Design And Conquer

In the blog post ‘Apollo’s Other Daughter’…… , I describe a vision I had that lead me to the current piece on the loom.  I am determined to overcome a design ‘obstruction’ that I have struggled with for most of my weaving years.

I first encountered this problem in 1980.  My neighbor in Philadelphia, John Graham, was a print maker, and his work was so colorful, the subject matter so compelling, that I couldn’t wait to weave some fabric inspired by it.  Although the pieces I wove were beautiful, ultimately I was dissatisfied with how little they related to his art.

Question:  How can I weave a fabric that does more than copy color and some texture when taking inspiration from art, nature or idea?

Furthermore, is it important that the viewer can relate the fabric immediately to its inspiration, or does it matter only to me?  First, some pictures.

Beaming my iridescent warp by myself. Sorry about the toilet in the back ground.

Use of a two-pound weight to place tension on the warp when beaming alone.

First weft appeared flat to me; the addition of orange rayon boucle made the fabric come alive.

What started out as a two color warp and single color weft, will become a 'coat of many colors' with the help of my friendly color wheel.

It took three tie ups to find the 8-harness twill I wanted. This loom has the easiest tie up of all my looms. Riley was offering encouragement.

So, what started out as an iridescent warp of two colors, with one color in the weft, is going to be much more colorful.

I am winding the orange rayon with the red silk.  Using two yarns on one bobbin can be tricky.  I have a stool with a slot in the top and I place one cone under it, thread the yarn off of it through the slot and then place the second cone over the slot, thread the yarn which is through the slot up through the second cone.  The two yarns then snake around each other, behaving more like one yarn and unreeling fairly smoothly.  I hope to use some violet yarn in the area of the neck and cuffs, but this piece is developing more as I weave.  I love the sponginess of the fabric and can’t wait to wash a sample to see what happens.  I love to weave!!!

And, I think that as long as the fabric is beautiful, it won’t make any difference if no one but me knows that I had cabin fever when the inspiration for it came to me.

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