Thursday, December 29, 2016

Weaving and spinning and the thoughts they trigger

I've finished the weaving on this small piece, and changed my original plan to continue over the back of the warp, since I just measured and found it's a perfect Fibonacci rectangle as it is, so better leave it that way.  It's 12 x 7.5 inches.  Needle still in place, but only for the moment so as not to lose it.  I really like the mackerel sky in this piece, just what I was hoping for when I plied that blue and fluffy white you saw earlier.

I was in the midst of this when a friend dropped in, bringing an out of town friend she'd promised a tour of my house, i.e. art, to!  I heard the friend asking shouldn't we have called first? can we just walk in, like this? to be reassured that G. and I have an arrangement.  She shows up, I can tell her, no hard feelings, if it's not a good time.  She's a close neighbor, so there's no travel to consider.  Anyway, the friend had a lovely time exclaiming and asking and generally enjoying, and I think the kitchen backsplash was her favorite feature.  This keeps an artist humble, when her diy is the center of attention!

Back to the loom: I'm thinking of turning the loom over, leaving the current piece in place for now, and making a related piece, on the back of the warp, which I had run right over the back of the loom. Another Fibonacci rectangle, is the idea.  And there will be enough ends to tie off both pieces and do the finishing process.

And, aside from the original art aspect, they will be great material for photographing and printing on silk as part of the transparency series.  Just sayin.

What I've found in the course of using parts of the magic bag of roving ends is that I now have a huge array of colors and textures of roving at hand, low cost, great for experimenting and finding out more about the fiber and about me as a spinner.

Art is all about coming face to face with yourself, which is why it's a challenge.  And spinning this fiber has shown me that the difficulty I run into with drafting is not always me, after all. Some fibers are difficult and resistant, some just want to draft and spin with little help. So the fiber preparation is also a factor, which I hadn't considered.  

The other great insight is that I can use the bag of mixed fibers like a palette, and I've been spinning up just what I want to use next in my design, rather than wanting everything in place ahead of time ready to use.  This way there's much more spontaneity, and I think the weaving is better for it.  It's a more painterly way of working, rather than the plan-and-execute style of traditional weaving. This is a high falutin, artspeak way of saying it's more fun this way. I find I'm more interested in color since I've been working in textiles.  Up to then art was mainly about shapes, relationships and texture, for me, but now color is getting in there, too.

I'm also looking at the kick spindle, which is a kind of intermediary between the drop spindle and a wheel, but simple and very appealing, minimal mechanics.  I can and do handle machinery and tools, but when it comes to making art, I'd rather not.  

The kick spindle enables you to spin the spindle with your foot, leaving both hands free to draft, which might be just the ticket for me. Not that a new toy will improve the skill, only experience can do that, but it would be sort of fun.

The only drawback is that when you go to investigate kick spindles, you find yourself in the world of automotive engineering.  Evidently there's an auto part of the same name.  This is baffling when you're in search of something to spin with, but hilariously funny when a search comes up with a hectic mixture of both worlds.

I also kept back some petals from the birthday bouquet, which lasted ages, and have put them in the freezer for future dyeing capers.  

The stripy tulips made it, and the red carnations.

So the upcoming New Year is full of planned adventures, including the artist book making which will be the Spring residency, library keen to have me come back and giving me a free hand as to what to do.  I will be putting in some winter time into creating new books I never tried before, great opportunity for that.

1 comment:

  1. I really so much enjoy watching your weaving progress and reports. My weaving tends to be bits of painted paper or short strips of torn ultimate finished product, I just like doing it! Perhaps a nod of the head to our Yorkshire forbears.


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