Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Time to Shop!

Woven slap bracelets

My favorite shopping opportunity is coming up this weekend...

...the Weaving & Fiber Festival at the Torrance Cultural Center.  Just love this day - so many weaving vendors all in one place!   I always seem to find a bit of yarn to add to my stash and a shuttle or two to add to my collection... last year I found this wonderful yarn made from pineapple leaves.

This year, I am also selling my slap bracelets - the ones which were pictured in Handwoven as well as my beetle coasters so there is even more great stuff to buy!

Stop by and say hello; I'll be there all day.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Dung B. Daily

Dung B. Daily Series - Diminishing Returns

This is my first comic strip.  I am weaving together my love of beetles with my love of fiber.   The series is called Dung B. Daily. This first installment is woven with linen and called Dimishing Returns.  Future ones may also be woven, but I think for awhile I will stick to pen and paper.

The key to understanding the piece is to know that dung beetles push their dung balls with their back feet ... hence the yarn ball is unravelling... hence the title.  Nothing better than a comic strip to teach the basics of dung beetles!

From a weaving standpoint, this is the first time I have woven with linen.  Since the linen is not uniform in size the warps did not remain parallel for long; making for odd edges, turns and bumpy spots.   But it does give that hand drawn look to the piece.

I am happy I thought of wet testing the colored yarn.  When I did this with the red and black linen I discovered it ran... which is a good thing to know prior to weaving.  I can imagine that sick feeling I would have had when steaming the woven tapestry and watching the white linen pick up blotches of red and black.   I quickly switched to some color-fast cotton that was in my stash for the black and red and continued weaving.    As a last touch I wanted the red yarn ball to have a 3D effect so I stuffed it a bit with red mohair which peaks out in places giving the ball a reddish tint in places.

This piece makes me smile.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Opalescence or Abalesence?

Abalescence in Taquete

My color study group is studying "escences"; that is luminescence, iridescence and opalescence.    I am starting my experimentation with opalescence...or perhaps I should say abalescence. 

Based on my readings, to achieve that milky grey look of opalescence I  need to select sparkling tints and a toned background.  The colors must look 'spontaneous'.  Spontaneous? Unplanned?  A weaver do something unplanned...me do something unplanned...hah!  

My Initial Palette
I decided my first project would be trying to weave something that looked like an abalone shell. I would have chosen an opal but I didn't have any lying around.  So actually my result will be more of an abo-lescence vs. an opa-lescence but what's a few mixed up letters among friends...

I decided to use my 8H Purrington table loom since it is already set up with a lovely black warp of serger thread for taquete. I selected spools of colors from my thread stash; mostly rayon along with some metallic.  I started with a dozen or so shuttles with a variety of colors and blends.  Then started to weave. Withing four passes, I had a structured plan which allowed me to weave taquete with three shuttles in a pattern that did not appear structured (which of course was...how do you weave taquete without a plan?) with different color combinations appearing as I swapped out different colors.

Above is a photo of the results.  As I tried different color combinations I realized some spools were too shiny and distracting so most of the metallic was removed from the palette.   It's now  a much more calming color palette with a calming result.  The actualy weaving would be boring with all that continous mellow color appearing but thankfully there is the swapping out of colors and 'unplanned' changes in pattern after every few passes to keep me interested.  

Another six inches... then I will add a contrasting pattern for some visual interest and see what fun stuff can be done with opalescence.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Framing a Woven Comic Strip

I finished weaving a small tapestry yesterday and have started working on the framing for it.  It's a small piece; 5 inches by 13 inches woven in white linen.  I'll show a photo of the piece when it's framed... Given it is white it will need to have its space protected on the wall otherwise it will simply blend away into nothingness.

It was a fun piece to design; combining humor, and my love of beetles and fiber.   The piece is a woven comic strip; mostly white with black outlines a bit of red.  The name of the strip is Dung B. Daily.  And I have the inkling to create some additional strips under the same name....but with pen and paper vs. weft and loom.

Given that this tapestry represents the old style comic strip from a newspaper it seems only fitting that it be framed in pieces of an antique printing press.  I still have a few pieces left over from my stash so I am building a special little spot for this tapestry to reside.  The pieces are walnut and I wanted them just a bit darker; not black but almost black with the grain of the wood still showing.  I bought this water based stain in a color called Onyx and it seems to have done the trick.  Tomorrow I'll cover the wood with varnish and put all the pieces together and see how it all comes together.

It's one of those pieces that makes me smile...

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

My Loom Alone

My Loom

Alone. Without weft.
Missing woven melodies.
Awaiting my touch.

I was away from my studio for several weeks with an occassional moment of peace.   During those moments, I took to writing poetry.  I focused on haikus since I discovered Handwoven was having a haiku contest and there was an October 15th deadline which provided a bit of focus.   I have submitted two favorites to the magazine; one musical and the other with shades of grey.  The other is above.

 I missed my loom while I was away.  I am sure the feeling is mutual.