Ellen Ramsey
Contemporary Tapestry

Lost in the Metaverse

Wow. It has been a long time since I posted, eh? As 2022 begins, it is time to look back at what I’ve been up to in the studio for the last six months and what I am looking forward to in 2022. 

I have been working on a very large piece that I had hoped to be farther along with by now, but I am only half way there - well, ALMOST half way there. The working title is “Metaverse.”  I designed this work in Photoshop using copyright free imagery of generic circuit patterns that are available on the internet. In fact, I used the same circuit pattern that I used to design “Hacked.” Here is the digital image I am working from and the “CMYK” (cyan, magenta, yellow, and near black) color scheme I have selected. You can see just how different the same imagery can look after digital manipulation.

I am weaving this tapestry on its side, maxing out the width of my six foot wide Shannock loom. The sett is 8 epi. It will be 6 feet tall by 7.5 - 8 feet wide when done. This is as about big as I can go with my equipment. I wanted to work at this scale as a challenge to myself. The idea is that it will be kind of a prayer rug for the digital age, a physical point of connection to the imaginary mirror world of virtual reality. I wanted it to be human scaled for that reason. 

Here are my work in process photos, which I share reluctantly because of the very poor lighting in my studio. The only way to get enough brightness for a decent photo is to shine my hyper blue Ott light on it. It makes the greens read very turquoise in photos. I assure you the lines are green like the cartoon.

Beginnings. The music stands that hold my mirror get in the way.

Next roll of the beam.

Part with a large digital glitch.

Alien life begins to emerge.

I’m hoping the second half will go a little bit faster than the first half. I’ve learned that pick and pick technique is surprisingly slow going.  

In other news, I am establishing a second studio in Bend, Oregon! The pandemic showed us the beauty of remote work, and we realized that we really wanted to spend more time in Bend. We owned a rental property there for many years, and although it was a great landing pad for occasional vacations, it was not a place we could settle into and live for longer blocks of time. So long story short, this fall we sold the rental and bought a second home. I’ve set up my 4 foot Shannock in one of the bedrooms.  I’ve always wanted to have multiple projects going at once on my two looms, but just never seemed to make it happen. Now I will be forced to do that.  Plus, my Seattle studio was so claustrophobic with both looms (and waaaay too much yarn) crammed in there. It feels great to have some breathing room at the home studio.  

My baby arrives in Bend!

I’m feeling optimistic about what 2022 may bring in terms of creative work. The plan is to experiment with new techniques and materials as much as possible. 

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