Monday, April 1, 2013

Art Box #1: Venus and Cupid

When I was in London in December, I picked up a box of notecards called "Art Box."  It's based on a book called Art Book and provides samples of some major art works.  These include painting, sculpture, and architecture in all periods and styles. I bought the box with the intent of using each post card as inspiration for a weaving project.  I finally got around to my first project from the Art Box.

And boy has this been a fun and inspiring experience.  I randomly selected the first card and examined it, decided to make some kitchen towels that would have a pattern that would be frisky enough to stand up to the flesh and exuberance of this painting.  I went through my pattern books, wanting to work from an old book of pattern drafts and selected a threading that would allow for many different looks depending on treadling and tie up.  I took the post card to my yarn tree of yarns that I use to make towels and picked out my colors and then let it stew for a little while.  When it was finally time to design, I decided that the blue should be a main player because of the gorgeous blue background of the painting, but that the fleshy colors needed to also stand forth.  And the green, while subtle in the painting, is very important to setting the nature scene and providing a little depth and "groundedness" to the overall effect of the painting.  Therefore, skinny green stripes, bordered by coral, bordered by fleshy pink.  I repeated these stripes in small versions to create movement and interest throughout the towels.

I spent a good bit of time working on my first art box project this weekend, finishing winding the warp, sleying the loom, threading the loom and winding on the warp.  I started weaving only to discover that my treadling doesn't result in anything that looks like the picture in my pattern book.  I examined the pattern book, looked back at my loom and still don't know what's wrong.  Maybe I'm not beating hard enough, but that would result in a very unsatisfactory feel to the towel, so I decided to wing it.  The first towel is in the fleshy color and has very tiny diamonds.  It's woven in a 1/3 twill which means that it looks completely different on the backside as it does on the front.

The second towel (shown below) features the green.  In the same 1/3 twill with a different treadling, this has bigger diamonds and a large multicolor stripe that mimics (in proportion, not exact size) the stripes in the warp.

I love these towels.  I will sell them as a set of 5 for $100 when they are completed.  They will make a very special gift for someone and spruce up a kitchen.  Post card will accompany the order along with quick notes about dates of weaving, etc. (written on back of post card).

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