Now that The Eye of the Beholder is off of the loom, I’m rarin’ to start warping for Vanity of Vanities. In fact, even while weaving The Eye, Vanity was in the background nagging away. Oh, how these tapestries can nag!
Though i have a goodly list of images and designs for tapestries, I have yet to weave a tapestry in the order in which it appears on the list. Seriously. Some designs are more demanding than others. Weave them now. They want what they want and they want it now, dagnabbit! When I try to force the weaving, it just doesn’t get done. It’s that simple. For instance, for several a months, I tried weaving a delightful Althouse image of a flower. Simply exquisite. The thing would not be woven. Worse yet, it had no name. You must understand, these tapestries come to me with names. To look at a picture is to know the name of the tapestry. Frustrated, I dabbled and mangled other nameless things that I won’t dare to call ‘tapestry’.
Then, I went to New Zealand, to Marilyn Rea-Menzies’s studio with a huge image I did want to weave, already named Boadicea, and with Marilyn’s guidance and tutelage, wove a small tapestry, from Boadicea, called Iceni Wolf’s Head. On returning to China, I tried weaving the flower again. Still no go. Instead, So What If… and A Distant Dawn got woven. Afterwards, came TanTan, then I finally started Boadicea.
With all of this, the image of Vanity of Vanities was sitting in the back of my mind. I’d seen the artwork, immediately loved it and the name popped into my head on first sighting. Upon returning home in 2010, some time during that year, I got the artist’s permission to weave a tapestry of his drawing. Still, though I kept on looking at the image periodically, only once did I warp up a loom, a very basic Glimåkra tapestry loom, to get Vanity going. You see, that loom has the requisite width. It’s about 36″ wide, and Vanity deserves to be done on a large scale. Still, nothing.
Back to China. Vanity of Vanities is in the back of my mind humming away, but the Glimåkra Freya is too small, I’m thinking. I want to go big, you see. Solomon deserves that. Instead of Vanity, Thar Be Monsters Out Thar and The Eye of the Beholder pop out of an Althouse image of a stand of trees and a NASA Rover picture of a planet, and that’s all she wrote.
So, now it’s no surprise that Vanity of Vanities is clamoring to be realized. It’s been a long and constant conversation going on in the back of my mind for a couple of years. The colors to be used, the techniques, the dimensions. It was because of Solomon that I bought the Mirrix to bring to China. Now that I’m likely to be returning home next weekend, Vanity can stop nagging because it will finally come into being on the Mirrix.
So, with an empty portable loom, itchy fingers, I’m looking forward to the next tapestry just to get Solomon out of my head. To make sure I get him right, I’ll have to read Ecclesiastes all over again.