This is my latest and largest tapestry so far, woven on a pin loom. It shows a floor plan of the house I lived it from the age of 7 to 11 years old. It emphasises areas that were important to me such as the porch where I played two-ball (endlessly), the gramophone in the front room and the Wendy house in the garden. They were happy places and were woven in yellow (the happy colour). The area outside the back door also has a lot of yellow showing all the activity with children and dogs constantly in and out.
This shows the early stages of the tapestry, including the bottom selvedge with my weaver’s mark in orange. The warp is coral coloured, not quite the deep red I had hoped for when I was dyeing the warp. I find the natural warp colour difficult to ‘lose’ sometimes when I am preparing the work for showing and this is why I decided to dye it.
Tapestry creates a meditative state and I have been surprised at how some very obscure memories of my childhood home have come to mind, such as the fact that there was a green step-stool in the corner in the kitchen. Other details, like the position of the furniture in the back room (lounge) were more difficult to bring to mind, although I do remember sitting on the sofa under the slope of the stairs. It would have been called a settee in those days.
The brass-bound, black coffee table and the round, wicker dog basket were important parts of the lounge to me – whereas I have had to guess at the positions of the chairs, which were for adults. On the whole we children sat or lay on the floor. The TV had a V shaped aerial on top of the set, which sat in the corner of the room.
The hall had a very strongly patterned, green carpet, which continued up the stairs (which I loved to crawl down on my tummy).
I included the Wendy house in the back garden as I fell in love with this when my family viewed the house before moving in. I was so disappointed when we arrived on learning that the previous residents took the Wendy house with them. Also included in the tapestry are the fruit trees in the garden and the igloo that we built one very cold winter.
Completing a tapestry is always a pleasure, even thought a lot of work remains in order to prepare it for use.
The back of the tapestry needs the ends and spent bobbins trimming off and then the work is pinned out ready to ‘block’ the piece.