Social Market for a Mirrix

I’ve been re-working a couple of sections so there doesn’t appear to have been much progress since my last post. There’s actually much more contrast in the colors than there appears to be in the pictures. I experimented a bit with weaving the handspun yarn I’m going to use as embellishment into the weaving but decided against it. It’s much more interesting pulled through the slits. I just noticed that I need to increase the tension on the warp threads again which will straighten some of the wonky areas out a bit. I decreased it when I was working with the handspun.

With every project, no matter what medium I’m working with, there are always lessons learned. If I were starting this weaving over and still using the Tahki Cotton Classic for the weft, I think I would warp every other dent instead of every dent. Of course downside to doing that is the really small areas would be problematic.

For anyone in the New England area, the American Tapestry Alliance’s 8th American Tapestry Biennial is being shown at the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, MA, until May 1, 2011. In addition, two artists will be giving talks:

  • March 13, 2011 @ 2:00 pm Susan Martin Maffei “Under the Influence, or Is It Just Inspiration?”
  • April 10, 2011 @ 2:00 pm Anne Jackson “Anne Jackson: Knotted Tapestries”

Social Market for a Mirrix

The current weaving is progressing slowly. I’m trying to work from left to right and from the bottom up as much as possible. You’ll notice the large square of orange in the middle has been partially removed. Something truly heinous was going on with that particular section. Somehow I managed to get the weft threads way too tight so I have to redo that area. I’m okay with the edges of the individual sections not being perfectly straight, actually I prefer them to be crooked, but that one was far too distorted for me to be able to close the slits if I needed to. As I continue to weave, I’m finding I have to work in a bit more black than was on the original cartoon in order to break the colors up and provide balance. I’m still happy with the basic color combination though.

I’m also working on the two remaining weavings that I completed earlier in the campaign. The pink and black one you saw in the video on Sunday is sitting where I can see it every day and is waiting for me to be struck by a bolt of inspirational lightning. So far… nothing. And I’m continuing to embellish the first weaving with beads. So, hopefully I’ll be able to post both of those by the end of the month.

Social Market for a Mirrix

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.

Social Market for a Mirrix

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.

Social Market for a Mirrix

Image #3 it is.
I did a little test with the Tahki Cotton Classic yarn and decided to enlarge the cartoon from 6×6 inches to 8×10 inches in order to accommodate the yarn I selected. I also waffled back and forth on whether to warp with the 8-dent coil or the 12-dent coil. I finally went with the 12-dent because of the number of small sections. You’ll notice that I’m not using the shedding device and heddles on this project. Since I’m working on numerous small areas, it’s easier for me just to work the sections with a needle.

I volunteer one day a week in the Collections Department at the International Folk Art Museum here in Santa Fe and the project that I’ve been working on the past couple of weeks is processing photos of their textile collection. As I was working last week, I found myself being drawn to the pieces that were primarily earthtones… beige, brown, brick red, orange. So, I dug through my stash and pulled out the following colors to use. I’m a little ambivalent about the turquoise at the moment but I’ll see where the weaving takes me. Because there are so many sections in this weaving, I may color in the individual areas with colored pencil so I have a more detailed pattern to follow. I have a little more prep work to do then I’ll be ready to start weaving.
I have a feeling this weaving is going to take a while so it may very well take us through to the end of the “Social Market for a Mirrix” campaign which is scheduled to end on 2/28/11.