The story behind the evolution and resolution of each piece. The most recently added snippet is at the top. Older snippets can be found grouped together on the collections or archive pages. For further information or to discuss commissions, please call Sue on 07595 836855 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
It appears that researching for my PhD has taken over my life. Who knew that it would become so absorbing and all encompassing.
This time last year I had completed a drawing of the original Arkwright mill at Masson Mills. This is now woven in various forms, one of which can be seen in the adjoining image. To see more of my development work for my research please visit me at Banks Mill Open Studios at the end of December.
Snippet 264 - single cloth jacquard woven image of the central portion of Arkwright's original mill.
Continuing the theme of posting as I work, Welsh Haze is still under construction and indeed write up, nevertheless the next project starts.
Monday 26th September 2022
And so it begins, back into studio today. Main mission to convert my black ink drawing of Masson Mill into a jacquard image ready for weave allocations.
When I drew this in my sketchbook, I used only 6 different patterns, plus the black lines and the white space, so this should convert to 8 colours for weaving on the jacquard.
I did scan the image in and adjust it to show as eight colours in the jacquard software, so now to block the colours up to reflect my original image. I had forgotten how long all this can take, so at the end of the day I had managed about 1/3 of the whole image.
Snippet 263 - Masson Mill - sketchbook hand drawn black and white image.
I had clearly been spending some time thinking about the Welsh Haze project as a page in my weaving notebook shows.
The written notes and interpretation of this provide the basis for the final piece which needs to be 120cm wide by 80cm tall when mounted. I have settled on four panels both 1 and 2 will be from the same warp, the striped one for which I have already started exploring colours, aiming for 22cm width. Panel 1 will have variable twills woven on the 4-shaft with a pink band, followed by self-coloured blocks of plain weave. Panel 2 will start with self-coloured twill and have a row of pink tufts towards the top.
Panel three will be the widest, at 40cm (ideally, therefore, woven on an Arm-loom which is wider than my 4-shaft). Initial thoughts are to weave 4-shaft twills at the side and a different 4-shaft pattern in the centre, perhaps with a Welsh quilt embroidery on top.
Then finally panel 4 will be the narrowest at just 10cm and focus on additional weft pink scrolls.
Initial sketchbook ideas for shape and colour of panels that will eventually make Welsh Haze.
I played with these water colour stripes in my sketchbook and am happy that these will work well in both warp and weft. I will need a pop colour too, the client liked the pink yarn on my wrap card so I used a pink gel pen to create a Welsh quilting inspired pattern over the watercolour stripes.
Stripes in the planned warp colours with a pink Welsh quilt design superimposed.
So what on earth have I been doing for the last 15 months? The answer is lots, but clearly I haven't been keeping this part of the website up to date.
I have finished my BA (Hons) degree in Textile design. Doing this has completely taken over my life for some time, but the outcome is so worth it, both in terms of the doors that have been opened and the weaving that I have done. We'll come back to much of this later.
For now, we return to summer 2020 (yes, really, two years ago) to catch up on my current work in progress a commission piece called Welsh Haze. Here is the first section from my technical write up on this piece.
1st September 2020
Work really started on this collection a few days ago when I received the commission and some time spent in mid Wales. Colours were established in conjunction with my client. The warp will be pale grey, dark grey and a mixed white/purple yarn, with the weft having additional plain purple and also pink. That is the 2nd, 3rd and 4th yarns from the left on this yarn wrap and the last two on the right.
A little playing with stripes has suggested wider pale grey and then narrower dark grey and white/purple stripes. I need to do some more yarn wraps to check that these will work.
The finished piece will need to fill an 80cm * 120cm frame. Length is not a problem, however, the limitations of my 4-shaft loom mean that this will need to be multiple drops. Assuming that a warp of around 240 ends can be established; I’m currently thinking two panels warped with c10epc, two at 20epc and one at 5epc. So roughly 6m of warp required.
Yarn wrap from which the greys and purples were selected that make the basis of Welch Haze.
My next objective was to try to make a similar pattern on the Arm Loom to one that I had woven on the jacquard and shown in this collection as snippet 247.
I started by making a plain weave grid in each colour, then I adjusted the green rows to show the pattern. For the areas where I wanted green on top I lifted all the green warp for the red picks, and where I wanted red on top I lifted the red warp for the green picks. This is my first attempt at weaving a double cloth image, rather than simply making blocks.
It took as long to design this pattern as it did to weave a single repeat, although the second repeat was woven more quickly. Thus, in total, this small snippet 259, took a total of 1 hour to produce.
Snippet 259 - red and pink warp field with green warp used to created diagonal shapes.
And the reverse of snippet 257.
Of these four different block patterns, I like the third one (6/6) best as the stripes produced being 12 ends wide, mean that with twelve picks in each horizontal stripe these are the closest to being square and are the ones in which the warp stripes are least distracting.
These four patterns were all subsequently used as a continuous piece, with other pieces from this warp, to make a cushion cover.
Snippet 258 the reverse of 257 showing 6 end blocks woven on each warp of a doublecloth.
To complete this series, it only remained to do a 3/6/3 pattern, which makes two vertical 6 end stripes.
This was also quite quick to weave and reached 86 mm on completion.
Snippet 257, created by weaving 6 end blocks in double cloth on red and green warps.
This looks very similar to snippet 255, simply being its reverse.
Snippet 256, the reverse of snippet 255, 12 end blocks in double cloth hand woven.
As the warp repeat is over 12 shafts (on each warp), this also gives the option to make vertical stripes based on 3s and 6s. The first of these is a simple 6 and 6 split on the warp, which makes stripes 12 ends wide (due to the pointed draft).
Started weaving five horizontal blocks of this, which were finished on Tuesday 25thMay 2021, giving a piece of 76 mm in length, as per the following picture.
Snippet 255, 12 end blocks created by weaving a 6 and 6 double cloth pattern.
The reverse of 253 is very similar and is shown here as snippet 254.
Snippet 254, reverse side of snippet 254 showing equal size 4 end blocks of each warp.
Now I wanted to get all the “stripes” the same width, so to get them 4 picks wide, the weaving pattern has to be based on 2/4/4/2, as the outer pair will effectively join up to make a 4 pick stripe here too. Thus, two new weaving plans were created.
Friday 21st May 2021
Like snippets 251 and 252, 12 picks of each version were woven in turn until 5 horizontal stripes were produced. This was around 98 mm in length once complete as in the following picture.
Snippet 253, double cloth hand woven on Arm loom to create equal vertical changes between two warps.
The reverse of snippet 251 shows a similar effect.
Snippet 252, reverse of double cloth shown in snippet 251, blocks of 8 and 4 ends.
Whilst creating snippet 250, I found one crossed end, which was resolved. I also noticed at this point the error in my original warping plan with two warp yarns being lifted next to each other at each point (one on the red at 23 and one on the green at 2).
Now the warp is ready to start weaving, the first mission was to produce squares of alternating warp across the width of the piece. The lifting patterns were swapped to create a checker-board type effect.
Tuesday 18th May 2021
The pattern used split the warp into three stripes, however, as the two outside stripes are the same, it makes one stripe twice the width of the other. (Effectively 8 ends and 4 ends.)
Starting with the predominantly red pattern, 12 sets of picks were woven, before changing to the second pattern for 12 picks. In total 5 sets were woven, using red and pale green on the respective warps, making a piece 85 mm long. The image shows that the “wider” block is more effective on the red warp, as when the green warp blocks are wider the stripe within the warp lessens the impact.
Snippet 251, top face of double cloth woven in blocks of 8 and 4 ends on green and red warps.
I now wanted to produce a similar pattern on the Arm loom to that produced in my first jacquard piece, snippet 247. In order to achieve this it seemed as though a pointed thread would be most useful, so the loom was rethreaded using alternate red and green warp ends from 1 to 24 and back down again. 4 ends were then sleighed through each dent (2 from each warp).
Once I started weaving, I realised that I had made an error and that there should be points at each end for both red and green. With this threading I had a double red at 23 and a double green at 2. Nevertheless, this was the threading that I retained for the remainder of this warp.
Tuesday 4th & Thursday 6th May 2021
Time in the studio was all devoted to rethreading this warp. For this thread, the red and pink were treated the same and the two greens likewise, thus the top warp on the odd shafts was red/pink and the bottom warp on the even shafts was green.
Thursday 13th May 2021
Finally, the warp was set and I was ready to weave plain on both warps to get going. The basic lifting plan for a plain weave on each warp is 1,5,9, etc. and 3,7,11, etc. for red and on the evens 2,6,20, etc. and 4,8,12, etc. for green.
So, lifting the red alone will weave red on top, lifting the green alone will weave green on top. To weave green under red, use the green lift pattern and raise all the red warp and vice versa for red under green.
Using a single weft whilst weaving this will produce a vertical tube, whilst two wefts will produce horizontal tubes. This is what I started weaving in order to get the warp going and is shown here.
Snippet 250, first go at producing a traditional double cloth on two warps.
These two jacquard weaves were used to make part of a cushion cover as shown here.
Snippet 249, jacquard woven cloth used to create cushion cover.
This snippet shows a close up of the second jacquard weave created to support this collection.
Snippet 248, a play on the squares using rotation and reflection, split by colour with added spirals
To sit alongside the hand woven pieces, snippets 239 onwards, I had created a couple of jacquard weaves based on the pre-columbian ideas used by Anni Albers. Here is a close up of a section of one of these.
Snippet 247, jacquard fabric, weave inspired by Anni Albers pre-Columbian work.