Sunday, July 31, 2011

City Lights

The color blending piece is now finished as well.  I really am a klutz with sewing, but I get there eventually.  I like this piece for all the neat things I learned about color.  I am hoping it has made me more adventurous with the weft colors I choose.  I have called it "City Lights", because it began life as a blurry photo from NYC.  I am sure it was an accident, and the friend who took it meant to delete it, but fortunately he didn't.  And then, of course, I moved some things around in the file in the interest of a more balanced composition.

If you click and go in close, you can perhaps see the color magic.  For example, the frame is woven with red, blue and green on the black warp.  At a distance it is a nice lively gray.  Up close you can see all three colors.  Fun.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Rock Creek, Woven, Rewoven--April

How is it that I can be infinitely patient with weaving problems but not be able to handle sewing problems? I have been avoiding finishing my two new pieces all week.  They came off the loom last Sunday.  I finally forced myself to get to the first one today.  And then I made the dumbest errors in logic, when I put the backing on.  Well, anyway here is the finished "Rock Creek--April" with backing and finally photographed.
This is the one with the five weft colors: blue, green, brown, red and yellow.  I hope you can see the rushing stream and rocks in the center panel.  While I spent over a month reworking the design to simplify many areas, I still wonder if the design is not inherently too busy.  But it is done at last, and that is nice.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Color Blending

It really is amazing how those color lessons you learn in school actually work out. The brown areas in this piece are green and red wefts, and they look rather strange up close.  But from a distance they are definitely reading brown.  The frame is a combination of three wefts: blue, red and green so it takes on a slightly violet hue.  

It is such fun to weave something fast like this one.  There was minimal time spent in playing with the file--just some filters and a few colors changed around.  Nothing compared to the months I spent on the last one.  I think it would actually have suffered if I played with it too much.  The free and more spontaneous look would not have come through. 

And yes, there is a mistake about half way across--an end that kept coming to the surface and would not weave.  But I attached a small weight (large washer) to it, and it now is behaving itself.  

The other thing that was interesting was my choice of structure for the framing area.  I am undecided as to whether I will actually use the frame or just sew it into the lining, but I knew I wanted the design to be less than the loom width in height.  So I had to do something with the extra warp ends.  At first I tried an eight end satin in the borders. 

But as you can see the satin took up much too much space and did not balance the double weave twill in the body of the piece.  If I had kept this up very soon I would have had a severe tension and distortion problem.  So I picked one of the double weave colors/structures that did not figure in the actual image and placed it in the frame.  Of course it works fine, since it is the same as the center.  

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Done, and on to the next

The Rock Creek Spring piece is finally woven.  I find that if I weave in the morning it goes much quicker.  I have more energy then, and it all just chugs along.

Now I have the color chips for the next piece, working title Color Blur.  Must think of something more glamorous or philosophical to call it.  I am liking all the colors I can get with four shuttles.  Lots of optical blending happening here.  Thank you pointillists.  And the weaving is going much quicker.  I can also stack the shuttles on the fell of the cloth in both directions, which saves a small amount of time.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Almost there

I'm now up to 2700 pixels out of 3150.  Should be able to finish it tomorrow.

In the meantime, I have been playing around with a file of abstract color.  It should not need all those endless hours of fine tuning that this piece has required.  I am looking forward to getting going on it, so that is even more motivation to finish those final picks on the landscape.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Chugging along

After a break for the weekend and a trip to Manassas battlefield for a ranger talk, I am back to weaving.  Here we are half way through the process.

You can start to see the insert of the rushing stream in the center.

And here is the view at sunset across the battlefield toward the Blue Ridge.  Such a beautiful place to have such ghastly things happen.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Finally throwing the shuttle

After two and a half months of tinkering with the file, doing several samples and redrafting doubleweave twill for five shuttles, I am finally going to finish this thing.  It feels good to be weaving again.  Despite some initial awkwardness the five shuttles are weaving quite smoothly.  I stack them on the loom shelf when they are on the left and on the cloth when they are emerging on the right.

I hope to keep up the pace of 500 picks a day.  This is at the 1000 pick mark.  The piece has 3100 so it will be several days of weaving.