Finally - The Cutting Off
Last night was the night - the cutting off of Lace 2. It has finally happened! The tapestry is off the loom! Hoorah! We had a great celebration. Almost 50 people, friends and family turned up for this event on a very wet, cold miserable evening. But what a lovely time we had.
Friends enjoying the evening. Caroline Bull, in the purple scarf,is chatting to Gwen Cairney with two of my sisters-in-law, Claire to the left and Marilyn to the right, looking on. Caroline and her husband Geoff Low, brought a friend, whom they introduced to me as Richard, to the cutting off and I was awed and excited when I discovered that he was none other than Richard Nunns, who is a most amazing musician specializing in ancient Maori music and bird song. He gave us a wonderful surprise, when to quieten the crowd so that I could introduce Lissie, he brought out a greenstone whistle and beautiful bird song suddenly filled the studio. Awesome! Thank you so much, Richard.
Here I am introducing Lissie, standing in front of the tapestry.
Lissie cutting the warp threads.
And here it is, the right way up at last.
And today after lunch and a very hectic morning, a very understanding student who put up with me rushing here and there and giving her only a little attention, pinning and sewing the side seams and the velcro on to the tapestry, gluing the velcro to the baton and finally we were able to hang it on a wall in a spare studio in the Arts Centre and photographs were taken. Here are Lissie and I posing while 15yr old Connor takes our photo with the finished or almost finished tapestry. Still some threads to sort out at the back of the work and the sides to be finished stitching. All good and so pleased to have it finished after so long.
The tapestry is fiinished.
Hooray! I wove the last of the heading and the last row of soumak knots yesterday and now the tapestry is finished. It is sitting on the loom waiting for the weekend when Lissie will cut it off. So I have a whole six days without any weaving to do. Good for my body probably but it will feel a bit odd not having a tapestry on the go. However, I have some drawing to do and a garden at home to sort out and housework that could be done, so I will keep busy.
The Millennium Tapestry coming down from its place in the Mayoral Chambers
Yesterday morning the Millennium Tapestry was taken down from its site in the Mayoral Chamber of the Christchurch City Council. It is going to the Christchurch Art Gallery to be stored until later next month when it will be hung in its new place in the brand new City Council Building. I went along to watch it come down from the wall and checked it out for any damage and also gave it a light vacuuming to get any dust off it. It is actually in very good condition. This work was woven as a community arts project for the year 2000 and almost 3000 people in Christchurch and visitors had a hand in the weaving of the tapestry.
Here is the tapestry still hanging on the wall in the Chamber, whilst discussions go on as to the best way to take it down.
Rolling the tapestry from the bottom
The guys balancing on top of the ladders as they gingerly remove the tapestry from the nails, lifting it out and down.
And down it comes! Me! I was on the other end of the camera, watching proceedings and thankful that they didn't drop it. I don't own this work any more, but it is surprising how proprietal I feel about it.
And here I am! Almost finished vacuuming the tapestry. It was quite dusty, especially along the top where it was attached to the baton.
Two more weeks to finish the Tapestry
On the weekend of the 7th August my daughter Lissie and her husband Ian and son Connor are coming to Christchurch. Lissie is going to cut the tapestry off the loom and we will have a celebration. It will be so good to have this tapestry finished. It has been on the loom for so long and it is now time to get on with other work. Since my last posting on Monday of last week I have progressed a lot and there is now two more weeks left to finish the work. I think I am on track to do this.
And now at last I can see Lissie's second eye. If you tip your head to the left and look at the work that way, the eye is quite clear. Hurrah!
I am getting there. I went into the studio early today and worked really hard and on the left side I have only about three inches to weave to get to the top. The border at the left has reached the top.
These two photos were taken on Thursday 15th July and as you can see I am moving up reasonably quickly. Yesterday I completed the second eye and moved up even further, so I am hoping that today I will complete the top of her eye - the blue secton to the left. I still have three weeks to go if I want to get my entry in for the Art Award exhibition that I am aiming to finish this tapestry for. Still not sure I will make it but am feeling more hopeful now. Working very hard each day seven days a week at the moment. Thankfully my body seems to be coping quite well with the extra work, long may it last!!
As you can see from this photo I am now working on the left hand side of the tapestry, building up the second eye. The last two mornings here in Christchurch have been very cold, minus 6 degrees centigrade yesterday morning and not much better this morning, so good frosts have covered the ground. My hands have been so cold that it has been hard to weave and I spend a lot of time dropping the bobbins. It is almost lunch time before the studio warms up properly, so it is a bit of a battle.
These two photographs were taken yesterday the 9th July, showing more progress on 'Lace 2' Three days work from the last images.
This photograph shows a close-up detail of the tapestry.
The Changing Fell Line continued
This photo was taken yesterday evening after another two days work since the last entry.
I have been working hard on 'Lace 2' over the last few weeks and progress is being made. I have decided to post images of my progress on this tapestry as it is nearing completion though probably still at least a months work on it to do. The fell line is the top line of the weaving and it changes daily as the weaving progresses. Here are the first three images of the work over the last week.
This photo was atually taken over maybe two to three weeks ago when I had just completed the shadow on Lissie's nose.
A lot has happened since the last photograph and this photograph was taken four days ago.
And this one two days ago. I am working, as you can see, on the right hand side of the tapestry, building up the dark areas. There are lots of small colours coming into this section of the tapestry but they are not really visible in these distance photographs. I will post some details soon.
The photographs do not show the correct colours of the work as they are hugely influenced by the light in the studio when I take the photos and as they are only progress shots I am not being too careful to get the light absolutely right to take the best photograph.