Weaving woes and wins

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I had no idea how long it can take to set up a loom. Although the beginning of my two weeks doing woven textiles started out as quite menial and confusing, as a whole, I really enjoyed weaving, much more than the two weeks of knitting. The first few days were all about creating a variety of wrappings relating to our original ‘Rough Guide’ project, translating this to our own three meter long warp lengths, and then setting up the table loom with a partner. Our tutors reassured us in the beginning that they would talk us through the process of a task, and if we didn’t understand a lot of it yet, that was completely fine. However, when going through the logistical steps, I was able to keep up and was pleased that I understood a lot.

Of course, once the looms were set up and it was time to weave and experiment independently, my studio time became much more interesting and enjoyable. I took great pleasure in playing around with a variety of weaving patterns and materials for the weft part of the woven samples. Like anything, the more I worked on the loom and experimented, the easier the process became and the more comfortable I felt experimenting, each time trying something technically harder or less traditional.

Throughout the two-week period, we met with a tutor to discuss what we had done so far on the loom, how it was specifically relating to our ‘Rough Guide’ imagery, and how we could further reflect concepts, colour, pattern or texture from this imagery in our weaving samples. As time went on, I found it more difficult to create new patterns and be more experimental with materials. In the end, I used quite interesting materials to relate to my visual research. This included different coloured and textured threads and yarns, coloured paper, perforated cardboard, rawhide strips, metal wire, and plastic from fruit and vegetable bags.

Even though we were creating our own samples with our customised colour palette, since we were working with a partner on the same loom, our two warp threads were right next to each other and therefore weft thread/materials would go over each other’s. It was surprisingly helpful and interesting to see my partner’s choice of materials and colours combine with my own and introduce me to concepts and colour combinations I hadn’t thought of. Additionally after creating a sample of my own, I would look to the other side and end up liking what had been created on their side, more than what I had original and intentionally created for my side.

This week had much to do with colour experimentation and exploration. It was about seeing how colours can interact with each other, effect each other and a pattern, and how making just a slight change to something, whether it be a change of colour, weaving structure, or material, can make a dramatic difference to the end result.

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