Monday, 2 April 2018


This will be discursive as I said in my essay on photography the other day. Quite strange and I am surprised. Let me explain.

The Photography Course required that I look at a whole lot of work by other photographers and decided what I liked and what I needed to polish up. This refers to genres of photography, that is, still-lifes, insect macros, plant and tree photos, animals, landscapes, architecture, engineering. The trouble is that I took this year long course to improve my compositional skills and find out what I like. And to be honest, the course has not achieved either of these aims. Oh, I have got a lot better at the technical stuff. The family commented last week that I start a photo session by taking a couple of shots, examining them, fiddling with the camera settings. Then do it again and perhaps do some tweaking but that's it. The photos work. Even in darkness, waving a torch about.

So I started this essay with a list of what I do not like as a method of getting rid of some of undergrowth.

Large animals (one leopard looks much like the next)
Insect macros
Posed portraits
Landscape unless it is jagged mountains or boiling seas.

I do like plants and trees.

Then I worked my way through 553 pages of photography sticking post-it notes in the ones I liked. At the end I sorted these out into classes. And guess what -  it was clear what I liked

architecture (modern, you can keep black and white timbered mediaeval houses)
People doing things (not portraits)

So by the time I got to the end of this exercise, I have at least answered one question I was asking of the course 8 months ago. And I intend to set off round Berkshire looking for engineering plants.

Now the relevance to this blog is Could this method be applied to weaving? I have been weaving scarves for Rosie Price's refugees for months and I am fed up with variations on 12 shaft twills. I am bored. When I was tidying up recently I was surprised at the amount of experimentation I did around 2010. And I am thinking of going back to that. It was silk with a painted warp. So what I like is a challenge and if I sometimes fail, so what.

Do you know, I feel much more cheerful.


  1. Very nice Weaver. I really enjoyed your writing.Thanks

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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.