So, after a couple of sessions of weaving and unweaving, I finally decided the direction I wanted to go in.
I mentioned at one point, in last Sunday’s video I believe, that I wanted to outline each section in black so the weaving would have a Mondrian look to it. Let’s just put it this way… it looked better in my head than it did on the loom. Although it might have worked on a larger piece. Anyway, I went back to the cartoon and added in some additional small areas of black to break up the color a little more and anchor sections.
The other change I made was not to use the warp interlock technique but to use the slit technique when changing colors. What this means is that instead of the weft running continuously across the width of the weaving, there will be a slit between each color. There’s a method to my madness.
During one of the archaeological digs in my studio as I was looking for tapestry needles, I came across some handspun art yarns that I had picked up years ago and never used. What I think I’m going to do is work strands of beads into the art yarns then pull them through the slits in selected areas so they cascade down the front of the weaving. The entire piece will then be mounted on a canvas board that I’ve collaged with handmade paper and painted with iridescent watercolors.
I know, I know. My thought processes and how I create seems really disconnected and random at times. But, for me it’s a process of experimenting. Sometimes the experiment works, other times, not so much. And as you’ve probably noticed over the past few months, I’m not afraid to just scrap what I’m working on and start over. And there’s always the infamous future collage elements bin that projects get consigned to if I finish them and decide I’m not happy.
I was cleaning up my hard drive and computer files this week when I came across some pictures of a number of small samplers I did when I first received my Mirrix loom. I think I wandered off on a tangent at some point and never posted them. Most of them aren’t that interesting and are in a pile to be used in collages but I do like this one. I was experimenting with a Tibetan weaving technique – a technique that’s meant to be used on a different type of loom — a friend had demonstrated for me so it’s extremely irregular. But, I think that’s why I like it. It’s rough and funky and I love the colors. I also love the feel of it since I used scraps of silk yarn to weave it, both for the warp and the weft.
We’re now 3 months into the “Social Market for a Mirrix” campaign. It’s been an interesting experience and I’ve been thinking about the impact it’s had on how I work. I’ve found that it’s a bit difficult to work with people “looking over my shoulder”. I’ve also realized that “traditional” weavings are of much less interest to me than mixed media, experimental weavings. So, all good revelations.
As for the current work-in-progress, I did go back and color in the sections on the cartoon to correspond with the yarns I’m using. It took a couple of versions before I was happy with the balance.
Also, I’m collecting questions as they come in and will address all of them, as well as provide links to a number of online resources, in my final post at the end of February.
So, here’s where I’m at with embellishing the weaving. The yellow beads aren’t quite as glaring in person as they appear to be in this photo. (Note to self: Actually READ the user’s guide that came with the camera.) It’s still a work-in-progress. Right now I’m thinking about layering the entire weaving with embroidery on Solvron to “veil” the weaving and collage elements in order to give it more depth. I also need to shorten that piece of yarn at the top that’s curving. For some reason, that’s really annoying me.
I’m still working on the sampler demonstrating how different yarns look in a weaving. This little guy is 4 inches tall right now. Starting at the bottom, here’s what I’ve used so far… black #5 pearl cotton embroidery thread, a thin multi-colored chenille, a very thin boucle with a silver metallic thread running through it, a thin multi-colored boucle, a purple eyelash yarn, and a medium boucle.
Pearl cotton embroidery thread is always a dream to work with and it comes in 300+ colors so it’s one of my favorites. I use both DMC and Anchor. I also love the look and feel of chenille but it’s been my experience in the past that using chenille over large areas can be problematic because it sheds and you can sometimes end up with bald sections. But because I was weaving a small area, I didn’t have that problem this time. The eyelash yarn is interesting but I don’t think it will hold up well in wearable items like a tapestry cuff. And there are so many types of boucles that it really just depends on the fibers as to whether it weaves well or not. Ones with fuzzier fibers tend to be more difficult.