Practice on loom and on paper

With Cresside Collette at her intermediate workshop at the Australian Tapestry Workshop on 13 and 14 June:

I bit off a bit more than I could chew on this one – in my haste to get a full 20×15 cm done in two days I made a number of errors. There are several instances of jumped warps and I probably spent too much effort on the blue and green soumak ‘whip-lashes’. But overall I am pleased to have got some decent colour gradation going on, which was the focus of the workshop. Thanks, Cresside!

With Julie Mcenerny at her Watercolour Pencil Botanic Drawing workshop at the Cairns Botanic Gardens on 1 July:

Not quite A3 size, this drawing of jackfruit again a bit too large to let me get it to an adequate state in the five hours available – I had to skimp on the smaller fruit and the buds. Next time I’ve got to remember to keep the scale small.

Untutored life-drawing group meeting at James Cook University, 27 June:

Not really competition for Henry Moore!

Life-drawing group, 4 July:

Ok for a quickie.

A folded bean-stuffed heat bag – capturing the texture:

… with one eye on the TV!


Those Crazy Kuranda  Leaves – a study in tropical textures 

A mixture of soumak (i-open, ii – alternate closed and open with staggered rows), half-hitches over the next warp (giving the knot to the front), vertical wraps on two warps (essentially a sort of climbing open soumak), and loops. These are standard loops – i.e. they are supported  only by subsequent packing, and can be pulled  out from the rear. I’ve since realised one can lock them in by looping back under the previous warp. 

The plan is to have hems top and bottom, so no braids will show. Once off loom and all sewn down, the ideas is to cut the looped areas and have patches of tufted pile.

Queen of Spades

Queen of Spades

Queen of Spades.

30 cm x 40 cm (12″ x 16″). 7.5 epi. 

Mixed weave of wool and acrylic, with embroidery.

Notes on reproducing a portion of the Coptic piece ‘Aphrodite Rising’





Historical exercise off the loom!

My little pseudo-coptic piece is now off the loom:

submerged coptics

This is the first assignment of second year at SWTafe – a reproduction of a segment of a historical tapestry.

Now while there is a lot I like about this piece, there is also a lot that went wrong, and I will comment on this in detail later.

Softly, softly catchee Coptic

Assignment 1 Year 2 – copy a segment of historical tapestry in 20 cm x 20 cm.

I picked a bit of Coptic weave (Egyptian, 3rd or 4th century AD). The original full piece was itself only about 24 cm x 24 cm, and I am reproducing less than 1/4 of it. The original was at about 30 epi, and I have ‘blown up’ the image as it were and am working at about 8 epi. I got very discouraged early on – the images were distorting and the techniques were obscure.Have managed to get moving again – about 1/3 done as you  see:

little coptic people

Things to note:

1. The extremely tight warp sett (but not in my reproduction).

2. Warp of the original was probably linen.

3. All colours are pure – no mixed threads.

4.Extensive use of ‘flying shuttle’ technique.

5. Avoidance of long slits by frequent ‘dovetailing’.

6. But, paradoxically, frequent single warp wraps – which DO result in slits….

Still have quite a way to go – and will probably comment more later.

Failed Mountains to Sea – an object lesson in haste…

I have made two attempts at interpreting the Mountains to the Sea theme illustrated a couple of posts back, and both have failed: 

mountain mixed            mountain plain

On the left the mixed threads give a rich colour mixture – which loses all focus in the middle section and just leaves a confused impression. The flat cartoon-like quality on the right also fails in the centre section, both because of wrong colours being used and bad drawing of curves.  

A further  problem lies in the three shells being involved in an Escher-type optical illusion, in which the yellow shell areas are very ambiguous – are they outside or inside curves? – this ambiguity works (I think) in the original coloured drawing, but fails here. 

Also the colours for the recession of the mountains need correction.

I may try this again without benefit of Escher, and with only two, not three, shells.

Yes, it’s all a learning experience!