Saturday, March 6, 2010

Thoughts on Painted Warps

painted warp with mauve weft

looking ahead at the colours to come

Originally I'd pulled a brilliant turquoise to use as weft on this warp, but once I got it on the loom realized that the shades were too greyed to go with the pure almost cyan of the turquoise.

Instead I used Kelp for the first two scarves, then switched to Mauve for scarf number 3.

The last section of warp has a lot of a greyed green in it so it will be back to the kelp for the weft on that one.

When I first started thinking about having Teresa paint my warps I sort of agonized over it. I should do it all myself, right?


I mean, I use commercially dyed yarns, why shouldn't I use yarns that had been specially painted for me by another artisan?

There is nothing quite like a painted warp and having another artisan do it for me has been a wonderful exchange of creativity. Besides which, Teresa is a talented dyer with a dye studio.

I'm not nearly so confident I could do as lovely a job as what she has been doing for me plus I really don't have the room to set up a dye studio that would accommodate 10 yard long warps.

There are times when - as artisans, craftspeople, whatever label one chooses - that we think we have to do everything all by ourselves. The thing is, the process of making textiles is such that there are a number of skilled jobs required. Some aspects of the process are much more interesting than others. While I can make yarn 'not white' I don't have the colour sense to create attractive colour combinations in a painted warp type of format.

I can work with already dyed yarns and combine them in interesting ways, but I don't really want to work with dyes the way Teresa does.

Neither do I want to take the time to sew with my fabric. I did it, it's true, but it really isn't where my heart is. So for a number of years a friend did my sewing for me.

My talent, such as it is, is in the taking of the yarns and combining them to create a textile. People say to go with your strengths. Well, I've determined that my strength is in weaving, not in painting warps or sewing.

Life is too short to mess about doing things one doesn't really enjoy. Especially when there are other talented people who do enjoy it and can do it so much better than I can.


Anonymous said...

I agree. You don't need to paint your own warps any more than you need to spin your own yarn, grow your own cotton, keep your own silkworms or harvest your own trees to build your own loom! If you had to go back to square one every time then you would never get to the bit that is your special part of the process.

Sandra Rude said...

Amen. Use your time on the parts of the process you love, and you'll have lots more satisfaction from it. Lots of customers ask me why I don't sell garments. My response is always "I want to be a weaver when I grow up, not a dressmaker."

DebbieB said...

I totally agree with you, Laura. I am a good handspinner, but I never want to prep my own fleeces. Instead, I rely on talented dye artists to prep and dye fiber for me. My strength is in the making of the yarn. When I learned to weave, the same principle applied for me. My guild friends wanted me to love dyeing warps, but after trying it, I went back to purchasing pre-dyed yarn for warp.

Sharon Schulze said...

If we all had to do everything we could never do anything else! Mr. Ford hit upon the assembly line system for the efficiency of it but there is also an important part to expertise.

Life is just too short to spend most of the time doing things we aren't good at or don't like....


Laura said...

Just spent the last two days doing something I like and hope I'm good at - teaching 3 new weavers. :D

One is really keen and got a second warp on the loom ready to weave, the other two finished their samplers.

Great to see fresh enthusiasm!


Stephen said...

I am learning this "out-sourcing" or "delegating" piece in so many ways. In fiber arts I am still learning what I like and don't like to do. In other areas of my life, I am beginning to figure it out and giving myself permission to hire other to do certain tasks for me. My upbringing calls me bourgeois for it, but whatever. It gives me more time to weave and do other things I enjoy. Thanks for reinforcing this theme.