Friday, December 3, 2010
I have been working on the design for a commission I am undertaking for a local church, which is called the Church of the Nativity. So of course they want a nativity tapestry. Actually, because of the way the sanctuary is set up, there will be two narrow tapestries.
The tapestry above is William Morris and Co.'s "Adoration of the Magi." It is the ideal tapestry for this subject. My tapestries will be somewhat less ambitious. The design elements are coming together in my mind, and I have begun sketching and drawing up the maquette for the first image. Because I want them both to be the same size, I will weave them at the same time, side by side. The tapestry that will hang on the right will be Mary's tapestry. The one that will hang on the left will have Joseph and an angel in it. And Joseph will not look like an ancient old man, like he does in so many nativity images, including Morris's. Both pieces will have animals, though not necessarily the typical nativity animals. There will be an upper border on each, with local landscape elements in them.
I have been pulling out my photos and images and have been sketching and calculating... all of the early design tasks. These are what I like most about designing a tapestry; the little tasks that pull an idea from my mind and make it appear visually, so I can weave from it.
I will be working at the gallery tomorrow, so this design work will stop for the day. The gallery has been very busy, so I don't expect to get any of my own work done while there. But my mind will still be at work, and it will hopefully solve a few of the puzzles the design has given me so I can pull it together in paint next week.