Saturday, October 16, 2010

And Now Back To My Regular Programming...

Two shawls, one with red/purple Tencel for weft, one with teal Bambu 7

I actually wove these shawls, lemme think - a year ago? More? But they have finally risen to the top of the wet finishing pile and are being readied for the upcoming shows.

This warp was a stash reducing mixture of 20/2 merc. cottons along with some miscellaneous other fine cottons. I may even have blogged about it at the time I wove it but there's been a lot of yardage over the beam since then so I thought it might be okay to talk about them again.

Let's be honest here. Neither of these colourways appeals to me as a personal fashion statement. But I can't help liking their boldness. The colour shifting from the centre to the outside, the almost irridescence of the colours - which is pretty difficult to photograph.

And yes, both shawls were done on the same warp. What a difference a weft colour makes, right?

My personal journey through weaving has been interesting - to me at any rate. :D

When I started weaving it was the structures that appealed to me. I loved the way the wefts and warps reflected light (and therefore colour) differently. That subtle play of light quite delighted me.

I felt insecure about combining colours and had to work very very hard to break through the colour barrier. What I have learned about colour combinations I learned by being bold enough to put colours together I wasn't quite sure would 'go'. Sometimes the combinations were a complete disaster. But surprisingly - to me - a lot of them worked. Well, I personally might not want to wear them, but they were nice. And quite often customers agreed with me and bought some of my more daring attempts.

The final break through was taking a workshop with Jack Lenor Larson. The topic was irridescence, and the way he taught the class was to set us a colour challenge, let us get on with doing it, then giving anonymous critiques. That is, he didn't know who had done what sample, and unless you paid attention to who posted which one, you didn't know who, either. Unless, of course, it was yours. :)

I was very intimidated by the class and the people in it. But over the course of the workshop I realized that the critiques of my samples were consistently positive. Hmmmmm. Maybe I did know something about putting colours together after all!

While I'm not stupid, I can be very slow at times. It took a couple of years before I felt confident enough to actually start working with colour. The format I chose was the good old rayon chenille scarf.

What do you do with rayon chenille, after all, but weave plain weave with it. How do you get pattern into the fabric? With stripes, of course. What followed was an intense period of weaving dozens (and I do mean dozens) of rayon chenille scarves in all sorts of stripes in all sorts of colours.

I began to feel like I did know how to work with colour after all. And after that swing from structure person to colour person, the pendulum swung back to the middle.

I now feel confident enough to combine colour and weave structure in what I hope is a pleasing way.

Whether the results are something anyone else in the world would like will be seen. But in the meantime it's been a heck of a ride!

Currently reading Death on a Short Leash by Gwendowlyn Southin


TeresaAngelina said...

I like the way you bounce back. Bravo!

Alison said...

Beautiful scarves; I love the red-purple one.

I've found I love to play with color and I've been making some sock yarn scarves just to play with the lovely space-dyed sock yarns in my stash. I do look forward to playing a lot more with color as I explore other techniques and materials. (But plainweave seems to be so perfect for these scarves.)

And for the record, I've found your comments on Ravelry, both to me and to others, not at all intimidating, but very helpful!