Monday, October 1, 2007

Randall Darwall Workshop - One Year On for a Monotone Weaver

I've been thinking about this for a while now.

The thing that jumps out is the joie de vive Randy holds for his life and art; I can't think of Randy and Brian and not remember their excitement for what they do and how they live. With their textiles, there was much experimenting and playing "just to see what happens"; a lot of weavers have this same wonder and play, and I'm not devoid of it, but I tend to stick to the plans because when I do deviate, it doesn't work for me. I have noticed, though, that I see the world differently, that there's no separation of work and life. (And there's a whole blog post there.)

The mixing of colors is not working for me. Case in point, the current, blindingly bright multi-colored "ribbon" which will be hung from either the 3 meter rafter or 6 meter ceiling in a gallery about to rebrand/relaunch itself in mid-October. The piece will be about eight inches wide and up to 20 meters long; the warp has only six colors, (green, two blue greens, two blue yellows and a yellow). I stuck two ends of purple and two of apricot after much consideration and though I don't mind the apricot, the purple looks dumb. If this would have been a scarf warp, I would have taken it out or changed things at this point, but I couldn't think of how to remedy this, and hoping something three to six meter high would look a bit different, I left them and started weaving. There's always supplementary warps, I thought.

Proportion and Fibonacci sequence present less problems. Whereas the selection of colors is more intuitive than logical, and therefore entails no real right or wrong answers, these numbers are in black and white, and I've felt more at liberty to experiment, some with a degree of success, some to utterly hidious effect. With my own textiles, however, it's hard to separate the color or textural aspects from the proportions, so looking at some of the utterly hidious results, I can't always pinpoint the cause of the disasters.

That which completely boggled this feeble mind before the workshop, the "dynamic proportion", I'm starting to understand conceptually. I consciously examine textiles and other designs in terms of how they make my eyes move from one area to another, and I believe Randy was trying to make us think of using different colors in different proportions to entice the viewers to do the same. With this, understanding this is one thing; practicing is totally another.

Even before Randy's workshop, probably since Philippa Vine's color course in 2001, I've been conscientiously planning my textiles counter-intuitively, hoping to surprise myself. So far, it's been aggravating and dissatisfying, because what I get take off the loom are not as beautiful as I think I can make them. The next step for me is to have a comfort-weaving blitz, of weaving intuitively and against everything I've learned in the last few years, and see if I still prefer those results. Yes, it's taken me a year to figure out how to start my year of apprenticeship.

1 comment:

  1. I loved reading all about your workshop with Randy. I'm also a great fan of his work Our local weavers guild had the pleasure of a visit at his studio many years ago--would have loved a workshop with him. You're doing a wonderful job. Keep going and leap beyond the "comfortable" color ranges. Those were your best and by your own admission, most fun.I'm also a weaver and have taken color/design workshops with Kaffe Fassett. I remember it as vividly as your experience and it was 10 years ago--more color--it makes all the difference :-) Only problem is I have more ideas than years to live!!! Great pictures--thanks for sharing.
    Sister Tabitha

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