I’ve started brainstorming and refining more concept sketches for pieces about living with bipolar disorder. Here’s my favorite so far, tentatively titled, “I’m Fine. How Are You?”
The face will be three-dimensional – a layer of skin-colored cloth stretched out over a mask and then cut away to reveal strips of red and blue chaos underneath. I’m planning to make the red and blue layer underneath three-dimensional by using collapse weave techniques. I think the hair will not be woven into the picture but will be sewn to the face and the background, using lengths of dark brown or black yarn.
I will, of course, refine the design further before I actually weave the piece – this is a concept sketch. But I don’t think I’ll try for a smooth, photo-realistic effect either. The rawness of the wild brush strokes communicate the theme beautifully. And it conveys exactly how I felt a decade ago, before I got on the right mix of medications – trying desperately to look and act normal while my mind disintegrated into chaos.
On the weaving side, I have started threading the loom. “Re-re-restarted” would probably be more appropriate, since this is actually the fourth time I’ve started threading. Each time I’ve discovered a serious error that has required me to start over from the very beginning, but I’m now 380 threads into the latest rethreading, and thus far (knock on wood) no serious issues have reared their ugly heads. The process is dreadfully slow, though, so I will likely be threading well into next week. It’s probably just as well; that will give me time to prepare “Bipolar Prison” for the loom and develop my other design sketches into something I’m comfortable weaving.