Thursday, May 12, 2011

Version 3 at last

Rock Creek, version 3 is done at last; it is even backed and finished.  The photo does not have completely consistent lighting, but I think you can get the idea.  I am much happier with this iteration.  I radically simplified the file to create larger planes of color, which I think work better for this sort of construction.  The small details tend to get lost in the structures.  The full name will be "Rock Creek, November--woven and rewoven".  
This time one can see the leaves and branches, and the picture in the center of the creek stands out from the image framing it, but it still has a bit of mystery to it. It also has more red oranges that I liked in the first trial, and they are appropriate for November.  I think I learned a lot about working with the file in Photoshop by doing the three versions, although I would rather not weave pieces three times to get them right.  The Photoshop designing phase is almost like painting--slow, deliberate, and demanding of a lot of concentration.  I am working at the pixel level, so it is necessarily very time consuming.  

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Spring enchantment

Spring really is the most glorious season here in Washington.  I often call it " the gaudy season" as the colors are sometimes like a fauve painting.  But no matter, it is all welcome after the gray winter.  
Today I am off to buy the annuals to fill in around my many perennials in the garden.  I might even spring for some more daylilies.  Then this afternoon I will get back to the loom and finish a sample of the Rock Creek Spring piece.  I am still trying to decide on the colors, so I have made a little sample with various options in it.  After that I can cut off the original Rock Creek, version 3 and send you a photo of it.  

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Small detail that seem to matter

I am underway with the third iteration of the Rock Creek piece, and I noticed something.  One of my Swedish shuttles was often nose-diving--going under ends in the lower shed. Aside from being annoying, it leads to mistakes in the cloth.  After some thought I switched the shuttle I was using (seen below at top) for the lighter model below it. It made a lot of difference.  Curious about the shuttles' respective weights, I took them to the grocery store and weighed them empty.  The top one is 5 oz. and the bottom one is 3 oz. Not much of a difference except in percentage terms, but it seems to have made all the difference in terms of smooth weaving.
The other detail I noticed was in the beat of number one Rock Creek weaving and number two weaving.  The second was almost 10% longer than the original.  I don't think that the looser beat enhances the design, so this time I am trying to beat harder.  I am also putting more tension on the warp and moving it forward more often.  Vibeke always tells me that I forget to do this often enough; I hope she is now pleased.  And it has helped to make the design clearer to keep the beat more vigorous and the tension higher.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Try Again

I have been distracted for a week by my son.  He came home for five days to get things in order for his move to Japan.  There were a lot of practical (read money) details to straighten out, but he is now safely with friends in Tokyo.  Next weekend he will travel south to his new job.
In the meantime, I have been endlessly fiddling with the Photoshop files for my Rock Creek pieces--both the new and the old.  The first try did not come out as I hand hoped.  It was difficult to "read" especially in the center image.  The second one was also not a great success.  I felt that I had dumbed down the image and taken out a lot of nice detail.  So now I have spent spare hours last week and this redoing the file.  I think I finally have it, but only the weaving will tell.
Above is the first trial.  It has some nice areas, but the design still seems fuzzy.
The second one has improved in the center image, but the other areas have a sameness to them and lack the red tones that I liked in the first one.  It seems too blue as well. So now I hope to get to the loom this week and do trial number 3.  I hope this revision will do the trick.