Thursday, 22 October 2009

Artistic Decision Time

In addition to my attempts at Annuals with double stitched cloth, I have been working on a similar theme but devoted to the Vale of Evesham. We live on the edge of the Vale which is a famous fruit growing district, particularly for plums. This is because the River Severn has been bringing down silt for millenia and dumping it in the Vale, so the soil is very rich.

What I have done is to imagine fruit trees throughout the year.

Side 1 Winter - three cordon fruit trees in the snow. Well, the snow is very grubby round here.

This is acceptable. I'll stick with this.

Side 2. Spring. The cordons are in flower but only the cordon framework is being woven. There are two versions shown here. The upper one has  a black weft on a warp painted green and brown, all a bit dark and not spring like. The lower one is on a white warp. The trunks are in mid-brown now and the branches are various colours of brown/green. The variation of colour was done to see which colour would be best but I like the effect of the variation so I will stick with this.

And this is with the flowers laid out on top. I still think the flowers are too big. They have a diameter of an inch and the width of the cloth is only 5.25 inches. I will wait until after my lesson next week to decide on this. But it does not stop me weaving the next version since, whatever happens, the flowers are being applied after weaving. The flowers shown were cut from a ribbon which I dyed various shades of pink. I was a bit surprised that the ribbon dyed so well with acid dyes. I have no idea what the material of the ribbon is and thought it would be viscose so was expecting the colour take-up to be poor. As I wanted a pale pink, I didn't mind. Instead the first batch gave me a good bright red! And the lace ribbon, used in Annuals, has never turned out remotely pink but is dark red. No use for plum blossom. And yes I do know that plum blossom has five petals not six

Side 3 Summer with leaves everywhere. This shows two versions, both with brown trunks. One has three cordons and one was only one cordon which is a mistake. To me, it looks like nothing at all. So three cordons it is.

Side 4 Autumn. Three cordons carrying lots of plums - Early Orleans by the colour. You do not ask for plums in the green grocers around here, you ask for 'Pershore Eggs', or 'Marjorie Seedlings' or 'Early Orleans' or  - - -. What you do not ask for is Victorias as they are considered an inferior variety suited only for export to the rest of the world. Or possibly fed to the pigs.

Well, that is a few artistic decisions taken. Now I have to get the dimensions right. The Annuals series  had a 'frame' of brown broken twill which was lined up with the edges of the box. Here I do not mind if branches break through from one side to the next. But currently the length is 22 inches and it needs to  be 20 inches plus 3/8th of an inch. So the drafts need adjusting.

For the record, it takes me 2.5 hours total weaving time  to weave a complete set of four sides plus the run-in for the seam.

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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.