Experimenting with different techniques and materials.
I started this project by warping up my small loom with a dark blue acrylic DK yarn and practising making stripes with the same yarn in different colours, this produced a nice even piece, but the warp can clearly be seen, I’m not sure if this is just because it is darker than the weft yarns or if I didn’t beat it down hard enough. My next sample was made with a shiny DK cotton yarn and Ghiordes Knot’s, I tried to give it an ombre effect of one colour fading into the next, but I’m not sure how effective this was, the texture of it reminds me of a bath mat. My third sample was created using a chunky grey yarn and two different coloured DK yarns held together. I interlocked the yarns where they met in each row, and passed them back through the weft strands in the same place they went in creating some super chunky rows which left the weft clearly showing. I really like the effect this technique produced. The fourth sample contains curved weft of a variegated viscose yarn, surrounded by chunky grey acrylic, I found this one very difficult to do. Sample five combines plain cotton weaving, with a focus on covering the warp threads, I also used warp threads of differing colours to see what effect this produced, I then finished it off with a few more Ghiordes Knots’s just for fun. My sixth sample experiments using different colorings and materials, including pom-pom covered yarn, fabric strips and hand-twisted rope.
Developing Design Ideas Sample 1.
For sample one I chose an abstract sketch of cells from my sketchbook, I like the different shades of blue and green and find myself drawn to these kinds of colours. I first made a yarn wrapping to try to match the proportions of the colours used in the picture, I didn’t have enough similar shades of blue and green to really capture the feeling of the piece, but I tried my best with what I had. After copying the wrapping on to paper I wasn’t happy with it, so using the original one as a basis I created a second plan for my weaving which I felt much happier with. When making my weaving I tried using a few different textured yarns, but I didn’t like how they looked, so I ended up using just plain cotton and acrylic yarns, which look much flatter and neater, but still change texture from rough to smooth if you run your hand over them.
Developing Design Ideas Sample 2.
Sample two I approached in an entirely different manner. I chose the word ‘rural’ and created a storyboard for it, then whilst looking at the pictures I chose some yarns and just started weaving. I much prefered working without a set plan, and what started off resembling overlapping hills in the distance, seemed to turn in to a meandering path by the end. I tried combining different weights and colours of yarns in this piece, but probably wasn’t adventurous enough as I like it all to look nice and neat when its finished, which probably misses the point of the exercise.
- Did you have enough variety in your collection of yarns and other materials? Which kind of yarns, etc., did you use most? How do their characteristics affect the look and feel of each sample?
My collection of yarns is not vast, although I bought a few more with different textures and colours for use in this project. After experimenting with them though, I found them difficult to use and the end result looked messy to me, so I ended up returning to plain DK yarns in acrylic or cotton as i found them easier to use and I liked the nice flat and even appearance they produced.
- How did you find weaving in comparison to other techniques you’ve tried? Did you find it slow or too limiting?
I didn’t enjoy weaving at all, it was painfully slow and all the planning and long time scales meant it lacked spontaneity. My hands can be quite shaky and clumsy, so I found weaving yarns in and out and making knots incredibly frustrating, or at times simply impossible. I find I enjoy the freedom and speed of painting much more.
- How do you feel about your finished sample? Are you happy with the relationship of the textures, proportions, colour and pattern to the finished size? Is there any part that you would want to change? If so, try to identify exactly how and why you would change it.
I don’t like my finished samples over all, they feel boring and safe. I wish I had experimented more and used unusual materials, but at the time I was so frustrated and annoyed about the entire process that I no longer felt creative. I stuck with simple, plain and flat techniques because they looked neat, tidy and some how more finished, but that isn’t how I express myself in the rest of my art work so it feels wrong here. I also dislike the small size of the finished pieces, I quite enjoy working big, so this felt extremely restricted, but my loom was only small.
- Was there any stage in the whole design process that you felt went wrong? How would you tackle this process differently another time?
I felt my choice of materials was wrong, if I did this again I would try to be much more adventurous.
- Which did you enjoy more – working from the source material or putting colours together intuitively? Why?
I enjoy having something as inspiration to work from, but I don’t enjoy making and working from a plan, I prefer the freedom to start however I want and make changes as I go along.