Sunday, 25 May 2014

Abstracting Nature - A Challenging Commission

This is Julies title not mine, but I like it as it gives me a start point for my ideas which is common with the artist

So these are the paintings she has chosen from the set. They are all about texture; but colours, subtle as they are, are important in the rocks as are the natural striations - so it's all about texture, colour and detail then!

Julie has a vernissage next week which I shall go to as part of the research; spend some time looking at them again and seeing peoples reactions and comments.

I have a pretty free rein to interpret it and certainly there will be several 'samples' for feedback before I attempt the final one, so the exhibition will start me along the path.

I love these paintings and, as with textural weaving, you have to up close and in there to really get the true impression. They are mixed media; Julie has included ground ash and stone within the acrylic media and I am sure I will need to be equally imaginative in how and what I use with yarns and fibre to explore the textural possibilities.

Continuing my mantra to avoid weavers block, that there must always be a warp on the loom whilst I am planning other projects, I have the loom warped for another shadow weave shawl; this time in the slightly finer tencel from Diversan and in blue/black.

I may do this on the Ashford 8 shaft table loom,which is portable, and treat it as a longer term project. 

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Enfin! Completed Expo Piece

Mirror, Mirror? We see what we want to see.
Here it is. Finished apart from some very minor things that won't be visible in the photo - the 'eyes' and serpents head on the central panel, varnishing the wooden staff it all hangs on, replacing the hanging threads with gold chain and maybe putting a narrow wooden frame round each panel.
Finished size is 170cm x 70cm

Whatever you think of it, it is definitely eye-catching in the flesh.
The whole success of the design concept pivoted on the effect of light and shadow. I chose the yarn and weave structure to amximise this.: Tencel for its lustre and huck lace to avoid excessive interlacement which dulls the sheen. The central portcullis huck shows the Tencel on the inner block (where the 3d relief is placed) to its most lustrous. But the biggest issue, visibility of the text is, thankfully, a success. Top and side lighting is best as the text glows when viewed obliquely opposite the light, but as long as the lighting isn't 'flat' (which is why the flash photo doesn't do it justice) the text appears and recedes as you move across its length.

The vacuum moulding was rather fraught due to the height of the relief in panels 1 and 3, but nonetheless successful.

Overall, very pleased with all aspects of the design and execution.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Expo - The Final Panel is finished

Phew! Finished all the panels this afternoon followed by a visit to the shops to get the mounting board and sundries to mount and hang them.

This is the third and final panel though it's actually the first in the row when mounted. 40cm x 32cm.Woven in copper Tencel. It's a smiling face with a garland made of miniature white silk roses accompanied by two hearts.

It's on white mounting board with a 3cm border. This is probably how it will be mounted though I am not sure whether to edge the weaving with a narrow wooden frame.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Expo - Second panel

Dilemma - I am not happy that the second panel 'goes' with the first so do I weave the first to 'match' or vice-versa?

This is not yet stretched on the frame and mounted
The subdued background colour of this second panel and the contrasting 'plaid' effect central section  are good at contrasting the relief of the masks and I am pleased with the effect I have achieved with the snake winding in and out of the faces and vac.forming the three masks at once worked fine.  Unfortunately, the text is not as clear; which I am surprised at because the grey/gold/silver worked when I trialed it???? 

The colours of the two panels just do not harmonise though. If I had the time I would warp again with the gold/silver in the central warp panel and a solid, light colour either side. This would make it easier to use dark, bright weft colours to coordinate between panels as well as ensuring the text stands out.....but I aint got the time! 

There is also the not so small matter of having no more mask moulds. If I redo the first panel I can reuse that mask, but that's not an option with this panel.............  Ho, hum!!

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Expo - First panel

I have finished the first panel and immediately the decision on whether to do a series of panels or a book was made: it looks fantastic with picture lighting anything from 1-5m away, so it will be panels.
Not sure about the hat tassle wrapped round the face. One of the ideas for 'evil' was to have a snake wrapped round the head, so the idea was to have an equivalent, benign object on the 'good' panel which can juxtapose with the snake

I have saturated the photo to try to show the shadow better. The real colour is this:-

Technically, the weaving is pretty much perfect (pleasant change!), the text stands out very well and the relief is excellent - the shadows from top lighting even show the face details, but are not visible in the photo.

 Using the central panel in a huck with fewer interlacements worked perfectly to provide the movement needed to follow the form but minimise draw in on the rest of the panel. It wasn't sure about using vertical stripes with the risk of distortion, but I have managed to keep it all parallel with some judicious use of the steam iron.

Three other 'variations' on faces which I have mocked up with cloth in the vacuum bag:-.

Face 3: Twin/conjoined heads.

Face 2: The presence of the fragment separated from the rest of the face makes the deformity particularly effective.

Face4: Using one mask, I have mocked up a Medusa head with snakes as hair (using thick corded rope under the cloth) 

One option is to have a double-width central panel by weaving  panel longer and using it turned 90 degrees. The text will run top and bottom and it will allow me to write the rest of the text in one line "Qui est la plus belle au pays ?"

If I do this, I will weave it in two weft colours so when turned, it will be one colour on the left half and the other on the right half.

The pair of conjoined heads would work well in that orientation with one head having the snake-hair.......the deformed face could be added too.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Marche Des Tisserands Expo Design Fabric Finalised

I have settled on a threading of 4 shaft huck lace for the majority of the piece. Two blocks of the same threading using 8 shafts. This allows me to have a central rectangle in either plain weave (as shown) or any huck lace preset.

The remaining 24 shafts are threaded as a straight draw and reversed on the left. These will be used for the motif designs. The title text is shown here; in 3/1twill with a broken twill background (yes, I did re-programme Photoshop!). It remains to be seen how visible the text will be; but as it is subtitled 'On voit que l'on veut voir'......who cares! :-o 
I may invert the two twills so the text is weft not warp once I have done a test section  as the set I have chosen should make the fabric  slightly weft faced in the twill.

The whole threading allows me to have plain weave in any block and huck as borders and/or inner pattern areas.

Warp is 300 ends @ 20epi threaded 10 ends 8/2 gold tencel, 10 ends 8/2 silver spun silk repeated. There will be secondary ends of fancy yarn on the second warp beam, used differently for each of the pieces woven. I have chosen a sett for plain weave rather than twill because I need sufficient movement in the interlacement to allow the fabric to form over the mask moulds.

I have two designs options once the pieces are woven; there will be four pieces:-
Design 1 is based on the idea of a Giant's Story Book; an oversize (A3) book  with woven front cover (as shown above) with the title in the motif.  Inner 2 pages will be the vac. formed faces in relief and the fourth piece is the back cover. Depending on how this mocks up, or not as the case may be:

Design 2 will use the 4 pieces hung on a wooden staff.