Putting Inspiration to Use

Today I am working on the warping assignment for my upcoming class at NEWS (New England Weavers’ Seminar).  The class is called “Freedom of Expression,” and it will be taught by Sarah Saulson from Syracuse, NY.

Here is the class description from the NEWS catalogue:
In this dyeing and weaving workshop, we will have lots of spontaneous fun painting warps with fiber reactive dyes, after the loom is warped. This wonderful technique allows weavers to work with color and pattern in a loose, free, expressive way, creating large-scale abstract forms and opens the door to a variety of surface pattern techniques, including stamping and stenciling. We will paint enough warp to explore the possibilities of the technique, and for a scarf. We will learn how to mix our own colors working from primary colors/hues.”

The class materials include bringing an image to serve as the cartoon, or at least as the inspiration, for our warp painting.  I am having trouble narrowing down my images to one or two.

I have been taking lots of photos of my garden recently, but I would NEVER think roses should be my design inspiration.  All that pink and green would surely set my teeth on edge….far too cloyingly sweet for a  handwoven fabric! Then I happened to see this fabric on Cally Booker’s blog.  Just goes to show that I should never say ‘never.’

Here are some of the images that I may try to explore in dyeing a warp.

A Kasuri dyed panel that I’ve had for years

A large painted plate

Several wood block prints, including the nasturtiums I’ve been playing around with for a tapestry design

It might be quite nice to have bright blue and dull blue/green mixed with saturated oranges and golds.  But what would I use for weft??

The purples, greens and golds in this image really appeal to me.


Clearly, I’m intrigued with the possibility of combining blues with a range of orange/golds.

My warp is a natural colored silk from my stash.  It is has a beautiful sheen and a slight slub, and it is somewhat finer that 20/2 silk.  I am hoping that 30 epi will be a good sett for it.  If not, well….. I may have an unfortunate experience. There is not time to sample!….and I realize that is a BIG risk.

I was not able to get good lighting in my studio when I took this photo.  The silk is not this golden.

I am taking a break at the half way point in making the warp.  Now I can get back to it.

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