An all-guild show curated by the Art Gallery of Burlington is currently on in the Lee-Chin Gallery until May 24, 2015. The theme is, “The Colour of Water,” and our guild has a juried section in the show.
The piece that I have submitted is a handwoven scarf inspired by the confluence of the river as it meets Frenchman’s Cove in Portland, Jamaica. It is a 4-shaft Crackle or Jämtlandsväv structure woven as drawn in with 4 pattern blocks.
Planning for this scarf took more thought, materials and calculations than anything I have woven up to now. The colour-blending ability of this classic crackle structure was new to me. In presenting a draw-down for our curator, Denis Longchamps, I was also learning structure myself. It took a full first scarf. To speak cricket, there was a long run up to the crease!
The impetus was a copy of Susan Wilson’s book, “Weave Classic Crackle and More” that a weaving friend de-stashed this winter. Her clear explanations & beautiful projects met the blank slate that is my novice brain.
Water’s fluidity carried me forward. Nothing was more fun this wretched winter than getting lost in the memory of this place where we swam as children. The warm Caribbean sea mixes, ebbs and flows with the cool river. It is also a place where I have partied as an adult.
After the trial run (totally wearable), I sleyed, and tied-on for a 13″ wide scarf in the reed. The mystery main warp balanced at 4,075 YPP. In the final piece it is sleyed at 27 ends per inch. Calculations were all for this yarn as 0.8 of the maximum twill sett.
The first run helped me learn the sequence for weaving three shuttles at a time, and to get comfortable with my new Glimakra temple. Getting the river’s colour shift from sand to bank was very important. This also improved with my comfort at changing for pattern yarns as well as grounds.
Each of the 6 handspun elements in the scarf is from batts made by favourite fibre artists, and spun on spindles by me. The batts are from Enting Fibercraft, Abby Franquemont & Sericin Silkworks. I over-dyed with tea and black walnut to better represent the sand, and river bank. The alternations were planned, and the shifts are not symmetrical although each is woven in the same classic crackle format for 4 blocks.
What humbled me the most was how the warp behaved in its second sett. There was far more length shrinkage, and this drove me far closer to the tied ends than anticipated. This has been a wonderful stretch into working with colour, and meeting the technical weaving criteria of our guild.
No rejection news is good news? The take-in was this past Monday. This “River by the Sea Scarf – colours at Frenchman’s Cove” measures 11.75″ x 59″ with fringe lightly beaded with Toho 8/10 Japanese seed beads.