Friday, 6 November 2009

Using Enamelled Tiles

I have been exercised about colours and how to deal with the new project of a weaving which includes Michael's enamels. I have carried a trial on Photoshop which has been helpful.
First of all I drew a grid on white foam board and laid out the enamels as I wanted them. Each enamel is 70 mm square and I an going to make the pockets at least 75 mm square. Maybe 80 mm would be better.

I had quite a job with Photoshop because the 'white' of the board is not white but patchy due to undulations and lighting.  A first trial only put black round each enamel and that is much better than a white surround. Then I filled in the other squares with bright colours and did not like it at all.

So I used the eye dropper in Photoshop to pick up colours from the enamels and filled the squares artistically with those colours. This is a great improvement. Now all I have to do is decide how to get those colours. I don't know if SEKA silk paints will work on cotton and I will have to try that out. It will still be a case of trials and samples if the paint does take.

The colours above are much darker than they really are.

I can see a way of painting the warp if I go to four cloths not three. It is definitely a job for the Megado and this is going to eat shafts. If it is tabby and three cloths, I need 12 shafts. If it is tabby and four cloths, I need 16. I was thinking that a complete goose eye twill in each coloured box would be nice but that will take 24 shafts.

I will need to do experiments but I only have enough tiles for the final version.  There are three slightly longer tiles which I can use and Michael has agreed to paint a set of 'tiles' on thick paper.

I have finished the Vale of Evesham series. Number IV has gone to the Midlands Textile Forum (MTF) Annual Exhibition in Birmingham. Annuals VI is finished and off the Megado - no more of that either. I have painted the next bit of warp in green and red and it is drying at this moment. We are going to have apples and pears next. But everything has to be off that loom by Sunday 15th November as I have a major project which is late in starting!!

I got the train to Birmingham to deliver  Vale IV to the MTF and had plenty of time to read John Becker's Pattern and Loom. This is available from

Just download it. The author has examined many early Chinese weavings and replicated them. The book is a very scholarly work - full of drafts and photos of early weavings and his versions of them. Very good indeed, even if not for the average weaver to try out!

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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.