins don’t escape. (see page 30 in Tapestry 101 for how to use a bobbin)

JapaneseTapestryShuttlesChangedI am  trying to use these Japanese  tapestry shuttles instead of the Swedish bobbins I prefer to use in my weaving.. They are taking a little time to get use to, but perhaps they will work on the rayon and silk weft bundles.  They just feel awkward because I am not used to using them-yet. 
Cheri White one of weaving buddies who comes to the studio just finished this tapestry. It’s fast becoming one of my favourite tapestries.Here  it is just off the loom-not it’s official portrait-yet. Just a snap maybe some day she’ll write an explanation that I can share with everyone. I am totally in love with the imagery.

It’s fire weed season. I have decided to plant some in my yard.  Fireweed always makes me thing of Edith Miller. I did a small wool tapestry of this in 1979(20x30inches and sold it to Edith Miller along time friend. She  is the last person left alive in the group of 20 on going   DSCN0200students from the 80’s  that I taught in Corvallis for years and years starting in 1982.  She’s now in her mid 90’s.  She was also one of the original founders of the Corvallis hand weavers guild in 1948 the year I was born. She is now in a nursing care center for Alzheimer  patience.
Astoria Coastal Fiber Exhibit 2013                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   PaxCheneand Blankie copy - CopyPax Chene received an ATA award of excellence in the Astoria Coastal Arts Textile Exhibit this summer. It as one of two pieces of mine that were in the exhibit. The other was “And He…” These photos were some I snapped at the opening. They are just meant to give the feel and  general layout  of the exhibit-not highlight specific works. There was one wall that I was unable to photograph I couldn’t get a shot of the two walls of the structure  my pieces were hanging on. The opening was well attended.  I could never find a space clear of people so that I could take a photo.  There were some amazing tapestries in the exhibit. Jan Austin, Rebecca Metzoff, Su Eagen, Audrey Moore, Nicki Blair, Terry Olsen, Diane Wolf and several other tapestry weavers whose names I know I missed.  One of the major awards went to a tapestry weaver from back east whose name I failed to write down. But, They are just to the left of my birthday scarf from Pat Scarf t which was also in the exhibit.  

So this is a pet peeve and a rant. Ignore it if you wish. I am grateful that this show was done and acknowledge the amount of great work that went into it.   It’s not just  this exhibit but it seems to be a standard practice in every show I have been in in the last few years.  Both my pieces were mounted  in “Salon Style”and in away that did neither of the pieces justice. Every small format tapestry in the exhibit was hung one above the other.It always feels so disrespectful of the work. It made it really difficult to view some spectacular Small Format work that was in the exhibit. While larger pieces were given a space and hung in away that made them much easier to view and not double hung.  Art work should be hung at eye level for the best view of a work of art. Not so high it can’t be seen or so low you have to stoop to see it.  The argument is always it’s away to crowd more work into a smaller space. SO why do the small format pieces have to bear the brunt of crowding and bad spacing?  I think its like saying the small format tapestry work isn’t important enough to have it’s own space. So be grateful  it’s in the show no matter how it’s hung so we can have a proper look for the large format work.  It feels like “ yeah, you can participate, but the small format work isn’t deserving of being viewed properly and so  go sit in the back of the bus.”   It always feels so disrespectful of the work-not just mine but all small format tapestry weavers.

One of the  many wonderful things I got to do this summer was visit the Cloisters after I taught at MAFA. I have around 200 detail shots of the tapestries not just the Unicorn tapestry. I am doing a lot of studying of those details and gleaning a lot of useful information from those shots.  I am hoping to start organizing the materials in my journal when I get back  from My Alaskan cruise.  Those things that look hatches and hachures are not. They are woven i n the direction the warp travels. The tapestries were turned sideways when woven creating a sort of vertical hachure. Now that my remodel is done I am going to be offering classes in the studio. The first one on “Soumack and friends” will take place on November 2-4th of this year. The second one will be on Jan31-February 2 will be on colour blending and the use of Hatches, Hachures and their Cohorts.
Here’s a few of my favourite shots and details.

I have a plan for I am weaving next. I wanted to be free to start the pieces when I got back from Alaska-one involves a truck not making it through an under pass 2 blocks DSC_0217DSCN0243from my home with crochet  lace and Jacob roses. What could be better a turquoise truck to match my fingernails.

The other incorporate black tree branches that looked lace in several pictures that I took near Hardin, Montana and photos  that Trish Heath took that evening generously said I could use in my colour studies took  of a smoky sunset in Albany with incredible colours  that you don’t often see in Albany Sunsets. My camera was  still packed at the time.
DSC_0114Montana sunset in the area Custer battle’s took place. DSC_0137

Still working on my research on soumack–
I have been scurrying through all my books and notes again because of a statement by a member of a list I am on.  His comment was to the effect that the raised outlining and surface texture on many Coptic weavings was actually needlework that was applied after the textile was woven.
SO I quickly went raced back  to several of my  books to see if it was possible I had made a mistake. When I was teaching myself to do it  I studied 4-5 fragments in the OSU collection and decided it had to be done as woven because the wraps never pierced a warp or weft and it always seemed to be controlled by the placement of the warps.  The our other names for the flying shuttle technique are French Arrondiment and Ressaut or ressort. One book called it ressort and related it back to crappaud(Mary Rhodes book Small Woven Tapestries). All of the other books-The Coptic Tapestry Albums by Hoskins, Woven Structures, by Mallert and a new book The threads Course in Tapestry by Mette Lise Rossing.
I first read about the technique in Tapestry Mirror of History by Thomsen in the late 70’s  and have had an ongoing fascination with it every since.
My research and theirs seem to verify that it was done by wrapping around warps as woven. Of course , they are mostly makers and not not museum curators.  What I did note was that several major museums referred to it as an embroidery technique, but never said if the embroidery was applied after or as woven.

Flying Shuttle- The technique of carrying an extra weft thread of contrasting color on a supplementary shuttle, to create fine internal lines or pattern details. The flying shuttle thread is secured at intervals by catching it under a warp thread. A technique that appears unique to Coptic weaving.
Soumack: A supplemental, decorative stitch used for surface decoration and texture on Coptic tapestries. The soumack thread is wrapped around each warp, or group of warp threads, usually on a diagonal. Used to define lines, or create outlines.

I have run out of time again. So, hopefully, in 2 weeks I’ll  be able to do another blog entry and have more information on my research into soumacDSCN0232k and it’s friends and my new woven samplers. The two pictures are from a recent day trip to eastern Oregon. The mountain in the background is Mt. Washing a mountain I climbed many times when I was much younger. My Fascination was to climb the rock cliffs to the top and and boot ski the scree to the bottom. DSCN0223The there is a photo of Chene as we tried to convince him to get out of the air conditioned car to walk on the pumice beds. Finally ended up packing him around. Smart dog! It was really hot that day. I ended up with blisters.

Cheers and all,



  1. Kathe Todd-Hooker on September 24, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    I was pretty sure it was probably the editor, who probably had not seen the exhibit. The only reason I mentioned it on my blog is because I have some people inform me that

    i might be paddding my resume. I also had acouple of students ask about it because they knew I hadn't finished the piece in time to enter into the jury process.

  2. Anonymous on September 24, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Hi Kathe,

    I did not include the picture of Part B of your Firestorm tapestries. That was added presumably by the editor who had your Part B picture from some other source. They also removed Urban Jupena's photos from the review because they were posted in another place in the newsletter.


  3. K Spoering on September 21, 2013 at 7:42 am

    I'm glad to see you got to the Cloisters. Isn't it a lovely space? Perfect for those tapestries! I want to go back.