Saturday, November 21, 2015

Blue

It's been a while since I last wove one whole piece in an afternoon, but that is what I did yesterday. In fact, all told it took about three hours, which is remarkably fast for me.
It's the blue piece, mohair/merino warp, 20EPI, 110/2 merino in variegated pale blues to white, 17/2ish to the rest of the world. I was going to use a undyled merino of the same size to make the colors in the warp stand out, as it has beautiful purple, indigo and dark green. When I weighed undyed against the possible complexity the variegation in the weft might create, I opted to use the latter. Because I didn't sample with both for comparison, I can't know for sure, but the 110/2 merino's size and its light value against the dark warp, (slightly darker than in the pic,) erased the subtle variegation in the warp. I should also have beaten more gently.
I started with the treadling seen in the bottom half of the drawdown in the linked post, but I got so bored and mixed and matched all kinds. Here it is, unwashed; the m/m mix doesn't full much, but the merino will somewhat.

In certain lights, the mohair shines and gives the piece a more grown-up look, but, well, 65/100. (I must stop saying things like that if I intend to sell this online, shouldn't I?) Ben said it'll go great with blue jeans.

Weaving on the four-shaft was a great exercise, and I mean, cardio workout. But I can't help feeling underwhelmed. It's really not the piece, it's me.

I've been struggling of late with the discrepancies between what I read, (long-ago artists' biographies, living one's intentions, processes, statements,) and the restrictions I see in the technique of weaving. Funny because it's also why I like weaving over other discipline. I continue to have "big" ideas for future projects, but what painters/sculptors/ceramicist/tapestry weavers consider and then express through their media/work feel light years away from what I feel I can express/incorporate on the loom. And still, I would feel disloyal if I started embellishing after the web comes off the loom.

So it's a personal problem, and a problem inside my head, not something I can overcome with practice or bigger/badder equipment/material. I keep playing with paper/paint/collage, but I can't connect what I do there with what I do on the loom, save for a vague, unintelligible understanding of how colors interact. So though I take on every project with the same enthusiasm and care as always, larger proportion of my project planning has become automatic/mechanical, and my "big" ideas became smaller, punier, uninspiring. Sure, technique notwithstanding, I can make a certain kind of elegant, pretty cloths from time to time, but don't you know, that alone doesn't excite me. I'm sure I'll come back to this again.

Meanwhile, the cashmere on Klik has 2.5 repeats to go, (less than 10cm,) so I promise I'll get it done this weekend.

2 comments:

  1. Perhaps you need to view your paper/paint/collage work as a separate thing in itself, instead of seeing it as a potential source of weaving ideas/inspiration. Especially since you know/feel the limitations of your craft for expressing what you want to express. It's OKAY to work in different media and let them stand on their own. Really. xo

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  2. The thing is, Connie, I do, but secretly and greedily I had hoped they would influence/improve my weaving in a tangible, far more direct and immediate ways. However, on reflection, I don't do much conceptual thinking when I work on paper, either; most often they're based on vague "themes" if there is any thinking involved. Mostly I let the eyes and fingers do the work. So what does that say about me; that I don't do much thinking and much more of my "making" is automatic/mechanical? Maybe I worry more than think, and am a general malcontent; now that's a simple formula I can well understand and fits right in with the rest of my life.

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