Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Winter Workshop Day Three

Went into college this morning with a vague sense of dissatisfaction - the colour work was too flat. Everyone else had such depth, and even if they were working with neutrals their work had a vibrancy that mine seemed to lack. To perk myself up, When I got in, the first thing I did was the string print that I ran out of time for.

Ta da!

Something I liked! I also made a number of partial prints of parts of the string, but forgot to grab photos of those!

Then I decided to make a colour study based on the black and white viewfinder piece, and began to experiment with different ways to use the brushes to try to get something with more depth. It was very time consuming, (it's on an A3 page), so isn't finished yet (story of this week so far!)

Now I felt a bit more like I was getting somewhere.

We were also challenged to use the viewfinder not on the object itself but on a piece of colour work from yesterday, and work that up, perhaps including texture. I returned to Lady Windermere's Fan, even though the blue wash means it's not right for my design. It jars too much. I forgot to photograph that too, and again it's not quite finished (sigh), but honestly, you're not missing much.

Next step was to take my little shell and my sketch book into the CAD room (computer aided design) to scan into Photoshop and zoom into small areas. Eureka!

Now we're talking! Zooming in to look at the detail on the inside of the shell has really helped me to find a more cohesive colour palette. By the end of March I need eight fabric swatches  for my assessment and they need to be obviously related - in fact we will be winding 7 metre warps which will be long enough for all eight swatches, so I needed to find that link that would thread through all of the images.

After lunch we started to design our warp. First step? Armed with a colour study and/or photos from our sketch books and a shopping basket ( I kid you not!) we browsed shelf upon shelf of coned yarns to suit our colour palette. I found some neutrals based on ecru and a pinkish brown and tried a couple of different yarn wraps to start designing the warp.

First I tried using a linen/silk as my main neutral with three other tones picking up colours from the photos of the shells (top left). I decided it was a little 'icy' so swapped the main colour to a neutral linen/wool with pink/brown tones  (top right). I much preferred this but of course I managed to pick a yarn that my tutor reckons there isn't enough of for what I needed (same goes for the linen/silk in the first wrap). After spending what seemed like ages trying to find another cone of it, my tutor found an almost-but-not-quite-matching cone. By this time, three of the other weavers had made their wraps, done the maths and started winding their warps (yikes!) but had all gone for more random striping than I had. Also, seeing how to calculate the number of ends of each block of colour (not quite as simple as just counting them!) freed me up to swap out the maize yarn for a subtler green with a slub and a sheen, and also add a sandalwood to get a reddish brown in there. By 7:30 tonight, 10 hours after starting that large colour study, I had finally designed my warp (bottom). It's really subtle, randomly striped and I love it!

Tomorrow, I wind my warp - yikes!

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