Just a few months to produce a body of work for an exhibition! Where to start?
Well, as I said I had decided that ‘simple but effective’ was to be my solution on the basis that simple is a bit quicker to weave than more complex. Now I needed inspiration, so I began to look around for ideas. I came across a pattern for a door screen in a book about cloth weaving, which was a rather bold image of large blue oval shapes swirling about on a light blue background and this set me thinking. I got out some paper and began drawing various swirly patterns until I came up with something I liked, in fact I ended up with a choice of two and wasted several hours deciding which would work best until finally making my choice.
So in October 2013 I warped up my nail frame loom with a sett of 8 epi and drew out a ‘cartoon’ of my design to measure 16 x 25 inches to pin behind the work as a pattern. I wanted the tapestry to be striking, perhaps eye-catching from a distance so I decided to work the piece with red for the swirls and with a white background. Just to relieve the monotony a bit I also decided on patches of beige. This would use rug wool that I already had in stock, the red from the cushion covers and the white and beige carpet thumbs I had bought in the local charity shop. Here is the finished piece still on the loom with the board behind to hold the cartoon:
I had hoped that the bold shapes using just three colours would prove fairly quick to weave. This turned out to be the case; I completed it in a matter of just a few weeks of fairly concentrated weaving despite quite a lot of time spent undoing and redoing where I wasn’t satisfied with the curves. I hadn’t intended that the curves be perfect or the swirls be of even thickness as I wanted a feeling of fluidity in the piece but it has ended up rather more uniform than I had planned, however the first exhibition piece was under my belt – well other than the small matter of cutting it off the loom and preparing it for hanging.
For my next piece I would return to The Big Beastie.