Things have been moving so fast the last two days, it’s hard to know where to start!
I’ve decided to have a play day on Saturday, doing more katazome with my friend Alfred. I thought it would be interesting to carve more stencils, but wasn’t looking forward to spending hours hunched over a cutting mat. Fortunately, there was an alternative…I broke out a Silhouette Cameo cutting machine (meant for scrapbooking) that I had bought a month or two ago, and tried using it to cut the katazome stencil paper. It is amazing. I tried cutting some very delicate and detailed stencils with it, and it performed with flying colors. Here are some photos of the stencils I made yesterday (click for the bigger photo):
I am particularly impressed by the bottom one, the two flying phoenixes. The faint lines are actually rows of dots almost too tiny to see, maybe 1/32″ in diameter. The cutter cut them out perfectly. There are a number of defects in the design, but they are Adobe Illustrator file errors – the cutting is absolutely perfect. I can’t wait to develop and cut my own stencil designs.
I’m continuing work on the second qiviut scarf – I wove about a foot on it today. I’m being careful because I’m having a (very mild) physical relapse, with some swelling and barely detectable bleeding. I understand now why my primary physician was adamant about not going back to work too soon! I have full mental energy, thankfully, but my body is definitely still healing. And I’m taking lots of naps, which should help speed up the recovery.
I’ve just about finished the book on Adobe Illustrator, and feel much more comfortable with the tool now. Unfortunately, I still can’t draw, which is hampering my efforts at design. So I’ve decided to fix that. I am going to spend the next fifteen days working through Claire Watson Garcia’s Drawing for the Absolute and Utter Beginner, one chapter a day. That will hopefully get me the fundamentals; after that, it’s a matter of practice. I probably won’t have time to make a habit of it, but anything would be better than complete ignorance.
I’m continuing to work on the book – an hour a day for now, but soon ramping up to two or three. I’m also exploring Marian Stubenitsky’s book Echo and Iris, which is (roughly) about structures you can weave on an extended parallel threading. I spent half this afternoon concocting a monstrosity of a drawdown – a tied weave with an echo weave ground cloth. (Four echoes, on a divided parallel threading. Shafts 1-10 and 21-30 contained the ties, shafts 11-20 and 31-40 contained the pattern. The echo weave ground cloth, of course, was woven on all 40 shafts.) I did get it to work, structurally speaking, but the resulting draft wasn’t very attractive. No matter; it was a learning tool, and it worked. I have a better understanding of Photoshop design, tied weaves, and echo weave now.
It probably sounds as if I’m diving into way too many things, but I’m really enjoying exploring multiple areas at once. One of the secrets to my productivity is simply having a great variety of activities – there’s always something to suit my mental and physical energy level, whatever it may be. And being home all day allows me to devote my full mental power to exploring. I have three more weeks away from work while my body heals, and I plan to make the most of them. So much to do, so little time!