Monday, May 26, 2008

New Fire Series Designs

I've finally got the new studio well enough organized to contemplate a series of new designs, hip hip hooray! My current inventory is short on a couple of the themed scarf series, so I need to fill in with new designs. Coincidentally, the 2008 fire season has just been officially declared in California, so it seems entirely appropriate to start a new run of scarves in the Fire series. This will be another interleaved threading, with two different design lines combined thread by thread, each in a different color. I've decided that the two colors will be scarlet and fuchsia.

As I begin the design, the context of an actual wildfire is my starting point. Here in California, many fires occur in hilly or downright mountainous areas, so one of the design lines will be an advancing networked curve on 20 shafts, to evoke the contour of the land:

Fires in forested areas have more fuel to burn, and are more difficult to fight than grass fires, so for maximum impact, my second design line should be one that can evoke tree shapes, or at least the zigzag contour of the treetops (also on 20 shafts):

This is how the design looks after interleaving the two lines, increasing the number of shafts to 24, adding selvedge ends to the threading on those 4 extra shafts and basketweave selvedge structure to the upper 4 rows of the tie-up, and incorporating a networked treadling in black thread:

You can see the hills in purple (fuchsia + black) and the trees in rust (scarlet + black) plus lighter background areas in fuchsia + scarlet. I've also trimmed some ends from both sides of the draft so the finished design has ~720 ends (for a 10-inch-wide scarf sett at 72 epi).

Here's a more detailed view, without the threading, treadling, or tie-up:

At this resolution it looks more like embers in a campfire than burning trees in rugged country, but it's got the aura of fire, nonetheless. I've got a few other treadlings ready. Each of the designs use black weft, which makes the most dramatic, intense colors. However, I might weave some of the scarves with charcoal grey or deep brown wefts. Maybe even a deep forest green? I'll have to sample that onscreen to see how well the colors play together.

Now, I must measure out skeins of 60/2 silk for the warp and skeins of 100/2 silk for weft, and put the dyepots to work. More pictures as things progress.

Note to self - don't blog on major holidays! Everybody on must be posting - the blogger website (especially the function to upload images) is doing a very good imitation of molasses in January!


Katherine Regier said...

This draft is amazing! I can hardly wait to see it woven!
PS, we met in Sharon Marcus' "Designing in a Series" class at Convergence, Vancouver, 2002.
It's exciting to see your series work. I, alas, have yet to begin a formal series.

Jane said...

Gorgeous! I can see the trees, and the hills, and to me they both appear as though seen through the shimmering waves of heat in the atmosphere.

Am looking forward to seeing the finished scarves.

Within each of the 5 elements can be found a lifetime of inspiration. Your fire series is outstanding.

Weave on!


I love the colors, and the first was very evocative of wildfires, as the thermal heat rises, I live in Florida, where we are,burning out of control as I type. The last made me think of of scales on fish or alligator.

I can't wait to see them in fabric, that should be really exceptional. Congratulations on getting your studio up and running!!

kaz said...

All I can say is WOW!