Monday, January 07, 2013

A Tapestry Exhibit

About 10 days ago, I drove to San Luis Obispo to see an exhibit at the Museum of Art. The exhibit was a joint affair, including the work of both the Santa Inez Valley Woodworkers Guild and the tapestry artist Mary Zicafoose. The wood displays were wonderful - lathe-turned bowls as well as gorgeous modern furniture.

The tapestries were what really blew me away. Traditional tapestries are weft-faced textiles, and usually patterned with discontinuous wefts. That is, if there's a design area of red, the red yarn goes back and forth in its own area, and the weft for the adjacent areas work only in their respective areas. Mary's tapestries  are weft-faced, but the intricate patterning (at least the pieces in this exhibit) is almost all done with ikat dye work.

Here is just a one exampls, a low-quality image I snapped with my cell-phone camera. You should hop immediately to her website for much better images. My mind reels with the notion of how precisely the ikat is done to maintain the patterning. In my [meager] experience, warp ikat is difficult enough, but weft ikat is much more challenging. You have to know exactly how long one weft shot will be, including the takeup of the yarn as it is forced to do the "over-and-under" action with the warp.

Mary was the subject of one of Syne Mitchell's WeaveCast interviews; you might enjoy listening to the interview. It's episode #4, by the way. Enjoy!


James said...

Will you please post a link to your Blog at The Weaving Community? Our members will love it.
It's easy to do, just cut and paste the link and it automatically links back to your website. You can also add Photos, Videos and Classifieds if you like. It’s free and easy.
Email me if you need any help or would like me to do it for you.
Please feel free to share as often and as much as you like.
The Weaving Community:
I hope you consider sharing with us.
Thank you,
James Kaufman, Editor

Sandra Rude said...

Thank you, James, but I'm already a member of a sufficient number of Weaving Communities, both physical and online, and as a professional weaver I have absolutely no time to spare on another.

Rebecca Mezoff said...

I also am amazed by Mary Zicafoose's work. She used to show in a gallery I was in and I just don't know how she can get that weft ikat so perfect. The fingerprint pieces blow me away.

Sandra Rude said...

Hi, Rebecca,
There was one of the fingerprint pieces in the exhibit (the 3-panel one from her website), and "me too" was blown away as well. OMG! Incredible work.