Sorry for the long silence! I’ve been prepping for a longish vacation – nine days visiting friends and family on the East Coast. Just finished four days visiting my best friend Edouard in New York City, and now en route to Maryland for another five days with family. I’ll return home Thursday.
Since I’ve had quite a bit of travel time, I’ve been spending some of it finishing up the painted warp samples for my upcoming talk at ANWG. The challenge was showing how warp and weft colors interact to produce the finished cloth – particularly when the colors aren’t solid, and I’m using multiple structures in the same swatch.
Fortunately, I always dye a few extra warp threads when painting a warp to make repairs easy, so I had a bundle of eight or nine leftover warp threads when I was done weaving. I tacked them down at the boundary between weave structures, and ran a bundle of weft threads across the swatch to show the weft colors. Like this:
I think this shows off the warp and weft colors nicely, and the swatch shows how they weave up together, both in a complex design and in a simpler one.
This particular (8-shaft) draft blends colors quite a bit. I’m doing another set of samples that uses the same threading and the same colors, but a VERY different tie-up that keeps the warp and weft colors largely separate. It will produce a vastly different look. The point here is that people often focus on the color palette, when structure is just as important. The color palette determines what color blends are possible, but structure controls what color blends actually appear, and what blends appear in which area.
I wove a surprisingly large number of samples on this warp. It was a 14-yard warp, and I got 32 samples out of it. I’ll be doing another 32 samples in an identical color palette using the other structure, which – added to the 20-odd samples that Laura Fry already wove for me – will give me about 80-90 painted warp samples for my seminar. I plan to weave another 50-60 for the online course I’m developing, but not until I get back from ANWG.
Here (purely for the eye candy) are a few more painted warp samples:
The last two swatches demonstrate the interplay/trade-off between woven pattern and dyed pattern. In the blue swatch with pale pink weft, the high contrast between warp and weft makes the woven pattern quite prominent. So you don’t see much of the pattern dyed into the warp; it becomes a textural background to the pattern woven into the cloth.
In the blue swatch with the lighter blue warp, the warp and weft have much less contrast, so the pattern dyed into the warp is much clearer. But you can still see structural effects. The dyed pattern is much clearer in areas where the woven pattern is simplest. At top right, the simple zigzag makes it easier to appreciate the mottled blue dye job than at bottom left, where the diamonds push the blue mottling into the background as a textural effect. Neither effect is wrong – just different. Knowing how your design decisions play out in the finished cloth makes you a more effective designer.
I’ve been having a lot of fun looking at and analyzing my samples. Not just pretty cloth – informative experiments! Art science at its best. 🙂
More details and registration for my ANWG seminar on the conference website: