Archive for October, 2008

Award and colour

My thanks to Susan of Thrums, who has presented me with this blog award. Susan wrote: “This is a relatively new blog having been started in July of 2008 but already has my attention! Judy has a great teaching style and I for one enjoyed the mini lesson on dukagang and finger manipulated weaves. Actually she was doing a working sampler of techniques but it sure worked as a lesson for me!” As a new blogger and weaver this is a real boost – I started to blog as a kind of diary for myself of my weaving journey and it’s great to think I have something to contribute to others.

I really enjoy Susan’s blog. So much beautiful weaving and good information – and I can’t wait to see how she goes with the new looms.

Copied straight from Susan’s blog, here’s what goes along with receiving this award:
1. Post this award on your blog.

2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.

3. Nominate at least 4 other bloggers, and add their links as well.

4. Leave a comment at the new recipients’ blogs, so they can pass it on.

Susan’s personal criterion was to award weaving related blogs. I’ve decided to focus on colour – a major passion of mine and I’m looking forward to learning about how to use it well in weaving.

Knitting on Impulse is written by Ruth in Whistler, British Columbia. Ruth does beautiful work both knitting and jewellery making, but what particularly attracts me is the way she photographs the wonderful landscape and nature around her, analyses it carefully, then dyes yarns in colour-ways based in that inspiration. I love the insight Ruth shares into the creative choices she makes through the process.

Kris’s color stripes is another blog showing how the artist is inspired by the colours in her surroundings. Kris lives in Italy, an artist and fashion designer, and has the ability to really see colour everywhere she looks, in streetscapes, household objects, memorabilia… Again I’m attracted to the creative selection of colours, inspired by her source material but not straight-jacketed by it.

Sandra’s Loom Blog is amazing. Stunning work, incredible generosity of sharing information. Keeping with my colour theme, Sandra’s work is not only inspired by the colours around her (see her hummingbird and fire series), in her wood series she uses yarn dyed from wood chips.

Udaipur - Fiona Wright

Udaipur - Fiona Wright

Of daydreams and memories is packed with colour and feeds into my love of vicarious travel. Fiona doesn’t directly write about her colour inspiration, but her work shows both a joy in colour and her response to the colour around her. I am fortunate to have one of Fiona’s textile pieces in my room – Udaipur, purchased at this exhibiton. I’ve also had the pleasure of taking a few classes with Fiona, a very warm and genuine person. It’s fascinating to follow her adventures.

Reviewing these blogs has led me to reflect on my own colour explorations.

I’ve been dyeing fibres for a few years now and have folders full of samples and colour “receipes”. At the bottom right of the photo is the dye sheet for my Ocean scarf (although I see I called it “Blue Waters” at that stage).

I’ve recently started the exercises in colour – a workshop for artists and designers by David Hornung, working in gouache. I read through the book first, intending to absorb the contents and jump straight to experiments in dyes. I found it so rich in information that I decided it was worth the time and “distraction” to acquire and learn to use the paints and do the exercises as presented. You can see the book here.

Of course it’s a whole new ballgame with the optical colour mixing you get when weaving. As it happens my 8 shaft colour and weave sample is currently on the big loom. The yarn is all classic 2 ply wool from Bendigo Woollen Mills. In the picture of the cones, and using the company’s naming, the colour pairs are:

Top row, left to right: Raven – to divide the samples; Ensign and Aztec (blues) – same hue, different in value; Claret and Guava – complementary hues, different value;

Bottom row, left to right: Peony and Mulga – a pink/purple and a neutral, high contrast in value; Java and Plum – a neutral and a purple, a bit closer in value and intended as a hue light/dark switch from the Peony and Mulga; Tuscan and Burnt Orange – close in hue, close in value.

The sample will end with lots of combinations, since I’ll be using different weft pairs in each lifting plan. With so many colours, some quite strong, the overall result could be a visual mess (a dog’s breakfast or even a technicolour yawn in the Australian vernacular), but I’m hoping the individual squares will yield some interesting possibilities.

Thanks again Susan – for the award and for triggering some useful (to me) reflections. It even led me to learn about customising the white balance on my camera – the photos of the yarns and weaving in progress are the most accurate colour reproduction I’ve managed, on my monitor at least.


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October 2008

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