I really enjoyed weaving. It is a lot of work, but I definitely think it is rewarding. I found weaving to be an almost meditative activity. The effects that can be achieved with weaving are really interesting and pretty. I enjoyed experimenting with different materials and techniques.
When I started collecting my yarns and other materials for this assignment, I realised that even though I have a lot of yarn, a lot of the yarn that I have is made from the same material. For instance, I have a lot if balls of eyelash yarn in different colours but I missed yarn in basic colours, such as black. While working through assignment 4, I collected a lot more yarn and other materials such as sisal, hemp cord, raffia and wrapping ribbon. These materials can change the look and feel of a sample. Yarn can give a sample a calm and warm feeling whereas natural fibres give a sample a back to nature feel.
I am pleased with my finished sample. I think I was able to translate my vision into a tapestry. I used the colours and shapes that inspired me and I can see the countryside in the sample. However, my first sample, inspired by the painting Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow by Piet Mondriaan, did not go as planned. I had trouble working from source material and I think that I underestimated how difficult it is to turn an image into a tapestry. I also wanted to use too much different techniques in one sample. I think I learned from that in my second sample inspired by the word ‘rural’. I had a lot of inspiration and ideas, but I only chose a couple of elements that spoke to me the most and tried to keep it simple.
I enjoyed putting colours together intuitively more because it does not feel limiting as opposed to working from source material. Weaving is not a very forgiving medium as it does not allow for mistakes. Having said that, I feel that it is important to also be able to work from source material, so I am going to continue working on my sample and learn how to work from source material.
After realising that sample 1 was not progressing as quickly as I would have wanted, I decided to start working on sample 2. For this sample I have chosen the word ‘rural’ as my inspiration. I have made an storyboard on Pinterest. The URL is http://pinterest.com/mcollaris/storyboard-for-sample-2-of-stage-4-developing-desi/
On this storyboard I have collected images which I find inspiring and remind me of the word ‘rural’. Most of the images that I have selected contain a lot of green and yellow. The energy expressed through most of the pictures is calm. They create a relaxing atmosphere. After selecting images for my storyboard I felt really inspired, but I realised that I had to choose one of two elements instead of trying to translate all elements that inspired me into a tapestry. The colours yellow and green were a recurring theme in the images which I had selected. On a recent trip to Koblenz in Germany, I have seen a lot of fields that looked liked giant blankets and it looked really pretty. So I decided to combine this with the colours I had already selected.
I began making a selection of the materials which I wanted to use. I wanted to incorporate some natural materials in my sample. At first I thought of adding flowers, but then I found some grass that I could use. I then wrapped some of the yarn that I wanted to use around a piece of card. I did not want to use all sorts of different techniques in this sample, because I did not want to take away the sense of tranquility that I felt looking at the pictures that I had chosen for my storyboard. I therefor chose to use plain weaving and the Soumak technique for some extra texture.
After that I made a rough sketch of how I wanted my sample to look.
Sketch of sample 2.
I started by weaving a couple of rows of brown yarn. I then mixed some green wool and brown ribbon and uses the Soumak technique.
Sample 2. Close-up of the brown yarn and ribbon and the green wool.
I really wanted to incorporate some natural materials in my sample. I found some grass, which adds some texture. I am really pleased with the result.
Sample 2 close-up of real grass.
Below are another two close-ups of my sample. I decided that I wanted to add some beads to give the impression of flowers.
Sample 2 close-up.
Sample 2 close-up.
Below is a picture of the completed sample. I am pleased with the result. I tried to incorporate the yellow flowers in the grass which are in the pictures on my storyboard. I also wanted to incorporate the blanket of fields which I have seen in my recent trip to Koblenz. I think I succeeded in doing that.
After reading through this exercise, I decided that I definitely wanted to try out both techniques. I started with the first sample, where you have to choose an image and transform it into a tapestry. I instantly knew what I wanted to use as my source material. I wanted to use the painting Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow by Piet Mondriaan. I think it would work really well as a tapestry.
Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow by Piet Mondriaan.
I then took a sheet of graph paper to make a sketch of the painting. And took a strip of card to make a wrapping with the yarns that I had selected.
Sketch of Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow by Piet Mondriaan
I wanted the black lines to stand out and decided to uses a Ghiordes Knot to makes the lines. Unfortunately it did not work. Once I did some plain weaving next to the Ghiordes Knot, holes started to appearing. I then tried to make the line using the Soumak, but that did not work either. I started working on this sample several times and it was not easy. Looking at the design, I thought it was not going to be too difficult to turn it into a tapestry. In the end, I decided to use plain weaving for the whole design and distinguish between the black lines and the black blocks by using different types of black yarn. I did not think it was be easy, but I did not anticipate having as much trouble with it as I had. This means that this sample is not yet finished. But I am going to keep working on it and I will finish the sample. The reason I decided to blog about this now, instead of waiting until I had finished the sample, is because I have already spend a lot of time and energy in it. It was also be an incentive to keep on working on the sample instead of abandoning on it because I have so much trouble with it. Below is a picture of what I have so far. I will come back to this post and update it once I have finished the sample.
Sample 1. A work in progress.
For this sample I decided to use a lot of different materials. I had already used several different materials during stage 2, but I wanted to try other some more different materials and mix those materials together to see which effects I could achieve.
I started with the Soumak technique. I have used wrapping ribbon, wrapping ribbon, strips of fabric and eyelash yarn. I also tried weaving strips of old tights with yarn. I am really pleased with the results.
I continued with plain weaving. I cut a drinking straw in pieces and used it together with some yarn to weave through the weft. Furthermore, I used eyelash yarn, wrapping ribbon, organza, blue tissue paper, a strip cut from a plastic bag and sisal. I especially like the look of the pieces of drinking straw.
Close-up of plain weaving.
After the plain weaving, I made a couple of rows of Ghiordes Knots. I used different types of yarn for this.
Ghiordes Knot close-up
It was difficult to choose just one technique. But I liked the result of the Soumak technique the best, so I used this technique for the remainder of the warp. I used wrapping ribbon, yarn, silk cord, ribbon and paper string
Soumak technique close-up.
Below is a picture of the full sample. I like the end result. I have experimented with different materials and techniques and it was a lot of fun.
The Giordes Knot is the last technique mentioned in the course book. I started by cutting lots of pieces of yarn and putting them in a large container, so I could mix all the different yarns. I started weaving a couple of rows and then I knotted a couple of rows. I did not trim the yarns once I had knotted them and I really like the fluffy look. I then used a ruler to make a looped pile, as suggested in the coursebook.
Ghiordes Knot close-up.
Between the rows of knots I also made rows of plain weaving. It is difficult to see in the picture, but I also used plain weaving and Ghiordes Knots in the same row. This creates interesting textures.
Ghiordes knot close-up. Fabric strips, wrapping ribbon, hemp cord and yarn.
Ghiordes Knot close-up.
Ghiordes Knot. Full sample.
I had a lot of fun working on this sample. I found yarn the easiest material to use for the knots. I have tried other materials such as strips of fabric, wrapping ribbon and hemp, but they were more difficult to knot. I am pleased with the end result. It was a fun technique to learn and I definitely want to use it more often.
I was not familiar with this technique, but I really enjoyed working on this sample. Once I understood the technique, weaving the sample went really quickly.
I started weaving rows of yarn, eyelash yarn, wax cord and satin cord.
Soumak close-up. Eyelash yarn, yarn, wax cord and satin cord.
I have also used yarn, velvet ribbon, strips of fabric and knitting ribbon.
Soumak close-up. Strips of fabric, knitting ribbon, yarn and velvet ribbon.
Below is a picture of the full sample:
Soumak. Full sample.
I am pleased with the result. I have several different materials and I like the effects that can be achieved when using the same technique but different materials. The technique is a lot of fun and the results that can be achieved are really interesting.
I had some trouble with this technique in the beginning. I had trouble creating shapes that I liked. I think the problem was that I kept pulling too hard on the weft. So I had to start over again a couple of times.
I started with a couple of rows of purple yarn. I then started building up shapes with yarn and hemp string. I accidentally created opening between the shapes, but I actually really like it.
Curved wefts close-up. Yarn and hemp string.
Another close-up of my sample. I also used strips of a cut up plastic bag to create some different textures.
Curved wefts close-up. Yarn, hemp cord and strips of a plastic bag.
Because I really like the openings that I had created at the beginning of the sample, I decided to leave a few more openings, but this time on purpose.
Curved wefts close-up. Yarn, fabric strips, ribbon and fruit net bag.
I ended with a couple of rows of pink and blue yarn.
Curved wefts close-up. Pink and blue yarn.
Below is a picture of the full sample.
Curved wefts. Full sample.
Even though a had some with this sample in the beginning, I am quite pleased with the end result. I like the movement in the sample.