Wednesday, 30 December 2009


The weaving is just going ahead. The sample had its photo took - Michael was practising and it must have taken 2 hours - setting up lights, no that won't do, how about the halogen light? Much shifting of furniture. Holding up a huge sheet of white mount board as a reflector which helped. Getting the colours right and the weave properly focussed is the trick - which we did not bring off. So we restored the house to order and Michael went off to think. He tells me he has discovered an error in the manual and we need to try again. Well maybe but not for a day or two.

The sample was 24 inches wide in the reed, 22.5 inch off the loom and slightly less than 22 inch after washing and ironing. The length reduced from 37.4 to 37 inch after washing. The off-loom width of 22.5 inch is in spite of using a temple which stretched the fabric to just less than 24 inches. The sample seems sound enough in weave. It is worth mentioning that this piece of fabric weighs all of 57 grams (about 2 ounces)!

In the gaps of weaving, I have been thinking about my project for a Japanese style book.  The text is the poem 'Rainbow' by John Agard. I am not a great reader of poetry - except Caribbean poetry and only recently I realised the reason for this.  I am a very fast silent reader and I don't read out (silently) a poem to my self so I miss everything but, with Caribbean poets, the language style is not familiar to me and I have to read it aloud to myself. So, in this household, I buy John Agard and Derek Walcott - while M has shelves full of Keats, Rimbaud etc.  See here for the text of Rainbow. I was introduced to the work of John Agard by Anne Brammer at a Midlands Textile Forum meeting who concluded her talk on ply-split braiding by reading Rainbow!!! If you want a print copy, you need to buy it here.

So it is about rainbows. I started out with photos of rainbows from the web which I doctored but the more I thought about it, the less I liked the idea of using someone's photos. The chances of taking my own photos any time soon seems remote. (Dangerously heavy snow was forecast over the last 36 hours. Instead we got buckets of rain and 5 mm of snow over night. It shows a bit on the grass. Bah!). 

To return to rainbows, it seemed unlikely that I could do anything from scratch in Photoshop, what else could I do? I do have Solidworks which is a 3-D modelling program which I use for generating drawings for manufacture. 

This is the business end of an antenna for a weather satellite. Surely I could create something useful here?

So here is the starting point, a series of coloured rings on a flat plate. I changed the baseplate material until it looked suitably grey and stormy (Aluminium 2014 Alloy, if you must). This was imported into Photoshop as a jpeg file.

As it appears in Photoshop, cropped to show only the upper half. Sky is okay but I have ended up with black lines between each ring.

After using the smudge tool set to 200 which gets rid of the black lines and blurs the colours nicely.

And after playing with the blur tool and the paint bucket. So now I have the beginnings of  a design for the book. I have created a template in Framemaker for the whole book.
Did I say that I have conquered Inkscape which writes text on curves? Here is one with a different rainbow with the last three lines of John Agard's poem on it.

1 comment:

  1. Must be a family failing - I read too fast to enjoy poetry on the page too, but I do like listening to it read aloud.



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About Me

I am weaver and - -. I dye my yarns with acid dyes, I paint my warps, put fabric collages and stencils on my weaving. I have three looms, a 12 inch wide, 12 shaft Meyer for demos and courses, a 30 inch Louet Kombo which is nominally portable but has a stand, two extra beams and a home-made device containing a fan reed. And last a 32 shaft Louet Megado which is computer controlled, has a sectional warp and a second warp beam and I am the proud owner of an AVL warping wheel which I love to bits and started by drilling holes in. I inserted a device for putting a cross in. I have just acquired an inkle loom and had a lesson from an expert so I can watch TV and weave at the same time. I am interested in weaving with silk mostly 60/2 although I do quite a bit with 90/2 silk. I also count myself as a bookbinder with a special interest in Coptic binding.