After initial attempts to use a grided system similar to a cross stitch pattern for my rug designs, I feel that my current skills set/lack of patience and preference to use block colours rather than building up the tapestry with lots of instric colour change detail means that the outcome lacks sophistication and does not carry the same 'inky' feel that is depicted in the designs.
I realise that the rug designs are digitised and therefore appear 'perfect' which makes transfering to the loom difficult to achieve in reality.
The inky feel of the original drawings comes from the study of reflection, light and dark experienced in the wood.
Efforts have been made to simplify the rug designs so as to make it easier for translation into weave - making the shapes bolder, less swooping and more angular.
I also wanted to experiment printing or dying the design into the rug. Samples were used to test this and overall I am happy to rule this process out. The process itself gives me much anxiety, the print room environment and the handling of the rug feels intense. Steaming and soaking the wool puts the weave under a lot of pressure.
This led to experimenting with dip dyeing the yarn before it is woven in an attempt to create a more organic and varied texture to the block shapes - making them appear more inky. However, at present the sample created has turned out striped(!) which was unexpected. This may alter if the yarn is used over a larger area and so I intend to test the yarn on the 10 shaft countermarch loom at Corsham.
I am struggling to know what it is I want to achieve through the rug in the exhibition. I enjoy the methodical process of weaving and have a deep rooted ambition to create a full size rug as part of my final submission for personal achievement reasons. Therefore, it is very unsettling that there are obstacles in my way and I am not able to pass the feelings of anxiety and stress.
Exploring and experimenting new techniques is out of my comfort zone and so as a result, I feel exhausted by the challenges I have given myself this week. Pleased to have completed it, despite the somewhat unsuccessful outcomes.
This weekend, I hope to be able to do practical activities which are therapeutic and allow me to connect with my hands and nature. I hope to collect and peel hazel bark to make more handmade paper. This process is also methodical and I find it enjoyable. I will also make efforts to sort the bespoke frames that I would like to have made for the exhibition. This will be something off of my to do list and mean that the drawings are ready for submission.
Next week, I hope to weave at Corsham and work on the written element of the book I wish to produce. I am keen to get the written element drafted so that I can start testing production methods. At present I am unsure whether to hand bind the book, get it digitally printed or display it as a wall hanging.
I very much enjoy painting with ink and so this is also something I hope to do to relax my mind and connect with my hands.
After a tutorial with Anna Gravelle this week, I have been put in touch with Angie Parker and Jilly Edwards (this is very daunting for me!!) whom I am potentially going to be meeting individually to chat weaving matters.
Overall this week has seen a combination of thoughts - both keen to experiment but uneasy at the prospect, unsure of future endeavours and generally quite anxious. Here's to hoping an easy weekend being gently productive will soothe a worried mind.