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Thursday, 27 October 2011

Process #3 - listen and learn

I've been obsessively weaving these big massive samples when I don't need to do so. It's been pointed out to me by my tutor (for the second or third time, but I'm too stubborn to listen to anything the first time because I always think I'm the first person that was ever correct) that I should be concentrating more on variety in colour and weaving more smaller samples on one warp than what I am doing now. Basically I'm making work for myself and it isn't necessarily going to be that helpful at the end of the day.
This is probably the most important part of the design process, taking feedback and allowing others to challenge your preconceived notions. It's probably the only way anyone ever moves forward artistically or philosophically.
If we don't allow ourselves to be changed by others then we stagnate and drop out of creative life or else become an obstacle in the way of those who wish to change things for the better.
So I've changed my approach to this project as of today. I think my work will be better for it.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Using a temple

And though my selvedges aren't much better, I haven't had to retie a single selvedge thread in 2 full days of weaving that included much cursing as the shuttle kept attempting to break orbit. This I think is being caused by the fact that the upper shed is pulling the lower up just a wee bit on the right hand side. It wasn't an issue with the last pegging plan I was using, but it is now. I'd spend more time adjusting the levels but it's impossible to get anything just so as the shafts are held up by ancient cotton string that's all ragged and every shaft is different. I'm considering requesting that the uni invest in Texsolv to tie up the shafts on the George wood looms. What do y'all think?

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Statistical anomalies

Here's an interesting thing.

So those of you who use blogger.com to throw portions of your brain at the internet may have noticed that they've changed their layout and suchlike for the account settings page.

I hadn't of course because I'm a bit slow and I've also posted all my recent blog posts (the ones that are basically a photo and caption) from my phone, which is a very convenient way of throwing images at the web but not much use for writing long screeds of text because of it's tiny little keyboard. I plan to buy a bluetooth keyboard for the thing sometime in the future when I have some money, but don't hold your breath, that day may never come.

Anyhoo, that's enough rambling introduction. Here's the thing I noticed. They have statistics on the main page. And mine are fairly expected, it's hardly a high-traffic blog, I don't promote it anywhere and I rarely comment on other people's blogs (and that's where most of my visitors and commenters come from). So we're talking like 10 visits one day, 20 another. maybe as much as 30 in a day when I put up a halfway readable post. Nothing exciting, I'm certainly not going to install AdSense and live off that.

But I looked at the all-time stats, and in November 2010 I (apparently) got 5681 pageviews after a slow and steady climb to 580 the preceding month and then reasonably steeply declined to a normal level after that. What I'm wondering is what on earth happened in November 2010? Did some high-profile blogger or popular forum poster link to my site? Was my usual rambling and out of focus picture post hitting some kind of zen spot in the internets somewhere, or was I simply visited by the Internet Fairy, showering me with good gifts of visitors and Karma and so on?

Bloody weird anyway. That one month accounts for about a quarter of all page-views EVER, in something like 4 years. Can it be that long? Please, Infinite Universe, tell me it hasn't been that long.

I feel old now.

I turned 30 the other week as it goes. I didn't feel old then. But I hadn't just spent 10 straight hours threading through while sitting on a wooden board then. My rear end felt like a lump of dead meat by the time I left college today

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Process #2a - first colour warp

After building up a selection of colours I'm happy with, I then decide to myself it's a lovely idea to test these colours in various warp and weft combinations and weave structures.
This warp is the pinks and the blues which together make up my first colourway. I am threading them in a block draft on 12 shafts, in 3 4-shaft blocks. Primarily I intend to combine various 4 shaft twills, but will also experiment with other combinations of 4 shaft weaves, such as hopsack or honeycomb, bearing in mind that I have no intention of resleying as I am being economical with my time.
Which brings me to the other thing. Depending on time factors this will be the first of either 3, 6 or 9 identical warps, the next being tied onto the last in much the same manner as Blossom (The Weaving Monk) does in production. I expect this to save me about 8 hours of labour for each warp. Spread that out over 6 warps and its an entire working week.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

And again, after a press

Yes, definitely worth the effort.

Luscious pink scarf

It's finished now, see what you think. It has just the.most wonderful handle and drape. I can't believe I've never woven with fine silk before. All the extra work is absolutely worth it.


Friday, 7 October 2011

Wavy multi-twill

Ok, so I drafted the pink silk in blocks of 4 shafts each on a total of 8, and I set the lift plan to have the first 4 shafts doing 3/1 twill and the others 1/3, so sect and warp face, and then alternating. And I wove that for q while to get a sample, then it occurred to me there was a bit of q curve where the blocks meet, so I've been weaving a whole scarf length in solid stripes (it's taking ages) and I've got this very interesting wavy effect when I remove the tension. I'll have to make an extra wee sample to see what happens when I steam press it.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Pink Silk

672 ends of 33 Tex silk. To weave 1 sample and 4 yards at 56 epi. Varying twills, to hopefully create an interesting shimmer. Weave plans to follow this evening when I get back from the CAD lab.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Process: Collage

This is the first post in a series, in which I'll be illustrating my design process, now that I'm taking it properly seriously. As I can't the now find the images to illustrate my inspiration source, the first list shall instead show you some collaging.
I have made 3 books of collage for this semester, 50 tpages each. The first two are explorations of colour and basic proportion, and in the third book I take my favourite colour combinations and experiment more with placement and angle, sometimes creating a subtle effect, sometimes a lively and even violent one.
in the next post I shall illustrate what I have been doing to attempt to get a feel for illustrating fold and (the all important) drapes in my sketchbook.