Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Back From Bulgaria

Well we've got back from a very relaxing 2 weeks in Bulgaria, one week on the Black Sea Coast at Balchik, one week at Silvia Haralambova's Artists Retreat near the Rhodope mountains and two days in Sofia.

I've just got to tell you how lovely Silvia's Artists Retreat is and yes I did manage to spin the weft for a small tapestry and weave it too!

The Cottage at the Retreat.

Here is the equipment and materials I took, in my suitcase, to work with . I took white, black, red, yellow and blue fleece, my carders, a 25g Michael Williams top whorl spindle and my Andean Plying tool. Oh and some yellow 3ply tapestry warp!

This is the design I work on before I left. It is taken from a lovely print by Guiliana Lazzerini. I planned to weave a much wider piece, but realised that it would be too ambitious for the week I had, so decided to make it narrower and so folded back the right hand side.

The Studio is across the garden from the cottage and barbaque area. It was lovely and cool inside the building, a real retreat from the hot sun.

It was equipped with a frame loom, artists easel, sink, workbench, chairs, radio/CD/ tape player and a whole load of tapes.

I spent the first few days, usually just before and after lunch when it was very hot or in the evenings when it was much cooller, blending the coloured fibres into the colours to match my design.

You can see a few of the yarns I blended and spun using Michael Williams 25g spindle. I am sure you must think I go on too much about the spindle, but it's a real work horse.

The frame loom was warped with the yellow 3ply tapestry warp and here is the work in progress. You can see that I had planned to make the work wider, but changed my mind when I realised I would be push for time to finish as I was spinning all my weft yarn.

I will post more about the retreat and the tapestry soon.

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