The super sleuthy will notice that I split my post in 2 parts. This is the part about what I am doing….fairly literally.
As of today, actually as of last Friday at 11:00 P.M. or 23:00…. I have completed 1 piece.
As I write this I think …hmmm…. what HAVE you been doing? I reviewed my previous posts and see that I have written about warping and a little about weaves and a lot about my experience.
What I have been doing is LEARNING. And weaving.
When I first came, I had a set of weave structures (think of them as colors) that worked well on the loom at home. (45 epi) But, I am now at a higher resolution (60 epi) and so I had to tweak them – sharpen their focus. This meant- redrafting something like 80 weaves- and I am still finding ones that I didn’t re draft as I work on the 2nd and 3rd piece.
I am also- (don’t hate me for being so lucky) – inventing new ones. (kinda)….because I have THE TIME to try new things now!!!!! This is so amazing. In the past, I could learn something new and try something new- but….not so much dig really deep into something I am doing and refine and refine and redefine without loosing track of where I was because that was 6 months ago that I had that brilliant idea.
My work right now, is based on weftbacked weaves and includes areas of brocade. I now use 8 shuttles and a variety of brocade shuttles.
I was using 6 shuttles +B areas until….like….June or something and then I went over to the dark side….or the bright side. I posted about having to dye the yarns myself a bit ago.
I also needed to learn the rate at which my digital image would build in threads. For you sports fans out there….. I currently multiply the number of pixels in height of my original image by 2.65 (and I think I will go to 2.75 for the next one). This was achieved somewhat gradually by me…which meant that I redid certain aspects of my file more than 2x over. I felt like an amateur- because I know how to do this efficiently….I just didn’t.
Why?? I am sure there is an excellent explanation. Suffice it to say, no student of mine in the future will lack from the benefit of this experience—if I can impress this well enough.
JacQCad does exactly the opposite…divide not multiply…and I got caught right between the eyes with something I knew the dangers of well.) For the last pieces, I was at about 2.25 It is significant- trust me.
One piece of the puzzle is the tension devices on the 2 looms. The TC1, excellent as it is- uses a tension belt. One time, I left it a bit loose….and wove pieces that measured one dimension. Then, I discovered my error and tightened the belt and wove pieces that measured another dimension. Guess who ALWAYS checks the belt now. The TC2 has a sophisticated warp tension system with an auto advance – so my pick rate for more than one reason is different. Currently, I am around 190 picks per inch. I was at pretty darn close to 180 before. Still on the list of things to verify, cause the math suggests more like 200.
The silver lining of this incremental resizing of an already complex image- is that I was able to create better work flows- as the lightbulb slowly went on about better ways to go about re composing and inserting weaves in photoshop. The brocading areas were the gnarliest.
For the work I have done so far in this series, I have used an excellent piece of software JacQCad. It is still available – FREE…but, it requires either a G3 mac or an emulator on a current system. I have the G3.
This same G3 was once doused in a sweet cappuccino (not me – not telling who). It was revived and has served me well…until lately when it seemed to be loosing track of itself and causing me some stress. (“some” HA! HA!). I want to be really clear that the software was okay and the support I received from Garth – the mastermind that wrote this piece of genius- has been beyond kind and generous as well as excellent.
But….I had to bail because I couldn’t risk losing the work. The number of weaves that I have saved in that format was awe inspiring as I began retrenching and seeing what I would need to collect. So, sooner than I anticipated, I had to move my method into photoshop. I have used photoshop a lot before….but, I stuck to fairly straight up stuff …only one time including brocade work.
It took a minute or two to do this.
The way I compose my images is totally dominated by the excellent color management in JacQCad. So, I also needed to relearn ways to do this- am still working through methods published by Schlein, Ziek, Vestby and Williams.
It is not so much the clicking with the magic wand and creating a layer…as the part that comes before…..what color exactly will be here….and no others…especially no hundreds of other colors. How does one reduce the colors and color areas? Who gets combined with whom- and I want to pick -not you Photoshop! Luckily, I am not a novice in Photoshop or Illustrator…but still…it’s the 80/20 thing all over again.
I wove some test strips to see color and ratio and they looked amazing.
Something so cool is happening with color blending – I can’t really take credit for it-even though all those hours glued to the chair with my pen tablet really makes me yearn to grab at it. I think you know what I mean.
And one more thing…..so …I am now weaving with 8+ shuttles and whatnot….the loom is operating so much faster…I am literally dancing around in tank tops (in Norway) and – get this- SWEATING while I weave. The Tc1- again- great, but I wouldn’t say I was working up a sweat- just invigorated. You know, 6 shuttles is 6 shuttles- you gotta move.
Do I have to weave like that?
Noooo…..but now I can.