Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Inspired by Alice and Orchids

I've been following Alice Schlein's blog and am inspired by her designs based on images of flowers and plants. The cymbidium orchid in my courtyard is in bloom, and I monitor its progress daily, usually with a camera in hand. The most recent shot I really like is this one:

In Photoshop, I did various things to maximize contrast, indexed the image to 7 colors, intending to weave this (someday) using 8-end shaded satins, and got this:

And here it is with weaves applied, which negates some of the contrast I worked so hard to maximize. After all, with 8-end satin there's no true black because the 7/1 satin has some white in it, and there's no true white because the 1/7 satin has some black in it.

Okay, so I like it, sort of, but not as much as I'd hoped. So I went back to the original and did some more manipulation to exaggerate contrast even further. Then, with weft-backed satin in mind instead of shaded satin, I indexed the image to only 4 colors, and liked the result much better:

It has much more impact than the greyscale version. I think it could be woven on a black warp with three wefts - dark magenta, light magenta, and white. This one is higher on my list of "images to weave if and when I ever have a jacquard-type loom to weave on."

Flower images continue to occupy the back of my mind (and the camera's storage media), because we've got 4 Phalaenopsis orchids in bloom, indoors. They're the second easiest to grow, after cymbidiums, so I've got lots of fodder for the design process:

And this sweet little guy, whose flowers are barely an inch wide:


neki desu said...

i too grow orchids and yours are lovely.
re image weaving:you can do it without a jacq loom, time consuming but doable. hey we're weavers!
check these articles
that's how i've been quenching my appetite for a jacq :-)

neki desu

Connie Rose said...

Your photos and the weave patterns are gorgeous, Sandra!

Alice said...

The original photo of the cymbidium orchid is beautiful - the combination of sharp focus and soft focus really makes the blossoms pop out - and your interpretation in 4 colors is very appealing. This would be a good image to interpret in so many different structures. Months of potential fun here! I hope your jacquard loom arrives sooner rather than later, as you are obviously poised to take flight.