Tree of Life - Diary of a Tapestry

The Tree of Life is a 3metre x 5.5metre tapestry designed by tapestry weaver Cresside Collette for the RMIT Spiritual Centre. It incorporates leaf elements from staff and students of RMIT and is being woven by a team consisting of three professional weavers and a number of volunteers. This blog records the progress of the weaving.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Its done! The tapestry is now off the loom and being readied for hanging. The Vice Chancellor of RMIT, Margaret Gardner, performed the 'cutting off' ceremony yesterday in front of a small crowd of weavers, staff and students at the Brunswick campus where the weaving has taken place. And it looks fantastic! One of the problems with tapestry weaving is that you only ever see about a metre of the tapestry while it is being woven, so there is always that little bit of trepidation before you see the completed work. Will the edges be straight? Will the colours be consistent through the whole tapestry? Will the commissioner like the finished product? etc etc. However, as you can see from the pics it all went well and everyone is happy with it.

The Vice Chancellor starts the cutting off

The tapestry comes off the loom

A happy bunch of weavers and volunteers

Once off the loom, all the levelling threads are removed

And the plaiting off of the warp threads begins. After this it will be readied for hanging and I will let you know when that is about to take place

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

And now some pics of yesterday's work -

Nearly ready for hitching off

All hands on deck to finish the last little bit - everyone is standing because the working area has reached the height limit (some are even standing on telephone directories)

Jen is showing a new volunteer the ropes

Starting to hitch off

And the completed line of hitching

Rolling on, retying the warps, and starting to weave on the last stretch.

Well, its been some time since I last posted and I apologise for that. And what an eventful couple of weeks it has been! When I last posted we were getting ready to do the last rolling on of the tapestry. This was quite important as the warps had to be lengthened at the same time due to the fact that a further few centimetres had to be woven to provide a turnover hem. This was because the tapestry is now going to be hung on a wall instead of the original idea of it being a floor tapestry. Not ony has this been done now, but the final "hitching off" was also completed yesterday. Tomorrow, the Vice Chancellor of RMIT will perform the "cutting off" ceremony, where the completed tapestry is removed from the loom (more pics tomorrow).
We have also had news that a further three tapestries are to be commissioned by RMIT - one for each of the campuses - so it appears that the tapestry apprentice will be in business for a while yet. The following are a series of pics taken over the last cople of weeks. Enjoy! Actually there may not be any pics in this post as Blogger has just changed th format and I cant figure out how to get the pictures in so I'll post this and then try and get some help.