Site icon Robbie LaFleur

Bonfire, Complete

I’m so happy that the bonfire tapestry is complete, the first I wove on my upright Glimakra Regina loom. During the last part of weaving I was merely eager to get it done, but as soon as the loom is empty I feel a twinge each time I walk by. I won’t go four months this time before warping it again.

“Burn, 2020″ 23.5″ w x 27.5” h

I wrote about my design inspiration earlier, here. While weaving the tapestry, I decided to document it in progress with headlines or editorial cartoons taped to the warp. Some are in a gallery, here.

I printed my cartoon on several sheets of paper and taped them all together. The cartoon was my weaving guide, to be sure, but with many small variations along the way. I taped a smaller version of the cartoon to the loom, with the real photo below. I shortened the bonfire for weaving because I liked those proportions better. And my actual tall bonfire didn’t work so well either, as the wood burned below and thin flaming branches started to fall near the grandchildren.

I also come up with a rule of weaving no more than four rows on any edge of color, so I would have no slits to sew afterwards.

I made many color decisions along the way. And there was ripping out! At the top of the tapestry, with the woods behind the fire, I didn’t want to weave actual trees and make that area more detailed than the abstracted fire. Yet I didn’t want just an expanse of one color. I thought of weaving oblong shapes to suggest treetops in a slightly lighter shade than the deep green. But my first choice, I soon realized, had too much contrast and would just look like distracting blobs. Instead of using two strands of the lighter green, I switched to one strand of the dark with one strand of the lighter shade. Much better.

Here’s another piece of documentation. During this month I was vaccinated. In the grass near the left edge, here’s the syringe.

I wove this tapestry from the bottom to the top, vertically. I normally weave from the side, so I wondered how my usual sideways initials would work out. I thought they worked well.

When my grandson Fitz is with me, he gets my full attention. But on the day I was weaving the top hem, which didn’t need special concentration, Fitz went along happily with that plan.

It’s always nerve-wracking to take a piece off the loom–did it work, or is it just dumb? I cut it off, turned under the hems so I could properly assess it, and put it on the floor to take a photo. I received immediate approval.

And from a distance, the fire in the ring looks satisfyingly blazing.

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