For this final project in this section it is time to develop visual ideas into larger sample pieces making use of the Stages 1 and 2.
The idea behind this sample is to work with stripes but exploring colour, texture and proportion – the latter of which I find notoriously difficult and always have done for reasons I have never worked out. The course work refers to the fact that Stage 2 explored techniques that created different effects whilst in Stage 3 the yarns themselves created surface qualities and there is no doubt I used both of these factors in deciding how my sample would be.
I choose one of my own photographs that I had taken in the summer of a thistle seen on a walk – the textures were beautiful and it is without question an image I will use in the future. Due to my difficulties of working out proportion I used a simple solution of drawing a grid on a piece of clear plastic and from this I simply counted squares and used simple calculations to work out percentages of the total – probably more complex than it needed to be but it enabled me then to work out simple proportions of colour when making wrappings of chosen yarns.
The course material states to take a sheet of graph paper and mark of horizontal strips in the exact proportions of colour referencing the original source image and my wrapping cards and then to block in my marked off areas in matching colours. Before doing the wrapping cards I had also used watercolour paints to paint some colour blocks to try and match as closely as possible the colours in the image and as can be seen I have then made further notes on these referring to number of rows of weaving.
I had purposefully chosen colours and threads that I had purchased with a view to my final project and happily these colours matched to an acceptable degree my chosen image.
At this stage I wasn’t entirely happy as I did not seem to have a design that really excited me – it just wasn’t doing anything so I decided to take the idea one step further due to a Facebook post on Fibonacci sequences seen in nature.
Using the Fibonacci sequence seemed appropriate due to my chosen image so this enabled me then to take my initial very rough sketch and take it one step further.
Due to the complexity of weaving two 2 quarter widths plus one half width of different yarns this meant very very careful weaving and keeping a close eye on the number of rows and how I worked this out can be seen in the photograph on the right which is very rough but makes sense to me at least! I also had to literally tick off each block as I wove it so that I would not loose my place!
The only section I was not able to complete was the top section which was the section which is 1 + 1 = 2 (+1+ = 3) if I was trying to create that Fibonacci sequence – the only reason for this section not being complete was due to my loom not being quite tall enough.
There are several issues with this piece – the first is keeping the rows straight! I used a header thread at the bottom to separate my warp threads evenly but this did not work efficiently and I have since changed to a dowel rod in my next sample. A second factor was having warp threads too close together which with the thicker threads produced curves when combined with the fact I do not think I was able to pack the yarn down sufficiently. As I was nearing the top of the bottom sections I decided to weave over 2 warp threads at a time and this both achieved a better coverage of warp threads, (which was another issue), and also had the potential to straighten out the lines if used with a dowel rod. I am also very much aware of the weaving pulling the piece in at the selvedges and this is something I really want to rectify – suggestions from other students include 1) having an extra warp thread either side to use as a way of keeping an eye on the weaving pulling in, 2) to allow a small loop at the edge or 3) bubbling the yarn along the row or weaving at an angle with the weft so that when you pack down you do so from the selvedge from which the weft started on that pick and this prevents the problem.
However despite the problems and the fact that the rows are somewhat curvy I am happy with this sample. I have been able to experiment with the yarns I would like to use and see how they weave in relation to one another. I do want to experiment further with Fibonacci sequences in the future in relation to proportions and also textures as this sample has given me a very basic knowledge which I feel I can take forward in some way.
I do understand the ideas behind this exercise but still feel working out proportions is going to be a weak area that I need to find further ways of exploring and working out to create more accurate end results.
UPDATE: JANUARY 2017 – Upon checking through my blog I have realised I did not add this sample to this section of the course although my tutor did see the sample and designs with Part 4 and Part 5 assignment work.
I chose the word tranquility as I looked ahead to my theme book work and my final project. I had to consider the proportions of colour and the energy expressed through the colour and also whether the shapes were small and controlled or large and flowing. From this point I had to develop a sample thinking about techniques and ideas I wished to explore further.
I looked at my yarn collection and wound around card the ones I felt expressed the word in terms of colour, mood and texture. The course material suggested thinking about the warp to decide whether I wanted to let the warp show – this for me was not a vital part of the final design.
I eventually decided on a design inspired by the artist Paul Corfield with his simple use of shapes. I decided I liked one particular photograph of a moon gate style,view taken at Elvaston Castle near Derby, combined with a photograph of a tree taken on the Tissington Trail near Ashbourne, Derbyshire.
I adapted the circle for practical purposes with weaving and changed it into an oval and kept the colours deliberately simple to create the impression of tranquility. The yarns to be used were a mixture of wool, raffia and soft man-made viscose yarns – I wanted contrasts of textures and also proportions.
I fully admit on reflection this was a somewhat complex design and my issues with a whiplash injury meant it was incredibly slow to work and in fact this section of the blog is completed retrospectively to Part 4 as I finished the piece during my initial weeks working on Part 5.
The final sample and also the actual painted design is in my Part 6: A Piece of Your Own, Theme Book 2 as its also forms part of my preparatory work for my chosen theme. I am relatively happy with the final piece although there are areas I do not feel blended together sufficiently well and have left small holes but this could be rectified with some small stitches on the back. I would like to work this piece again as an actual textile wall hanging although now I feel I would change one of the yarns – the fluffy blue one which gives the impression of slightly faster flowing water I would change to a slightly smoother yarn and possibly add beads instead for texture. The other change I would make would be to add some embroidery details including French knots indicating small buttercups or daises.
I have been unable to add further samples purely due to the issues with the whiplash injury which has affected my shoulder and neck in the past few months and this has been incredibly frustrating.