Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Wedge Weave

Here is the piece I started in a workshop I recently took at Convergence.  The class was on wedge weave taught by Connie Lippert.   I have always been intrigued by the wedge weave technique; it goes to the side of me that enjoys the unexpected and pushes the unconventional.

When I finished the piece it reminded me of seeing the Colorado River from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon; hence the title.  I unwound the warp on one edge to give it a more flowing - less rigid appearance more like the feeling I had when I looked down at the river from up high at Cape Royal; like looking down from a cloud.

View From Cape Royal

To me one of the wonderful things about wedge weave is that the edges are not straight.  They curve in and out. And you can make them curve in different ways.  Yes, I do like curves...circles show up in many of my pieces.  I had expected that I would really like wedge weave due to those curves...but to my surprise I did not.  It has taken me a few days however to figure out why.  It turns out that although the edges turn out curvy; the entire woven portion is all straight lines.  For two days I wove straight lines which felt quite controlling and methodical with most of the creativity coming from the selection of the yarn color. I am not a "color" person...but more of a 'structure' person.  I think the most fun was weaving the hole in the middle of my tapestry.

However, I am still curious about wedge weave.  I am going to try another piece...this time adding some curves...


I have always found it "interesting" that the first thing most weavers do when they evaluate a weaving is to look at the edges and see how straight they are.  The straighter the edges the better.  How straight the edges are exemplifies the technical expertise of the artist and how good the weaving is.  We are taught to weave straight edges.  How many times have you heard that a sign of an experienced weaver is straight edges?

There was this weaving in one of the exhibits in Long Beach during Convergence - a wall hanging ...not a scarf or table runner.  I over heard several people say they didn't like the piece because the edges were not straight and the bottom was not 'finished' in a straight manner.  I thought that was one of its strong points giving the piece an organic and more free flowing appearance.  I guess I was looking at it in its totality as a piece of art vs. evaluating the artists technical ability.  Who knows, perhaps the artist could weave a straight edge but chose not to in this piece in order to add a layer of meaning to the piece.

I think we do a dis-service to our chosen field by dismissing pieces based on their edges and not the totality of the work.

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