Monday, May 23, 2011

Private cutting off today... party thrown but I'm happy to have this piece off the loom anyway.  I'd begun it after my hand accident and have worked on it, off and on, for about a month and a half.  It was originally intended to be twice as wide but I made the "executive decision" to end with the first side of the design only.  I often make changes and modifications along the way when weaving tapestry but rarely take the somewhat radical step of cutting the design short.  But I felt I could do so since the cartoon was designed in a way that it could be cut short without making it look truncated.

I'll talk about why I decided to change the design and cut it off shortly.  First, here's the drawing on which the design was based and next are several of the designs along the way to making the cartoon.  These are scans and/or Photoshop iterations the drawing.  I'd sketched the tree trunks in the yard of the cottage where I was staying at Lillian Smith Center during the retreat last summer.  Like I mentioned in an earlier post, I've worked with trees in some way through several tapestries now.  I'd wanted to do a piece in which the verticals of the trunks were emphasized... no limbs, little indication of space, just variations of placement of the vertical marks.

For the tapestry design I chose a bit of a paper weaving in which several of the copies were cut into strips and interwoven.  The value of the different copies I cut up was different so the resulting paper weaving had differences in tones... I liked the effect so I zoomed on only a few trunks.  

I cropped further for the cartoon to include only the four trees that are sort of centered in the design.  And I began weaving with the cartoon turned 90˚ since I wanted to emphasize the smoothness of the edges of the trunks.  

So, here's where the challenges began.  First off, I was using a wool warp sett at 6 epi.  That was number of ends per inch that a wrapping of the yarn indicated (I thought).  I didn't realize the spacing would actually be more than that when the warp was under tension on the loom.  

Next, I was finding it quite tedious to continue to try to see the results by turning my head sideways to look at the progress.  Now, I've woven many pieces in the turned direction.  But this time around it was a major annoyance.  It felt like I was fighting the whole way.  So, that discomfort with the piece combined with the too-loose sett caused me to decide to end sooner than later.  

I woke up this morning determined to finish this piece today and cut it off.  I've now done that--here I am about 5:45 p.m. with scissors in hand, camera on the tripod, timer on and ... snip and click!  Or click and snip... either way both the photo and the cutting off got done.

Here's the piece laid out on the rug, warp ends flying this way and that.  It's 11" w x 29" long; I'm going to wash it and block it so will see how much shrinkage there may be.  I believe that it will be fine as a small study from the tree drawing but the next piece on the loom may be quite different... don't know yet what that will be since I don't have the design in mind.  I'd thought I might weave the same cartoon only up the warp.  But maybe I'm through with trees for awhile now... or perhaps they're through with me.

BUT... resleying tomorrow!  

1 comment:

  1. It is still a very nice study...!
    My best wishes for your next design!