I managed to weave my straight draw samples before Ali came yesterday. But for an unknown, mysterious, incomprehensible reason, the yarns did not bloom in the wet finishing, and the samples look stringy. I don't understand this. Because I'm studying blocks, I wanted to eliminate certain factors from interfering, so I used my regular 2/20 mercerized cotton at my regular 36EPI and washed the way I always do. I used different wefts, cottons of various sizes, merinos, and one mix, but even some of these didn't bloom. The only reason I can think of is the initial hot bath wasn't hot enough, and I might have been more in a rush than I thought at the time. Anyway, it is a sorry looking rag, I'm disappointed, and I'm not showing it to anyone but Ali. Is there anything I can do now it's been pressed and dried once?

I want to weave, again, one of my samples in straight draw because I think it's an OK looking one, then rethread and weave one more before moving on to the next chapter, which is to use more than two blocks.

The design part was a laugh a minute, (including snorting at that passage), and she gave me a whole heap of ideas to extend my understanding of the chapter. In particular, she recommended I do more on the theme of "putting a price on art". But this puzzles me; the joy of making that piece was while I looked at the frottage on hand, the idea sprung out of nowhere and it was pasted together instantly. If I know what the theme is, my mode of operation would change. So how do I keep the spontaneity (and the fun) and still work to a theme? So far the only plan is to gather lots of attractive "stuff" in a box and not worry about assembling them until later, and I'll augment, but won't go actively looking for, material to suit the theme. Any other ideas?

Here are her other suggestions:

  • Play with setts, mixed (color and/or fiber) warps, use these as design features.
  • With more blocks, don't just think about showing only distinctive blocks, e.g. have two behave the same in some parts, and differently in others.
  • Consider unity with variety, asymmetry, irregularities.
  • Express same themes using different methods, or combinations.
  • Use also technology, i.e. scan my frottage, then pixilate, change colors, etc.
  • Use different media for rubbing.
  • Consider the shapes and the cut edges of the collage pieces.
  • Transfer what I'm learning about designs into my samples.
All in all, what I realized was spending 1/2 day a week on sampling and 1/2 a week on design, I should be able to do far more than just the exercises in the books, but take up these suggestions and try them. Busy, busy. At this point, I am totally not sure about the last one, however.

She also mentioned that colors work differently in weaving (which I knew) and glass (which I didn't). I'm curious to know more. Which conveniently leads to my evening.

Last night Rosie and I went to a presentation on English art and cut glass from the 18th and 19th century, mostly from Stourbridge. I had never thought of glass from England, so it was interesting to see them, particularly the opaque kind. There was an example of a Roman pot in the British museum estimated to have been from 0-50 CE, a cameo of white glass over a dark blue base. There was a prize for recreating this piece in the 1800s and a young apprentice was inspired to start working on it when he was 9; he eventually succeeded and this brought back cameo into fashion. In return, nobody is able to recreate the delicate pictorial cut glass designs made in the 1800.

Winter sprung back overnight. The hills are covered by a fresh dump of snow. My basement sounds good on a day like this.


Geodyne said...

I do wonder if the fact that you're spending more time on design than samlping says something about where you are at the moment as an artist?

Meg said...

That's a nice way to put it, Geodyne. But truth to tell, for some reason, weaving is the thing I've wanted to do the least these last few months. I like thinking about and planning weaving, but I've found weaving hard-going. Hopefully that will change soon, too.

Geodyne said...

You go through phases of things. Perhaps you're a little burned-out on weaving after the last couple of hectic years.

I'm a believer that there's no point in trying to force creativity, it's something that comes when it's ready. When you're ready, you won't be able to keep from the loom and you'll weave all the better for the break.

Meg said...

That's the theory, Geodyne. And I'm sticking to it. I have been thinking a lot about weaving, mind you...