Weaving III

Week 8 - Focusing on eccentric weaving, now knowing I needed to continue all the way along and not tie off, I began to build up a more fluid section in pink. I was going to use orange for hatching into this from the right, but it looked too similar to the pink and I wanted something with more of a contrast so switched to a purple/grey instead.

I kept the orange in though as I like how this sample is a work in progress and I can see my development each week, as well as mistakes and working things out like whether certain colours work well together. It feels more authentic! Rather than me erasing these hiccups, I can see i tried it and it may not have worked so I then tried something else.

I then introduced the orange back in, a nice echo from the segment before which contrasts nicely with the purple-y 
grey and, being the lighter colour, lifts it and stops the top section from looking too dull.

Week 9 - Yesterday I continued up the eccentric weaving, initially building up the orange on the left side to level the section up to a straight line again. It didn't look very fluid and cut off the curved, eccentric lines which i wanted to play around with more so I ended up taking this out and adding pink in a block section to emphasise the curve rather than 
close it up (below is the sample before I removed the orange block).

I then added some more eccentric hatching, a bit more consistently leaking into the turquoise yarn - a freeform version on the green & blue circle I had done in the section below - this time using the same grey I used in the large circle. The contrast with the turquoise makes it look much darker than it does against the lighter pink below which I really like; I had to undo this after I'd done a few passes as I had messed up somewhere and doubled up doing the same direction which meant the warp was showing (I still don't know the technical terms so no doubt this sounds a bit confused! But instead of going front-back-front-back and then the opposite on the row above, I'd done both passes the same so there was a stretch of white warp showing). I'd avoided this throughout and didn't want to end with it looking rushed and badly done, so although it lost me about 40 minutes, it was worth it to achieve a level of consistency that I am happy with.

I then finished off with some straight passes to even it out again towards the end and began tying off the sample with a series of double knots on each warp. Almost finished! Even though I've been doing this for a good few weeks now I still underestimate how long everything will take - the knots so far took a good 15 minutes before the end of the lesson.

I bought some frames and wanted to set these up in the session but of course had no time; I glued and hammered one together earlier and will take this in next week to set up a sampler that I can continue at home. I want to learn how to do some textures, and since this is a much smaller frame - 35cmx35cm - I can generate some samples a bit quicker. 


Signpainting Workshop with Mike Meyer - June 2014

Last week, I took part in a signpainting workshop with the amazing Mike Meyer. A complete learning experience for me, considering I'd never so much as used a quill and before but I'm glad I did it this way, learning it the *proper* way rather than on my own. I've wanted to do a self initiated signpainting project for the past couple of years but a general inexperience and having no idea where to begin has always stopped me.

These pictures are from the second day of the workshop, which ran for two days on Wednesday 11th and Thursday 12th, and where I began from scratch after a bit of a shit show the day before. I spent a good few hours doing basic exercises; straight lines, horizontal lines, practicing straight finishes and flicked finishes (it was only last week and now I can't even remember the proper terminology...)  I then began using some of the reference materials to just start painting words and get more comfortable using the brush to write letters. I discovered that find it much easier to do script or freehand rather than geometric/bold typefaces, using a rough pencil sketch as a guideline (as i did for 'Hubbs' below) or just beginning to paint straight (as i did on 'Luckies pay higher prices' and 'french'). I was really happy with a 'young' i did in grey at the end of the session on Thursday, but it dried stuck to a sheet of newsprint so it's more of a ghost! 

It was a real joy to get more *hands on* with typography, like I found with letterpress. It really gives you an understanding of the letterforms and how treatment (how you position and angle the brush, know when to push down and lift off) can make such a difference. It also taught me that, while it's necessary pay close attention to detail and focus, it's really important to be relaxed and to trust your instincts (also, to try to get a good line with one stroke - a shaking hand and increasingly thickening paint the first day working on bold letterforms meant that really didn't work the first day.) 

Now to get some paint and quills and start practicing again! 

Weaving II

Week 5 - a bit of a frustrating session; the grey circle from last week was uneven on one side - it needed a mix of counting passes and getting the shape right by eye whereas I was just doing it by eye and trying to hit the marks on the warp. This week I was supposed to start hatching, but instead I spent the time filling the top half of the circle with a bright orange, switching midway in a pass from one strand to a double strand to thicken it up and make it a bit quicker which made it go wonky, and then trying to straighten it all up. Got there in the end! But I felt like I was just filling in rather than learning anything new...

Week 6 - a fresh start after half term! Finally started hatching, which is using two different coloured yarns to make a shape. I wasn't very happy with the circle I did previously so I wanted to do a circle again and make it better! A much smaller one this time, but I'm really pleased with how it came out - using double strands of both the blue and the turquoise to get an even finish. Again it's not completely round, but I thought it was a good start; learning lessons from last time and remembered to count as well as using the guides I drew on the warp. I weaved the green from the left and stopped at the mark, the began a pass in the blue from the right to "hit the green on the nose". 

I then started on spotting, again in two contrasting colours, doing a full pass in the background colour and half a pass in the foreground, spot colour. I used a light yellow as the background and a purple-y grey (similar to the big circle) for the spots. I took the image above at the end of the lesson; the hatching is on the right and the spotting is on the left. 

Week 7 - I continued with spotting to bring it up to level with the hatching, before starting on eccentric weaving. It's hard to break out from the geometric way of working that I've learnt for the past 6 weeks so my attempts at curved *eccentric* weaving didn't really work very well! 

I later found out that was mainly because I kept tying off the thread rather than continuing along; so for the pink I started on at the end of the lesson, I was tying it off when it came to the edge (so would have tied it off where I'd stopped) rather than continuing down all the way to the right. Will try again next week and make it go all swerved and curvy. Only 3 weeks left! Time for me to get my own frame and weaving materials now I think. Close up of the last two weeks work below; spotting, hatching and (not very) eccentric weaving. 

Next Best Thing at the Brighton Fringe Festival 2014

Here's a picture of my friend Jethro with one of the A3 posters at the Brighton Fringe last month!