Friday, 31 May 2013

At Last! The OCTADO is completely finished ( well almost!)

Yes it is finished and ready to warp up. (well shaft N'8 is missing the wooden top rail as I have run out and need to buy some more) It is working perfectly with the mechanical dobby and if anything, it is smoother and definitely lighter to operate than the original. I selected the springs myself and they are variable pitch, so are much lighter to operate in the initial press of the foot.

 8 shafts, like the original, these were (surprisingly) the most difficult part to replicate and not the piano-key mechanism. 8 shafts in less than 80mm of width all operating smoothly was a tall order. They are weighted (like the originals) and the whole castle assembly is built around roller bearings and texsolv like the original...smooth as a nut!
The business end of the dobby. I made the castle and got this working before I made the frame. The tolerances on the wooden piano keys had to be 0.25mm on the width. I also soon found out why every little detail of them was important - my keys ended up identical to the originals- every slope and cutaway as crucial to ensure 100% accurate selection by the dobby and the transfer to the knife.

I am incredibly pleased with it. Total cost of materials was less than 500 euros  ( I did of course have the dobby mechanism already). I have have a quote from the USA to ship a new electronic interface to France for an all-in price of 1000 euros, which is exactly half what Louet want from Holland or any of the UK stockists can offer me delivered within the UK...good old US of A!!!! But fr now, I am happy with the mechanical dobby for the work I am now doing.....the enforced sabbatical from weaving has generated a large backlog of design ideas.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Short Vid of Weaving "Moon Over Bourbon Street"

Painted Warp "Moon Over Bourbon Street"

This is my interpretation of the song "Moon Over Bourbon Street" (Sting).

The New Orleans skyline  refelected in water with full moon.

This is photographed on the loom.  The first is after stage 2 of painting with the extended front beam still in place; the others are in various stages of weaving. Because the acrylics used are metallics, the colours are reflecting in the flash.

Cotton at 10epi. Painted on the loom in 3 layers: Acrylic wash to give the bright base layers; airbrushed acrylic highlights in red and yellow; hand painted acrylic pastes for the street detail. The moon and bat were painted using a stencil.
I am getting more experience now of just how the painted warp will appear in the finished work using diferent base patterns...this has turned out just how I wanted it.

 I made a stencil for the bat. To accent the bat, I added acrylic to the cloth on the wing after the weft jad been woven in - this is the only part of the work where the cloth has been painted after finishing - everything else is a combination of the paint on the warp and the interaction of the weft pattern.

The tie up was a two block, distorted weave, which also weaves as tabby. Weft was a terracota C4 linen by Texere and the pattern weft is...God Knows! Just liked it and picked it up in a bric-a-brac store.

Here it is finished and off the loom. Now it will be mounted on a canvas frame which I am painting.

First of three Finished Warp Painted Works

This is the first finished piece I did with the warp painting after months of practicing. It's a cotolin warp, 18epi  warped onto the octado with an extended front beam. Handpainted in acrylics then woven using a modified form of overshot*
Woven as a wallhanging for the redecoration of the master bedroom in the gite

* Overshot's half-tones mask the warp painted patterns. Threading as crackle and modifying the tie up leaves the overshot unchanged but a more warp-dominated base layer. tabby was woven with a 30/2 linen in gold. Pattern thread was a space dyed wool/ cotton.