Saturday, February 28, 2015

Blues Weaving Continues

Yikes!  Think I'll have a few ends to needle in?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

My Blues Weaving

Work in progress.  Slit tapestry weave on a floor loom.

Lately I have noticed that my most contented and optimistic moments are those when I am sitting at the loom, weaving. At other times there are the normal doubts and fears, but in those minutes and hours at the loom, everything feels as if it's in the right place and headed in the right direction.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

My Blues Palette

After all those dyeing sessions, it's time to weave!  Here are the colors I am now working with.  From top to bottom, Tints, tones, direct modulation, and two levels of tints of the direct modulation series.

Notice in the grayscale version that the tints are reducing the saturation by lightening the value of the blue, while the tones are reducing it while leaving the value constant.  The direct modulation is almost constant value as well.  (Is it my imagination, or does it seem to be slightly darker in the middle of that series?)

One thing I did not include was a gradation of the blue to black by adding increasing amounts of  black (or rather a very dark gray, since I was dyeing white yarn).  So the darkest value is also the value of my most saturated blue.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Saturation studies continued - direct modulation

A third (and to me the most interesting) way to make a color less intense (less saturated) is by direct modulation.  Direct modulation is adding amounts of the direct complement of the original hue.  The direct complement is the hue directly opposite on the color wheel.  In this case my original hue is blue, and its direct complement is an orange.  In a gradation from 100% blue, through 50/50, to 100% orange at the other end of a series, the colors will be less saturated toward the middle of the series, and if they are true complements there should be a point at which there are "equal" amounts of red, yellow and blue, forming gray - a completely neutral, unsaturated color.

For my first direct modulation dye session, I guess I was thinking of orange as the color of an orange, that is, of the skin of an orange.  Well, it turns out that is more of a golden color.  So when I mixed this color with my blue, there was no point at which I got anywhere near a gray.  Instead I got a nice selection of greens.  There was never enough red in my orange to neutralize the blue and yellow.

For this particular blue, I needed a redder orange, more like a tangerine.  My second trial was more successful.  See the grayish hues in the middle of the series?

I think these more muted colors are so interesting that I did a couple more series using less dye, to get tints of the direct-modulated series.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

More saturation - tones

Another way to desaturate a color is by making tones of the color.  Toning a hue down is adding a gray that is the same tonal value (lightness or darkness) of the original hue.

To do this with dyes on white yarn, I had to first find a gray that was the same relative value as my saturated color. So I dyed some grays using varying amounts of black dye on the same white yarn.  The grayscale version of the photo show that the blue is lighter than any of my trial grays.
So I tried again.This time I think the next lighter gray (labeled F) fits the best.
Then I used mixtures of this gray and my original blue to create the tones of blue.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Cover Girl - again !!?

No, this is not a repeat post!

Shuttle, Spindle & Dyepot, the quarterly for the Handweavers Guild of America, is sporting my Updraft, Downdraft yardage that I submitted for last year's Convergence weaving conference.  Whoohoo!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

5-Day Art Challenge in One Day

I've been "tagged" or asked a few times to participate in a posting challenge that's going around Facebook.  You're supposed to post 5 images of your art, one per day, and "tag" another artist each day.  I guess it's sort of the social media equivalent of a chain letter.  (Remember those, when we used to send letters by snail mail, those of you of a certain age?)

I'm doing well when I am able to post once a week, so I don't think I'm up to the challenge.  So instead I'm doing mine in one post, today. 

For my 5 artists, I will name 5 other contemporary fiber artists who work in sprang.  Some are participating in the 5-day challenge already, and one I'm not even sure is even on FB.  But their work is a must-see.

Check out Chieko Aihara's superb work:

Graciela Foradori not only does nice sprang work but also exquisite hand-manipulated gauze weave:

Edith Meusnier creates fantastic huge outdoor installation art using sprang:

Carol James is a sprang and fingerweaving evangelist:

Ellen Shipley is the only other person I've ever found trying to combine weaving with sprang:

And for a bonus, Blue's web site
and her facebook page are great resources.

Here are 5 images of my work... enjoy!
#1: Trade Winds. 15"x16"x2".  cotton, cottolin. double weave, sprang, pleating.

#2: His Hands Are Mutes. 25"x30".  cotton.  double weave, sprang.

#3: Involution. 18"x21"x3".  linen.  double weave, sprang, pleating.

 #4: Regeneration.  22"x34".  wool.  twill weave, sprang.

#5: Chart and Compass.  11"x9.5".  silk.  double weave, sprang.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Studying Saturation - tints

In our study subgroup of my guild, "Centered on Color & Fiber", this year we are focusing on two qualities of color, saturation and value.  For my exercise in saturation (aka intensity of a color), I have been playing with different ways to desaturate a color, or give it less intensity, when dyeing yarn.

One way is by adding white to the color, or in the case of dyeing, using less dye on white yarn.  Adding white to a color doesn't change its hue, it just makes its value lighter; these lighter colors are called tints of a color.

As I'd remembered from previous dyeing sessions, when you reduce the amount of dye in a linear manner, the darker more saturated colors in a series like this look closer in tonal value to each other than the lighter more pastel tints.

Here's a grayscale version of the same photo; some of the darker colors are hard to tell apart.

The darkest ball of yarn is dyed at a depth of shade (DOS) of 1.0.  This means that for every gram of fiber (yarn), I used 1 ml of a 1% dye solution.  You can use more dye and get even more saturated color, I guess until all the places on the fiber that can accept the dye are taken.  I didn't push that limit.  I'm just defining the DOS 1.0 color as my most saturated blue for this project.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

A New-to-me Weave

I have been sampling this structure.  I haven't done much in tapestry weave before, and I wasn't sure if this would work the way I have in mind for my larger project.

I'm trying to emulate this stamped metal material they sometimes use to make stair treads - and the outdoor tabletop in this photo.