Chocopalooza is over, except for some cleaning that I’ll be doing this weekend. Which means it’s back to work. 🙂
I’m at a crossroads. While the Phoenix Rising kimono is definitely at the top of my list, I also want to get back to the book. (No, I have not forgotten about it!) At the same time, I’m unpleasantly aware that the Convergence Fashion Show deadline is just three months away – which is practically tomorrow, at least for me. If I work obsessively on the phoenix kimono and don’t make radical changes to the design, I might be able to get it photographable in time. However, there is a huge flaw in the design, which I mocked up today:
The design looks good at a small scale, because the eye interpolates the blocks into a smooth curve. However, at a larger scale, it looks distinctly pixelated. Unattractive at best. (The image on the blog is a small version that actually looks smoother than the real thing would; if you click on the image to get the full size version, and view it at 100%, you’ll see that each block is huge.)
So, to get an attractive phoenix at large scale, I need to turn to other methods. I’m thinking surface design on the warp – either stenciling directly on the warp or stenciling on a resist (katazome) and then applying dyes/paints. This would give me the beautiful phoenix pattern I’m after. However, I’m not familiar with this technique and I certainly won’t have time to figure it out and still make the Convergence entry deadline. So I can either go with what I know, and have a less-than-perfect piece to enter into the Fashion Show, or I can skip Convergence 2014 and continue to refine my design.
Well, that’s a pretty obvious choice, at least for me. I’d rather have a knock-your-socks-off piece for the next Convergence than a mediocre piece for this one. So I think I’m going to sit this Convergence out. That also means I can skip going to Convergence, which will be useful since there are several other expensive, vacation-consuming things I’d like to do next year. (Two weaving conferences, a three-day chocolate class, and a one-week katazome class with John Marshall.) I’m a bit disappointed to be missing Convergence, but I think it’s better than working in a panic for three months to turn out something that doesn’t meet my standards for a show piece. There will be other shows.
So the next few steps will involve experimenting with stenciling on warps – katazome and “regular” stenciling, I think. I can use the warp I currently have on the loom – which is threaded up for summer and winter, but which can be used just as effectively (I think) for plain weave. I’ll have to do more stenciling experiments later using whatever structure I settle on, but this will work to get an initial “bead” on the techniques and processes involved.
And, for the kitten-watchers, here is what happened shortly after I sat down in front of the computer this morning:
And, of course, that shortly led to this:
So what could I do? I got up to take a break. Which, of course, resulted in this:
Tigress eventually won, and I had to (gasp!) evict her after I came back from getting a cup of tea.