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Misty Mountains is a commissioned tapestry of the PNW Coastal Range Mountains. The client, a part-time resident of Oregon's north coast, approached me with the desire for a nontraditional headboard. They resided in a uniquely built house one block away from the beach and wanted something to align with their architecture and eco-centric values. 


The original ask was broad. To help sharpen the outcome, I compiled a visual presentation with examples and materials. The client and I agreed upon a woolen tapestry of the coastal range mountains. For the next few weeks, I photographed ranges and observed them at different times of day and weather patterns.

Both the client and I reside close to Neah-kan-nie Mountain. This landmark is hard to miss and was considered by the Tillamook Tribe to be where the highest deity resides. Therefore, I wanted to include a whisper of this great mountain in my tapestry.  

After processing the visuals, I sketched and painted the composition to scale and digitized it. The digital version could then communicate composition and color execution to the client.  



After the composition was sketched, I wove a 12" x 12" sample to present to the client for color, scale, and hand feel. The client initially wanted a charcoal sketch look.  Upon seeing the sample, they decided they wanted to integrate green hues.  


Green is one of the more challenging colors to produce using plant pigments. I used existing colors that I have made to create palette options. The client determined their top choices. From there, I developed four values based on a particular hue. Dye to match is a difficult task, but not impossible. Shades produced from the same plant can vary based on soil, water, and location. 


I calculated the amount of woolen yarn needed to complete the 80" wide x 26" long tapestry using the woven piece.  I have to balance cost constraints with my ethical values in sourcing yarn. My approach is to source as local as economically possible.  I prefer to know the farmer and how the sheep are treated.  I cross analyze this with the cost and amount of yarn needed.  For this project, I used domestically grown and spun wool.


The finished tapestry is photographed below (by Trav Williams) in a home built by PNW architect Tom Bender.  Although this isn't the final home for the tapestry, I wanted to capture it in a controlled, curated environment. The client has this piece hanging over their bed and uses it as a functional headboard.

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