Tuesday, 26 July 2011

P2P2: FO

I've been a bit quiet on the weaving front lately because I've either been really busy with work, away with work or away on holiday - speaking of which, greetings from Wales where I've spent the day cycling!

Here's what came of my P2P2 response. My initial thoughts on this project can be found here. Here is the completed weaving, straight off the loom.

I didn't aim to make a literal copy of the heron image, but I wanted to try to use an interplay of structure, clasped weft, variegation and colour to capture the essence of the image, and to make a faux-tapestry wallhanging. I feel fairly happy that I've achieved those aims and taken this method as far as it can be taken with this approach.

Warp: 10/1 rayon flake singles, in alternate threads of dark and light green to give an echo weave effect
Weft: hand-dyed, handspun silk cap in a variety of colours, supplemental weft of thickly spun silk cap and some 60/2 commercial silk. These were chosen to give texture to the main part of the weaving and a smoother texture for the 'sky'.

Draft: a network drafted progressive 8-shaft twill, similar to the one I was working on here. Clasped weft used on top of this to add subtlety and intrigue to the pattern.

There's a good image of the picture I was working from here. The things I wanted to capture the most were the horizontal aspects of the main colour blocks, but also the vertical aspects in the image provided by the reeds. This happens within those colour blocks, so I wanted the clasped weft effects to dominate the horizontal, and the weaving draft to dominate the vertical. I'd also wanted to get a third effect inside the weave, of barbs similar to those found in feathers. I think I got that, in the image below.

A supplemental weft of thicker silk cap adds a highlight in the 'grass' section.

In places I've used the change from 3/1 to 1/3 twill to dictate and highlight the change in colour at the point of the clasped weft :
(but in other places I've used it to downplay it as well, such as in the pink section where I was using clasped weft on two pinks of similar but slightly different hue levels). Sometimes the colour blocks in the clasped weft change from one side of the piece to the other.

The 1/3 sections of the twill itself have provided the vertical structure within the colour blocks. It's given weft-faced areas which develop the colour blocks, and the warp-faced areas give vertical structure and an echo-weave like effect to downplay the colour interaction due to the warp.

The end result has been to provide a fabric which has a level of irridescence to it. The weave structure appears and disappears according to the angle you view the piece from.

My initial thoughts on this exercise were:

Emotive: roundness, warmth, growth, abundance, comfort, connections. (Roundness came in with the draft)

Colours: warm colours, especially in the pink-red-purple spectrum (I took these from the image)

Material: silk, but perhaps with some texture (I didn't stray from the silk idea)

Weave: Something involving flight, movement, possibly feathers (I chose the draft to have a feather-like feel to honour the lovely little hummingbird feathers I received, and chose the heron image to play with)

Overall: strong focus on the connection between colour and weave interplay. Possibly a networked draft on a hand-painted warp (I think I'd originally pictured the colour blocks being warp-derived rather than weft-derived, so this is a real departure.)

It would seem I made my mind up early and it stayed made up! Despite that, this piece looks nothing like the kinds of fabrics that were playing in my mind when I first started working and sampling. I managed to achieve my goal of opening my mind, experimenting and letting the piece take me where it would. I enjoyed the process, but it has brought surprises: when I first started playing with this draft it was in an attempt to create a pleated fabric, and that hasn't happened.

Now I just need to finish this, perhaps this weekend. The top part will be sewn around a dowel. I'm unsure whether I'll dowel or fringe the bottom.


  1. I am flabbergasted that the lovely wavy designs, particularly the top, olive part in the top picture, is made of large areas of VERTICAL weft-dominant vs warp-docimant areas! I don't even have the vocabulary for it, but I'm so impressed! And in this way, we can make much larger patterns than the number of shafts that restrict us! I'm so impressed, but I have to take a closer look at your past posts as well as your detail shots.

    I sure hope you post a picture when you hang the piece on your wall. And, oh, quietly giggling that you have a loom in Wales, too!

  2. Lovely thoughtful and rich imagery. I live the weave pattern too

  3. I LOVE the twill structure combined with the clasp weft technique. I am so glad that you have close up photos to show them! very beautiful.

  4. Beautiful! An abundance of beauty.....
    roundness, warmth, growth, abundance, comfort describe this piece so well.

  5. Wow, this is a stunning piece. I love the combination of the twill structure with the clasped weft. It's a bit spooky actually, as I have just started something with a similar combination of techniques - but I don't think it is going to look half as good as this A beautiful wall hanging.

  6. You... have it with you?! If so, you are going to let me see it in person, right?

  7. On 2nd and 3rd reading, I'm starting to understand that though I like your draft, it's really about the combination of the draft, the weft colors, and how you arranged the weft color changes - and the final piece came out all the richer for these combination.

    Congrats, once again. This is really fantastic.

  8. 'tis really beautiful ... I love the colourplay within.