Travel Series

Living in New York City for many years, where keeping a vehicle is a liability, train travel was my primary means of travel. I was fortunate to live across the street from Penn Station, with easy access to both local and long-distance Amtrak train service. Much of my life then involved teaching workshops and exhibiting in many states across the US.

I made my way to the west coast at least once a year, often stopping for work along the way. These journeys by train took many days, three days and four nights on the direct train to California. Taking in the beauty of the scenery, both landscape and urban, was a mesmerizing experience. Having much time with these passing images I began to experiment with a memory exercise, taking a particular image seen for just a few seconds from the moving train window and capturing it in my sketch book, or on the loom. Rendering the image in miniature form aided in capturing the essence of this glance from my memory.

I traveled with a small copper loom with a continuous warp. A continuous warp can be pulled around the loom, thus allowing one to weave a much longer tapestry, or in this case, a series of many tiny weavings. The drawings in my sketch book would be woven later, when we were at our destination or back at home.

These exercises developed into the Travel Series. I mounted the weavings in a long horizontal format to create a narrative of my journey as viewed from the train window. Presentation is always the final, but very important, step in tapestry, whether the works be large, small or tiny. Thinking of these weavings as a story board, the decision to mount them in the order that I encountered them was not difficult. However, additional components, such as the abbreviation of the states and a crocheted freight train in “Travel Series II (NYC to Mendocino)” provide hints that help inform the viewer. In “Travel Series IV” I wove a variety of shapes and sizes and chose a different approach to mounting the pieces in order to create more movement within the assemblage. This offers the viewer an experience that is different from viewing the long, linear layout in other Travel Series pieces. The eye moves around the grouping in a more fluid and unscripted way.

Click on images and carousels to enlarge.

“Travel Series I (The Empire Builder)”

“Travel Series I (The Empire Builder)”
28 miniatures, 2” x 2” each, mounted on single panel.
Cotton warp, wool weft.

“Travel Series I (The Empire Builder)” details.

Travel Series II (NYC to Mendocino)”

“Travel Series II (NYC to Mendocino)”
145 miniatures, 1.75” x 1.75” each, mounted on five panels.
Cotton warp, wool, linen, & cotton weft.

“Travel Series II (NYC to Mendocino)” details.

“Travel Series III”

“Travel Series III”
miniatures, 1.75 x 1.75” each.
Cotton warp, wool, linen & cotton weft.

“Travel Series IV (NYC to Cheesequake, NJ)”

“Travel Series IV (NYC to Cheesequake, NJ)”
7 panels, 5” x 24” each.
Cotton warp, wool, linen, cotton & silk weft.

“Travel Series IV (NYC to Cheesequake, NJ)” details.