Reflections on Projects 8 & 9

Did you have enough variety in your collection of yarns and other materials? Which kind of yarn etc. did you use most? How did their characteristics affect the look of each sample?  It is very hard to find a wool shop around here, sadly they have all closed down. So I rummaged around the charity shops for most of it. I did take a trip over to George Weil in Peasmarsh for warp thread and other more specialist yarns. In the end I managed to collect together quite a wide range. The range I did manage to collect together made for some interesting surface textures mixes. Mixing plastic carrier bags with wool for example enabled me to blend the bags in with the general background so they did not stand out too much.

How did you find weaving in comparison to the other techniques you have tried? Did you find it too slow or too limiting? I have never tried real weaving before, the most I have done is weaving on cardboard as a child and never had any real inclination to try anything other than that. However I have really enjoyed having a go for project 9, once I got past warping the loom that is! I found that I couldn’t put it down and my partner was having to intervene to get fed. I enjoyed the slower pace of construction and found combining different textures and colours exciting.

How do you feel about your finished sample? Are you happy with the relationship of the textures, proportions, colour and pattern to the finished size?Is there any part that you would want to change? If so, try to identify exactly how and why you would change it.

I feel a bit disappointed with the final sample if I’m honest. I love the the surface textures I achieved and the movement within the piece. I also really like the colours and mixtures of yarns that I used; but the sample itself distorted quite a bit which did not really show up until I removed it from the loom. This is undoubtedly down to my inexperience with weaving having not done it before and I’m sure that with practice I could improve this. The tension is just too tight in places. I would also like to try using a larger loom. Mine is really not big enough so I can only produce small samples on it. I may try this again one day on a larger loom as I feel the sample would work well on a larger scale.

Was there any stage in the whole design that you felt went wrong? How would you tackle this process differently another time?  The main place where I felt things went wrong (apart from the tension issue) was the proportions. It was very difficult to follow the cartoon and when I did the proportions went out the window!

Which did you enjoy more – working from the source material or putting colours together intuitively? Why? I enjoyed using a combination of both approaches. It was easier to use the source material as a starting point then have some flexibility when it came to weaving the sample itself. I found that just using the source material’s colours sometimes led to some unbalance in the design when actually using the yarns rather than the paint / pencils used when designing, no matter how closely they were colour matched.

 

 

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About Julie Hooker

Having recently returned to my roots in Surrey, I am currently studying a BA Hons degree with the OCA. My work is often inspired by the local countryside in the beautiful Surrey Hills area and the wild rugged nature of the North Cornish coast. Steam engines and abandoned industrial history are also recent themes. A free machine embroiderer and felt maker; I like to explore the use of natural, found materials to create my art, whether that be as raw materials to stitch or weave with or as a material with which to produce dye or print with. Previously, I completed City and Guilds parts 1 & 2 Creative Embroidery at the East Berkshire College in Windsor in 2007. I was also awarded first place in the wearable art section of the National Quilt Championships 2008 and 2009 held annually at Sandown Park.
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