When you want a better photograph you snap another picture. When you want a better tapestry you take out what you’ve woven and weave it another way. I recently showed you my progress on the tapestry of my mother. (See Tapestry of the Heart.) As I viewed the tapestry in photographs I could see that the 6/1 tow linen that weaves between the rows of wool was too bright. The golden bleached linen is lovely on its own, and melts into the background on the sides of the portrait. But this bright linen draws undo attention to itself within the darker portions of the tapestry because of the stark contrast. The day after that post I undid everything back to the starting line.
Undoing a few weeks of tapestry weaving is not physically hard to do, but making the decision to undo it is hard, indeed. Since then, I have been weaving every day to get back to the point where I stopped everything. This time, I am using a different color tow linen that will make all the difference.
Now, instead of golden bleached, the linen thread is a golden beige that disappears into the fabric, while holding everything together. Come to think of it, that is an apt picture of a mother’s influence.
May you know when to go back to the beginning.
10 thoughts on “Hazards and Rewards of Weaving a Portrait”
Such an amazing piece!
Hi Beth, It is a satisfying piece to work on.
Interesting that the tapestry isn’t solid heavier color wefts and that the thin linen wefts are part of the textured designs. I’ve always thought of tapestry as totally covering the warp so none of the warp shows.
Hi Linda, I’m glad you brought that up. Most traditional tapestry does cover the warp completely. A few weavers have developed techniques for weaving large-scale tapestries that are not as compactly woven, which make the tapestries much lighter in weight and quicker to weave. Although mine is not a “large” tapestry, I enjoy the technique and the visual effects so much I wanted to used it for this piece. The technique I’m using is one taught by Joanne Hall.
All the best,
Having the experience of deciding to start over on a project, I can empathize with how difficult that decision was, Karen. The tapestry is evolving beautifully.
Hi Annie, Whenever I have started over, I have never regretted the decision. But I always have serious hesitation before I take the plunge.
This looks so nice. And I really like the border stripes at the beginning, which is another thing that makes the composition.
Hi Joanne, Thanks for your feedback. It always helps to get other points of view that help me know if I’m on track.
Portraits are hard to do. Done tapestry, more so.
Should we start calling you Penelope? 🙂
Hi Nannette, I think the reason portraits are a challenge is because they are so personal.