Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Weaving, 100th Post and Massive Apologies

I will begin with apologies for my neglecting blogging for so long- my only excuse is that I have had project deadlines and a university blog to write (definitely not as fun as this one, but more referencing is needed which takes time!!). On a brighter note...this is my 100th post!!!!! Whey! celebrations all round.

Although being terribly neglectful, I have been collecting bits and pieces to write about so hopefully it will keep you going for a while. As you know (if you have been following, tsk tsk if not!!), I have being doing a constructed project (knitting and weaving), with weaving being my favourite part-- especially as I was viciously attacked by the knitting machine the other day! We have been learning loads of techniques and weave patterns, my favourite is the gauze technique which I will show you a bit later.

A very exciting part of weaving is that you can easily design your own weave patterns. Because I have a bit of a circle theme in my project, I have been experimenting with making circles appear in the weave. The image below shows my most successful design, and I am using this quite a lot in my final samples. The red and blue bit is the front, but when I was looking at the underside I found I liked that more, so turned the weave round, the result being the white and black section.

A recently learned weave is called the waffle or honeycomb which creates instant texture and shape by playing around with how close to the surface of the fabric the weft threads are woven...if that makes sense? I have actually learnt this one off by heart I have used it so much. It works especially well in a textured yarn (like the pink bouclé one at the top of the below image).

At the end of each weave session we have to weave a strip of plain white and write our names on it as lots of people will weave on the same loom and then all of the samples will be taken off every two or so weeks- this is why there are random names all over the pictures.
Now we come to one of my favourite techniques, the gauze twist. This literally involves taking the warp yarns and twisting them over each other before inserting a stick shuttle to keep the twist in whilst you go along the row and twist the others. You can do all the way along like I have done, or twist sections...all sorts of ways to create different effects. Once you have finished twisting and turning your threads, twizzle the stick shuttle to separate the warp threads and insert your weft, push the weft down with the shuttle and then draw out the stick. After that, continue weaving normally, although it may take a while for it to go back to a close weave due to the twisted warp threads, it will go back eventually don't panic!

Another technique I have looked at creates little peep holes or slits in the weave. I am quite impressed with this sample because I managed to combine the waffle weave with the slits on my first go! There is quite a bit to think about because you have to keep it level and do both sides at the same time...it could have all gone horribly wrong!

Some more experiments with the gauze weave, with more emphasis on creating a pattern with it.

Playing around with adding colours to the waffle weave.

I have also been looking at some weave artists which may interest you- I won't go into massive detail but I recommend that if you are interested in weaving then click on the links and have a peek at their websites- in fact; look at them even if you aren't interested in weaving, they are still lovely!

Eric Markow & Thom Norris- Handwoven glass sculptures with really lovely colours. I especially love their bowls and would dearly like to have some of my own. Probably ridiculously expensive though!!

Lynn Tandler- Woven fabrics combined with various kinds of metals. She was a guest lecturer at my university and I was able to feel some of her latest fabric designs. In some of them you aren't really aware that it has metal in it until you get stabbed by the edges!!

Laura Thomas- Woven textiles which have been cast in acrylic blocks. An interesting take on how you can use a simple woven structure as a decorative object in it's own right without making it into something else.

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