I’m at Sandra Rude‘s place right now, studying jacquard design with her. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind – yesterday we covered creating single weft (shaded satins and granite weaves) designs from a photo using Photoshop, and I wove up samples in 8-end satin, 10-end satin, 10-end granite, and 11-end satin, just to get used to the loom, and to see how the different structures affected the shading. Here is a photo of the 8-end satin (bottom) and the 11-end satin (top).
You can see that the 11-end satin packs in more than the 8-end satin, and there is slightly higher contrast in the 11-end satin part (the top section).
Here, for the curious, are some photos of Sandra’s loom, an AVL Jacq3G. It’s quite the imposing beast, isn’t it?
Next we worked through a two-weft design with 9-end weft-backed satins. This allowed two different colors. And then last night I worked out a three-weft design with 10-end weft-backed satins. I’ll post the technical details sometime later if I have time (right now I’m trying to generate the files I’ll weave up at AVL, so am in a bit of a rush), but here is a quick summary.
Here’s the original photo, shot by Lieven, my critique partner. It’s the Poison Ivy character from Batman, played by model Tallest Silver.
Because I’ll be working with three wefts and a black warp, the colors I’ll be working with are shades of three colors mixed with black. (In theory I can use blends of the three colors as well – but that would require a lot of sampling and more Photoshop work, and I just don’t have time, so I limited the palette to three colors plus their blends with black.) So the first thing we did was reduce to 17 colors – shades of green, pink, and brown, plus black. (We also darkened the background and brightened Poison Ivy, to make her stand out a bit more.)
After that I generated patterns in Photoshop that would allow me to render each of those 17 colors as a blend of black weft and each weft color. Long and tedious, but I figured out some short cuts to speed up the process, which helped a bit.
Then I separated the file into layers, one layer for each color, and applied the patterns to each color. The resulting loom-ready file looked like this:
Looks kinda weird, doesn’t it? But it tells the loom exactly what to weave.
Here is the same file with the weft colors applied:
This shows the piece (in theory) exactly as it will be woven. In practice there are a whole bunch of variables that will affect the finished appearance – for one thing, the color of the real-life weft isn’t exactly the same as it will be in Photoshop. For another, the appearance will change once the fabric is washed and the threads relax – the color that is on top will show more and the colors on bottom will show less. There are a lot of ways to get a better simulation, but we don’t have time to go through them; I’m only here for another nine hours or so before I have to drive back home. And I still need to create files to weave at AVL. So I will weave Poison Ivy as is.
And where are the cats? Getting into trouble, as usual. A few days ago, Tigress discovered a roll of paper towels that we keep in a drawer. She couldn’t get to the towel roll directly, but Clever Kitty discovered she could reach through a crack and pull the paper towels out of the roll. Mike and I moved some things to close up the crack, but yesterday Miss Adventuresome Kitty figured out how to get the drawer open! She promptly hopped into the drawer and started shredding the paper towels. Unfortunately….she managed to close the drawer while destroying the enemy, and Mike had to rescue her.
Apparently learning isn’t her strong suit. Yesterday she got herself into the drawer again, and this time discovered how to get behind the drawers and into the main body of the furniture. More cat extraction, this time more complicated. I think childproof locks are in our future. 🙂