Weaving resolutions

Executive summary: lots of rambling thoughts about learning and goals, and a few photos of colour at the end. Not really general interest. Skim or skip as suits!

I don’t do new year resolutions. I actively and deliberately avoid them. And yet …

I’m emerging from a period of change and stress, am looking forward to more time and energy for textile pursuits, have a week off work, and “just naturally” started jotting down some ideas on where to focus next. Then I read this post from Sue at Life Looms Large. Drat and double drat! By random accident of the calendar (or so, still in denial, I tell myself), I have New Year’s Weaving Resolutions.

Maybe. I’m not totally convinced yet.

The question is, as a 2-and-a-bit year old weaver am I at a skimming the surface/general orientation/basic skill building stage? There’s an argument to deepen as well as widen skill and knowledge. I have a feeling of urgency and I can’t keep calling myself a beginner forever. I don’t want to be a dilettante, a dabler.

And yet… I’m not ready and I don’t want to specialise.  Yet. I’ve decided (provisionally) to aim at ongoing broad exploration and gradual deepening of a number of areas, but no intensive study and focus.

  • Colour. I’ve restarted the exercises in colour – a workshop for artists and designers by David Hornung (first start was last October), with a slight variation to make it more weaving related.
  • Weaving learning. Attempt a wide range of structures in continuing classes with Liz Calnan at the NSW Guild plus catchup samples on previous class work. No particular yarn focus, no exploring variations, just what is required to get a taste, an inkling of the possibilities.
  • Other weaving. Some bits and pieces planned and some un-christmas presents (this christmas I asked what people might enjoy receiving before next christmas.)
  • Reading. The Primary Structures of Fabrics by Irene Emery arrived in the post today. I have a habit of buying more books than I read and I think it will take some discipline – but this I want to read.

So overall, continued general skill building. I have a couple of other classes booked – in January 2 days with Linda Coffil dyeing painted warps, in April 5 days with Kay Faulkner “Imagery in woven fabric”. Apart from that I will allow myself to get distracted and sidetracked. Serious, systematic study and in-depth exploration will wait (sorry chenille).

These aren’t really new year plans because I’ve already started working through David Hornung’s book. The slight change mentioned above is that where the exercises specify “make a small gouache painting or painted-paper collage…” I’m attempting mini paper weavings.

Over the past few days I’ve had a lot of fun mixing paints and painting rectangles of paper in literally hundreds of colours. The photo shows a couple of rectangles where I tried to match colours of some cottolin yarn (the dark green is a better match in life than the photo shows). The paper weaving result is meant to simulate to some extent the visual effect of the actual weaving (swedish lace, blogged here). Not a good predictor of an actual outcome, but I think a technique useful for learning purposes. At some stage I might try scanning things in, then changing scale and copying to see if that looks any more fabric-like. Probably not – paint and paper is so flat.

These are assignment 1 – chromatic gray studies. The book categorises levels of saturation in a way I haven’t met before – prismatic colour, muted colour, chromatic gray, achromatic gray. I’m having difficulty with the muted colour | chromatic gray divide. I think I need to mix a heap more colours!

There are 16 assignments in all plus free studies, so one per week should take me until April. That’s if these New Year Resolutions (shudder!) last longer than most!

4 Responses to “Weaving resolutions”


  1. 1 Life Looms Large December 29, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    Since I’m a generalist, and not a specialist, I have to leap to the defense of not specifically focusing!! I think that by covering a subject broadly, you’re more likely to combine disparate ideas in new ways. So, while I know, our culture (in the US at least) tends to tout the benefits of specialization, there are also benefits to being a generalist!!!

    I love what you’re doing with your color exercises and paper weaving!!

    You’re so smart to ask people what gifts they might want well ahead of time.

    I’ll be really interested to follow your weaving adventures in whatever year they happen!

    Good luck!
    Sue

  2. 2 Donna at Two Red Threads January 2, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Great resolutions. I love what you’re doing with the color course!

  3. 3 Lisa January 10, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Hi Judy,

    Your weaving resolution entry intrigued me because it covers issues that are constantly on my mind even though I have been weaving for about 15 years. One of the most exciting things about weaving is what I call the “infinitely receding horizon” – the more you learn the more you see that there is to learn. I keep trying to define my focus by trying to define what I like. Easier said then done. Great resolutions, great blog and good luck. Happy weaving in 2010.


  1. 1 Colour Assignment 2 « Fibres of Being Trackback on January 3, 2010 at 12:08 pm

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