The Inevitable Cloth, Part 2

You know Madelyn van der Hoogt's color/texture vs. structure weavers distinction? Mom and I thought I was firmly in the former, and she in the latter, when I started to weave. And in appreciating other weavers' work, I still am absolutely, undoubtedly and hopelessly in the former, though texture has become just as important as color lately.

However, I swear I read somewhere in Sharon Alderman's swatch book, A Handweaver's Notebook, where she asks, "why not both?" (I've been looking for that passage ever since I started Unravelling, but haven't found it yet, so I might be mistaken about the origin.)

At first, the thought upset me, it was daunting to think of so many variables in planning a cloth, but post-Randy, I agree completely. (Not that I'd ever disagree with the Goddess at any time on any point, you understand.)

Looking back, that we were required to put on a warp with "dynamic proportions" on a loom in preparation for Randy's workshop with very little explanation on "dynamic proportions" was the starting point. Though I'd always designed shawls with the human body and its movement in mind, I never considered an observer's eyes gliding over cloth itself; for now that's my interpretation of "DP".

Then when I did my first Randy experiment and learned abrupt and even not-so abrupt color changes and undulation didn't produce attractive results, I started to look for, make, and save Randy-appropriate drafts.

Now this next bit, I swear I posted once before, but I can't find it, so if I'm repeating myself, so be it.

When I was weaving the Big Ribbon and swapping weft colors, (but in this case, following a loose plan,) I learned that not only do I want to use Randy-appropriate drafts when I changed weft colors, but I needed a certain inevitability in where and how the colors changed. Not by logic, based on color theories, (though I think it's entirely possible, even probable, arriving at the same conclusion from different paths), not by plan or design, but by some overwhelming, sentimental urge or whim or fancy. That's the best explanation I can give you on what I mean by "inevitable". And it's this inevitability I look for.

Perhaps the "IC" are innate in threads we choose, perhaps inside the weaver, or perhaps they float around the Universe and Weaving Angels deliver them to only those who are receptive. (Seen any cherubs with pale blue ribbons in your studio lately?)

As Valerie commented, "Achingly beautiful cloth is not always synonymous with complex cloth." The Alderman book has many "inevitable cloths" in my eyes, and they are not always complex.

Now, there was something Bonnie Tarses said about the three (?) key elements of textile she was taught at Rhode Island School of Design and these, too, helped me develop this concept of "IC", but darned if I can find that particular post. I'm done looking for reference and passages today.

And would you believe this train of thought happened well outside my depressed moments, which is amazing because in my usual state I'm much too practical and can't cope with concepts; perhaps I should read quantum mechanics the next time I sit on my blue couch for hours.

On to the ugly warps.


  1. Sorry but, my cherubs have flourscent ribbons trimed with LED's.

    was it from Dooley?
    weave + form + colour

    or for architect's
    form follows function

  2. Hurray to cherubs of all ribbons, Lynne. I need to get back to Bonnie's blog and look it up. It had something to do with good textile designs, I think.


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