Monthly Archives: April 2016

Reveal and conceal, Reflective commentary

20 April 2016

Textiles 1: Exploring ideas, Assignment 3 – Reveal and conceal

Reflective commentary

Initially, I found it difficult to accept the generalisation that Japanese artists have an inherent sensitivity to the use of space, light and shadow which Western artists do not. However, as my own research added empirical support, I felt compelled to accept the arguments. Having completed my research, I now appreciate why cultural differences make Japanese artists and designers’ work so distinctive.

In common with Japanese artists, this assignment asked me to adopt a materials-led approach. I chose five workshops which interested me the most; netting, knitting weaving, inkjet printing and paper lamination.

It was easy to build up materials-led netting, knitted and woven samples, but more difficult to apply the approach to inkjet printing and paper lamination (as these techniques rely on the use of imagery). My sketchbook work, (including the use of computer manipulation to overlay images) was particularly useful.

I produced 43 workshop samples in total – a valuable learning process, both in terms of acquiring technical skills and understanding the influence of materials on visual outcome. I also carefully analysed and documented the behaviour of individual samples under different lighting schemes. This taught me that useful generalisations can be made about colour, shadow and clarity of form.

At times, I have questioned whether I put too much emphasis on stage 2 (the workshops), at the expense of stage 5 (translating ideas into samples). However, because I actually started sample development as I progressed through the workshops, the balance is probably acceptable.

The most challenging aspect of this assignment has been selecting samples (including those to develop further). I found it difficult to accurately assess their potential, and to identify which could be used/developed effectively together (simply because there were so many combinations). 

I had hoped that I could break the selection process down into three simple stages. However, situations arose where new work prompted me too look again at samples which I had previously rejected on individual merit. In recognition that the selection process must remain open, I have replaced the idea of “rejecting” samples with the word “park”. This allows me to revisit samples if new work suggests they might be incorporated. It also allows for the situation when a sample’s development potential has been incorrectly assessed (i.e. development work has been unsuccessful and the original set of samples needs to be reappraised) 

Throughout this assignment, I have been careful to ensure that my work meet the criteria of ‘reveal and conceal, light and transparency’. Despite producing many samples, I still feel that I have only just scratched the surface. Ideally, I would like to explore possibilities of additional materials, the potential of 3D structures, and techniques of stitched nets, destruction and disintegration.

In support of my continued learning and development, I have attended two thermofax screen printing workshops and an informal meeting of local OCA students. I also still regularly attend meetings with “The print and stitch group”.


Reveal and conceal, Stage 5, Translating ideas into samples

21 March 2016

This stage is concerned with using aspects of the source material (sketchbook work) and visual ideas for further sampling. It has been my aim to build on workshop samples using related development work from my sketchbooks. 

(N.B. It is also worth mentioning that as I worked through workshop samples, I documented what I had learnt from each, and tried to incorporate these points into subsequent work. As a result, I feel that I have already covered quite a bit of sample development before arriving at this stage).

Using the samples and review outcomes from stage 3, I begun an iterative process of down-selection, which is described and tabulated in “Sample and development book 2”, pages 7-10 and 30-31. This blog entry explains how I arrived at the selection criteria and the difficulties I experienced when making selections. 


First stage

I started with 43 samples from the workshops, divided as follows:

  • Netting techniques: 6 
  • Knitted nets: 20
  • Woven samples: 4
  • Inkjet printing: 5
  • Paper lamination: 8

From these I down-selected using the following criteria: 

  • Relevance of the sample(s) to the topic/brief.
  • Strength of visual outcome of sample(s).
  • Perceived potential for a visual outcome to be developed or enhanced. 
This process is set out on page 7 of “Sample and development book 2”.  It left me with 14 samples. 

Notes on the selection process:

Whilst I found it relatively easy to select visually strong samples and to eliminate those which did not fit the brief, my choice of which others to take forward was more difficult. 
I had to reject samples when:
  • The sample was excellent or showed strong potential but there was an issue with material availability, or difficulty of working (e.g. KN11), or that it would just take too long to explore and develop.
  • Despite the sample being visually exciting, I did not have a strong sense of how it should be developed (e.g. N3, KN13)  
I found it difficult to assess the potential of samples. Was this due to lack of foresight/experience on my part? Maybe I should have sought more information by taking the sampling a stage further first? (not really practical with the large number of samples generated for this assignment). I had no choice but to use my intuition.
Second stage
The 14 samples from the first stage are tabulated in “Sample and development book 2, pages 8-10. I looked again at how I might develop the samples, and their relative merits. This led me to down-select to just 8 samples for development.
Sample development
Sample development, results and observations are recorded in “Sample and development book 2”, pages 11-29.
Third stage
I re-evaluated the merits of my second stage samples in conjunction with the new development work. This is tabulated in “Sample and development book 2”, p.30-31. 
I had hoped that I could break the selection process down into three simple stages. However, situations arose, where new work prompted me too look again at samples which I had previously rejected on individual merit. Examples are the use of sample KN8a) and N5 in DEV4f) and DEV4j)-4l) respectively. 
In recognition that selection must remain open, I have replaced the idea of “rejecting” samples with the word “park”. This allows me to revisit samples if new work suggests ways they might be incorporated. It also allows for a situation where the potential of samples has been incorrectly assessed as too high (i.e. development work is unsuccessful and the original set of samples needs to be reappraised).
Conclusion: success of the development and selection process
I was disappointed that I did not have enough time to take any of my samples to the stage of being fully resolved. However, I am pleased that despite starting with so many, I have been able to select just one idea for further development (WS3/DEV2a, DEV2b), and one that I would take forward from the workshop stage (KN20). There was so many samples which I really liked, so the greatest challenge was sample selection. I got carried away with the possibilities of ‘reveal and conceal’ – in many ways I would have found it easier to be constrained by a narrow brief and just a small number of samples. On the plus side, I have learnt a lot about what types of materials work in different situations (i.e. dense stitches vs. open stitches and different lighting schemes). I also have a body of new technical skills which I will be able to use in future projects.
Risk areas, sample development:

Focusing on functional outcomes:
I keep returning to an (often repeated) phrase in the course notes which tells me to “work towards visual outcomes rather than functional ones“. 
When doing sketchbook work I find it all to easy to jump to conclusions about a final piece, e.g. “The image suggests it could be used for a collar of cuff” – sketchbook 2, page 27. I must be careful to ensure my sample development is not shaped by a pre-conceived notion of outcome. 
To try and prevent this, I asked myself two questions before embarking in sample development:
  1. How could I enhance this sample visually?
  2. What would happen if………..?
This has helped to draw my attention away from functional outcomes.
Resolving too early:
Similar to the point above, another danger area is trying to jump to a resolution before the sample is properly evaluated and developed, thereby trying to make the sample fit the idea. I often feel insecure when developing samples and by having a solution “in mind”, I give myself a false impression of being able to “bound the problem” (i.e. know how long the work will take and what the end point will be). When (inevitably) development work does not produce the fabulous sample that I hoped, the misconception is exposed!
Letting a strong concept/narrative dictate sample selection and development:

I recognise that I am likely to be biased towards selecting a sample relating a topic I feel passionate about, even if it is not the strongest visual outcome. There must be balance between choice based on a strong concept/narrative and visual outcome/potential because if a sample is visually weak, it will not be an effective means of communicating ideas. 

Reveal and conceal, Stage 4, Researching source material

7 March 2016

I spent about two weeks developing sketchbooks in support of this assignment. 

Initially, I found it difficult to reconcile the idea of the assignment being materials led with the introduction of sketchbook work at Stage 4. Clarification from my tutor helped me to understand that the purpose of the sketchbook is to supplement and enrich. I therefore started with the idea that I would target my sketchbook to contain material relevant to the samples I had produced. If my samples suggested or reminded me of a object, scenery, or mood, then I collected related imagery, before exploring and developing it through analogy. 

This was straightforward with the netting knitting and woven workshops. However, paper lamination and inkjet printing were necessarilary more sketchbook led, because they rely on images. These techniques suggest fragility and fracture, which I used as a prompt for choosing and developing imagery to fit and make sence in context of the materials and methods.

All of the discussion and response to my sketchbook work is documented alongside images in the sketchbooks. Some of my sketchbook work is not exclusively related to samples, but includes topics which could be developed with more time (e.g. Sketchbook 1, 2f) triangular grids).  Hopefully I will have an opportunity later in the course.

Reveal and conceal, Stage 3, Reviewing materials and processes

1 March 2016

This stage is concerned with taking the workshop samples, reviewing and exploring possibilities further. This could be:

  1. As stand alone pieces.
  2. In different combinations (i.e. placing 2 or more samples together or adjacent to one another to provide contrast or drama).
  3. By reviewing whether processes, ideas or materials from the different samples could be combined.
  4. By examining each sample under three separate controlled lighting conditions to look for effects of shadow, distortion, incursion into negative space, transparency and translucency.
I started by thinking about the merits of the netting, knitted net and woven samples:
Some approaches which worked well with woven, knitted and netting samples were:
  1. Where the yarn/material made incursions into the negative space (this often made interesting textures and shadows)
  2. Combining threads/yarns which formed knitted stitches differently and therefore occupied different parts of the three-dimensional space.
  3. Materials which naturally formed three-dimensional surfaces (nylon wire, polypropylene, seagrass).
  4. Combining threads of contrasting properties (i.e. matt/shiny, translucent/opaque, hairy/smooth).
  5. Large stitches for drama and effect. 
These are discussed for individual samples in the workshop blog posts.
The effect of lighting on woven, knitted and netting samples:
I then investigated the effect of different lighting schemes by photographing each sample in controlled conditions:
  1. Naturally lit
  2. Lit from behind
  3. Lit from the front
In addition, I also took the opportunity to capture any other lighting conditions which gave interesting results (named “opportunistic”). I did not photograph the inkjet printing or paper lamination samples because they showed little variation between each lighting scheme.
The visual results are recorded photographically in “Sample and development book 2”. I have also annotated each photograph with comments about how samples are affected. 
Some important observations are:
  1. Natural light usually gives good definition and colour representation
  2. Lighting from behind enhances thread definition, having the effect of emphasising stitch pattern and negative space. However, colour definition is often severely attenuated or even lost completely.
  3. Lighting from the front causes shadows to be formed. These are sharper when the light source is close to the sample, and when the sample is close to a background. Shadows become fuzzy as the sample is moved further away.
Imaged-based samples:
Reviewing the imaged-based samples (inkjet printing and paper lamination) was more difficult. The workshops allowed me to investigate and experiment with techniques, but I felt that I needed to develop imagery (sketchbook work) to make my samples meaningful. In addition, the high cost of inkjet printable fabric, meant it was essential to down select images before printing. I have mainly used sketchbook 2 to investigate imagery associated with these two workshops, and this is where you will find  my thoughts the merits of the each of the visual outcomes, and my emotional response to the images.
As well as developing stand alone images for inkjet printing or paper lamination, I wanted to investigate whether there was merit in combining imagery from the netting, knitted net and woven workshops. I have therefore also taken photographic images and drawings of netting, knitted and woven samples to investigated how these ideas might be combined with the printed imagery. These investigations can also be found in sketchbook 2.

Reveal and conceal, Stage 2, Workshop 9, Paper laminates

14 March 2016

Having just completed the assignment on screen printing, I was keen to give this workshop a go. I started with a series of test samples designed to help me learn the techniques and the effects which can be achieved.

SAMPLE PL1: Inkjet printed tree photo and newspaper on organza and voile

What I learnt from these samples: All types of sheer synthetic worked well and gave similar results. The newspaper gave a bold image whilst the inkjet printout was more faded in appearance.

I wanted to determine how newspaper and inkjet printed paper would appear when laminated with different sheer synthetics. I used three different fabrics (pinned to my workbench), under which I placed the papers that I wanted to laminate. I placed a silk screen over the fabric and applied Liquidex matt acrylic medium to the entire surface using a squidgee. 

Above: SAMPLE PL1a) Matt polyester organza

Above: SAMPLE PL1b) Sparkly polyester organza

Above: SAMPLE PL1c) polyester voile.

All three fabrics gave similar results, with the colours of the newspaper image being bolder than the inkjet image. Although the newspaper cutting lamination was similar, the tree image (identical printout for each) was lightest with polyester voile lamination and brightest with the sparkly organza.

The process worked well with no problems with getting either image to adhere to the fabric, and removal of the paper was straightforward.


SAMPLE PL2: Masking tape with polyester voile and inkjet printout

What I learnt from this sample: The masking paper was a very effective stencil, although the inkjet printout gave a poor, barely discernible image.

I used an image from my Grandmother photo collection for this sample. My grandmother has passed away and neither myself nor my father know who is in the photograph. This image may be all that is left of their memory, but they are anonymous. I thought it was a suitable image to use because it exposes the fragility and transience of the marks that we leave on earth during our lives.

I started my making a screen up with masking paper stencil strips, and I prepared the image and fabric as described for sample 1.

The image below is of the printout before the lamination process, which was complete using the same technique as sample 1.

After the lamination process (below) you can see that the selective application of the acrylic medium has meant that the lamination was fragmented, with the image not being transferred in areas shielded by the masking paper stencil. 

Although the process worked well and the stencil worked as I expected, I was disappointed that the resulting image was extremely pale – so much so that it was difficult to make out the subject matter.  


SAMPLE PL3: Inkjet printout strips, polyester voile

What I learnt from this sample: This method gives unattractive results due to acrylic medium being deposited in the areas where there is no paper. As for sample 3, the inkjet printout gave a lamination which was pale and bleached in appearance.

Instead of using a mask or stencil to selectively apply the acrylic medium with a screen, this method relies on strips of paper being laid underneath the fabric, then the acrylic medium being applied to the whole surface (I also used a screen to ensure even coverage).

The result is shown below:


The lamination has worked well and the torn paper has given an interesting effect. However, what you can’t see in the photo is that acrylic medium has left messy marks in the spaces where there is no paper. It looks similar to clear glue, and it has the effect of blocking the screen mesh – all in all a very untidy, unattractive result.


SAMPLE PL4: Cobweb spray screen, polyester voile, inkjet printout

What I learnt from this sample: A fractured image could not be created when using the cobweb spray screen to apply acrylic medium. Again the inkjet printout resulted in an extremely pale lamination.

I thought I would use the cobweb spray screen (see below) to selectively apply acrylic medium. The aim or producing a fractured image.


Once again I used the wedding photograph.

The results are very disappointing because the acrylic medium was just ran under the cobweb screen and laminated the whole paper. Also the image is once again pale.


SAMPLE PL5: Mourning scene (inkjet printout) with newspaper cuttings, polyester voile

What I learnt from this sample: The inkjet printout of the photograph was extremely poor when laminated and was completely overwhelmed by the boldness of the newspaper cuttings. They did not work together.

I wanted to reinforce the sadness and quiet reflection of the mourning scene in my photograph (a graveside image) with the introduction of text and flowers.

Once again the inkjet printout is indiscernible and there is a mismatch with the bold images from the newspaper lamination.


SAMPLES PL6: Newsprint stencil, with paper lamination onto polyester voile

What I learnt from these samples: The stencil worked well, except where the pieces were extremely small and themselves became laminated to the acrylic medium. The magazine paper gave much better results than the inkjet printout.

SAMPLE PL6a) Inkjet printout

I used a stencil of a leaf in positive and negative image which was laid onto the fabric before playing acrylic matt medium to the entire surface using a screen.

The results for this lamination were disappointing because of the colour degradation of the image, and also because the very small stencil pieces were not picked up but the screen, so instead, stuck and laminated themselves to the fabric surface!

SAMPLE PL6b): Magazine paper

The same screen and stencil was used as in sample 6a) (which meant that the very small pieces were not present). I chose a magazine image of a tree covered hilltop, so the image fitted well with the subject of the stencil.

This is a lovely result which echoes the subtle tonal variation of Autumn leaves. I am pleased with the process and the result.


A note on inkjet printouts – reading this blog you might wonder why I did not learn from the poor results with the inkjet printouts after so many samples! The reason is because samples 2-6 were worked in a batch, and it was only after they were all processed that I realised I had a technical issue.


SAMPLES PL7: Inkjet printout, different papers, sparkly polyester organza

What I learnt from this sample: The quality of printer paper made little difference to the results of the lamination. The pale images must be due to the printer ink.

I printed out two identical photographs on the inkjet printer, one on premium paper (which I had been using for samples 1-7), and the other on the ‘value’ paper. I chose the mourning image because it had given the worst (palest) results of all the samples. I used the sparkly polyester organza, because in my controlled experiments at sample 1, it had given the boldest results of all the fabrics.

SAMPLE PL7a) Value paper

SAMPLE PL7b) Premium paper

There is little to choose between the images, with both giving poor results. If anything the value paper is slightly better (a darker, more discernible image).


SAMPLE PL8: Inkjet printout and colour photocopy on sparkly organza

What I learnt from this sample: Colour photocopies give excellent colour and image definition. Inkjet printouts with my printer/ink combination should be avoided.

I wanted to reaffirm the findings of samples 7 by comparing the same image laminated from a colour photocopy and inkjet printout. The only colour photocopy I have was of one of the buildings designed by Oscar Niemeyer, and which had been left over from my screen printing assignment.

As the colour photocopy image was very true to the original, I have not included it hear for reasons of copyright. However, the inkjet printout once again appeared pale and washed out (it appeared that the colours had run during the process). This proved my theory.

As the inkjet printout laminations were pale to the point of being barely discernible, I cannot foresee a situation where I would ever use them in a lamination project.

Reveal and conceal, Stage 2, Workshop 8, Working with inkjet printers

14 March 2016

I have always been interested in using photographic images in my textile work, so I chose to complete this workshop. As suggested, I started by using Jacquard ExtraOrganza (an inkjet printer compatible silk organza). 


SAMPLE IP1: London and the Thames, ExtraOrganza

What I learnt from this sample: The fabric paper was easy to use and gave very good results. 

The aim of this first sample was to test the fabric with my inkjet printer. I chose a fairly detailed image of London and the Thames at an extreme low tide (image my own).

I particularly like this image because it fits with the topic of ‘reveal and conceal’. This stretch of riverbank and the associated structures are rarely exposed. Earlier, “mud-larkers” had been picking through the beach debris in search of historical artefacts – the Thames about to reveal it’s hidden secrets?

I followed the instructions which came with the paper and found the printing process easy and straightforward. Below is a photograph of the sample placed on white paper.


As expected the printout on the fabric was slightly less clear than on paper, due to the weave of the fabric making the print less solid (reminding me of a slightly fog-bound London day). The colour was slightly more muted than the original; a pleasing effect which helped to add a sense of mystery to the sample. 

A note on further sampling: Once I had established that the process was effective, I felt I needed to develop some alternative imagery before continuing. This is where my sketchbook work came in (stage 4 – researching source material). I used the sketchbook to explore ideas for imagery and image combinations which I might use for this workshop. Because the inkjet printable fabric is so expensive, this helped me to explore many more possibilities than I would otherwise have been able to afford.

In my investigations I have tried to focus on making sure any image combinations are meaningful in the way in which they relate to each other and also to the topic of ‘reveal and conceal. Most of the development work is covered in sections 2 and 3 of sketchbook 2 (pages 4-38 inclusive).


SAMPLE IP2: Portrait on ExtraOrganza

What I learnt from this sample: When combined before printing, images can appear very subtle and will be even paler when printed onto silk organza.

This sample refers to section 3. Development of imagery, 3a) “Ancestry and the passage of life”, ii) Portrait, from sketchbook 2, page 24. In it I explore the combination of a winter lane scene with a digitally drawn portrait.

I selected this image to print partly because it is full of mystery and open to interpretation, and being a tonal drawing I thought it may produce a very different effect to sample 1. Technically, there is a good balance between the opacity of the two images, so I hoped it would work well.

The fabric printed well, but the image was more subtle than I was expecting. The process of combining images with “Procreate”, involved a reduction in the opacity of the top layer. I could have tried the alternative approach of printing the lane image first, then running the fabric through again to print the portrait. However, In this instance it would not have worked because the background of the portrait Is almost solid black and would have completely obscured the print underneath.

If I decide to use this sample I will have to be really careful with the application and how it is displayed to ensure that the images are discernible.


SAMPLE IP3: Screen print and woven sample tracing overprinted onto ExtraOrganza

What I learned from this sample: Overprinting images can be used to produce bolder, more striking results than digital manipulation (assuming a subtle image is not desired).

For this sample I too the alternative approach of running the fabric through the printer twice to obtain an overlaid image, instead of combining the images digitally first. A visual representation of the differences between these approaches is shown on page 28 of sketchbook 2.

I used an image which was traced from a woven sample I made in workshop 4 (see sketchbook 2, page 20), which I printed first. 


I then printed a cropped image of my screen printing experiments on top (see sketchbook 2, page 15)

I think the two images work well together because the top image reminds me of bamboo, whilst the second of flowers, so it has the feeling of a Japanese garden.

Compared with sample 2, this image is much bolder and quite striking. In general the printing worked well, although it is more obvious to see in this example that there has been a small amount of bleeding (see below).

This image appeals to me because it is striking and I like the contrast between the thick and thin lines and the curved and the different form of the shapes.

SAMPLE IP4: Flowers on ExtraOrganza

What I learnt from this sample: This sample reinforced the lessons learnt from sample 2.

I chose two images of flowers which contrasted and just worked visually when combined. The first is the negative image of the screen print experiments (below)

The second a photo of hawthorn flowers (below)

When combined digitally, they form a cluttered, but attractive pattern (below)

I somehow like the complexity (confusion?) that combining the two images gives. When printed onto the silk organza the image was slightly more subtle (see below, photo or printed fabric laid on top of white fabric)


There are bold elements to this design, which are attractive; a strong contrast exists between the dark, intricately patterned background and white flower stencil shapes. I feel that this is diluted somewhat between the paper image and the fabric printout.

SAMPLES IP5: Syrian refugee crisis

What I learnt from these samples: Feelings of transparency and dispersal of light can also be implied by printing digitally manipulated images onto an opaque fabric. 

I combined my own drawn images of nets and wire fences (to represent border control) with images of Syrian refugees which I had obtained from the Internet. I also tried combinations of other images with the refugee photos (see sketchbook 2, pages 32-37). I made a collage A4 page which I printed on two different fabrics. The imagery is not reproduced in the blog for reasons of copyright.

SAMPLE IP5a): Jacquard ExtraOrganza

I started by printing my collage onto ExtraOrganza. As I should have realised from samples 2 and 4, the prints were very subtle. I felt that they were too pale to be able to identify the subject matter, so I tried a different fabric (see next sample).

SAMPLE IP5b): Jacquard printable cotton

The printable cotton is an opaque fabric. When I printed onto it, the collage image was much more successful. I hadn’t thought of this before, but there are actually two approaches to the ‘reveal and conceal’ concept: 1) Print on a reasonably bold image on semi-transparent fabric, or 2) Print a subtle image on an opaque fabric. This sample falls into the last category – the feeling of transparency is implied by digital manipulation of the images underwent before they were printed. 


The bold image of sample 3 is the stand-out success. More subtle images such as samples 1, 2 and 4 will need further evaluation under different conditions to see whether they can be enhanced through displayed conditions. Sample 5a) is too pale to be usable, whereas sample 5b) again needs further consideration. It does not have the same tension and mystery as the organza samples and I am not sure that is can be developed to a successful visual outcome.

Reveal and conceal, Stage 2, Workshop 4, Woven structures

5 March 2016

The course notes suggested that I should be using fairly firm material for my warps because I would be weaving loose and spaced out wefts. However, I wanted to be more unconventional and break away from the use of traditional weaving with a tapestry frame. So with that in mind, here are the results of my sampling!

SAMPLE WS1 – Wire warp

I was inspired by the uneven negative space of these stakes on the beach at West Wittering

Instead of a tapestry frame, I used a plastic basket to form my weft which was made from 100% 0.8mm copper wire.

I could have tried to straightened the wire more, but I liked this effect.

I gathered together a sumptuous collection of weaving materials (above), and just tried lots of different techniques which I thought might produce interesting results:

  • Fabric strips of chiffon, woven soumack style and conventionally
  • I interlaced woven chiffon strips with some very fine boucle yarn to give contrast of texture and thickness.
  • I used handspun, hand-dyed thick and thin (single) which was matt and hairy
  • I used thread made from reclaimed sari silk which was very smooth and lustrous
  • I wove neatly and tightly and contrasted this with loose, untidy sections 
  • I wove with the wire at each end of the piece to secure the loose thread section
Above is my finished sample. I was not intending at the outset for it to have the appearance of a finished piece – maybe I should have concentrated on making a single sample for each technique? When I’d finished, I cut the ends of wire and let them curl and twist. It was a pleasingly ‘wild’ effect which complemented the free loose weaving. 
I particularly like the areas of weaving which I have detailed below:
Above: I wrapped the pink chiffon around 2 strands of copper warp at a time. This gives and attractive ‘stepped’ or ‘zig-zag’ effect. I like the way that the wire is visible through the fabric.
Above: This illustrates the pink chiffon conventionally woven which has been over-laced with a loose strand of very fine boucle.
Above: more wrapping than weaving – I used a ‘buttonhole stitch‘ to wrap the sari silk around adjacent alternate strands of warp. I really like how the threads accentuate areas of the warp, and connect adjacent warp threads. I would like to develop and extend its technique to a larger piece of weaving.
SAMPLE WS2: Slashed canvas
Again, using the posts at West Wittering beach as an inspiration, I slashed a canvas with a Stanley knife to produce a ‘fabric’ warp. I then painted the canvas for extra interest. 
I chose a series of orange-red threads and fibres for my weft. I wanted to make a strong contrast of thread thicknesses and texture, and my aim was to pay particular attention to how they filled the negative spaces between the fabric warp. 
I used:
  • Commercially dyed merino
  • Rowan kidsilk haze
  • Handspun Southdown (a long staple coarse fibre)
  • Hand-dyed fleecewool
  • Beads – to disrupt the linearity of the warp and weft
  • I wove some diagonal threads as well as horizontal ones
I’m not entirely content with the result which I feel is rather ‘busy’. I think the two colours work well, but maybe there’s actually too much orange-red and it needs to be used more sparingly or with an accent colour?
When held up to the light, the shapes, not the orange colour starts to dominate. I think that when I photograph this piece properly I should get some drastic results, including shadows from the slashed warp.
I also decided to sketch this weaving (see sketchbook 2, pages 19 and 20)
SAMPLE WS3: Garden grid
For this sample, I wanted to the weaving to be strictly controlled. I intended for the warp and weft to appear interchangeable. This weaving builds on success of the button-hole stitch approach in sample WS1
I used just two colours of yarn – handspan purple merino and recycled yellow sari silk. I wanted to keep the weaving simple and clean to explore the possibilities of a very open weave. Below is my finished result:
I love the effect of contrast which is achieved the different spacings of the woven sections (some appearing more concentrated in colour and heavier and some so less so). 
This sample very much reminded me of some of the photographs of buildings with blinds which I had used for assignment 2 (screen printing). I used my sketchbook to explore variations of this theme (see sketchbook 1, pages24-31).
It was one of the samples where shadow was very important in creating an overall effect (see below)
The shadows appear like a third colour of weaving thread held in the 3D space behind the grid. There is effective interplay between the yellow and purple threads and their shadow, because the shadows occupy the negative spaces where there are no threads on the grid. The shadows also form a facsimile of the weaving, by repeating it’s shape and structure, which is like repeating the weaving as a displaced grid (see sketchbook 1, pages 33-34). This only works because the weaving threads are so sparse and the negative spaces large enough that the shadows can be viewed and appreciated.
SAMPLE WS4: Cling-film warp
I really wanted to try using clingfilm was a warp because It is wide and semi-transparent (with dense creased areas where it folds back on itself appearing more opaque). Because the clingfilm is not firm, the weaving has to be supported by a frame, which remains a permanent feature.
For the warp, I used the following materials (chosen to give contrast of opacity, texture and thickness):
  • Strips of cotton sheeting
  • Silver machine embroidery thread, strung with beads
  • Rowan Kidsilk haze knitting yarn
  • Strips of silver mesh fabric
  • Crochet cotton
  • Strips of polyester organza
  • Hand-spun white merino yarn (used as is and also crocheted into a chain)
  • Paper raffia
Below is the finished sample. I chose white/cream because I wanted the focus to be entirely on the opacity and textures without the added complication of colour.
These lighting conditions, however do not show it at it’s best. A close-up (lit from behind, and with the weaving placed on it’s side) gives an indication of how the different opacities of warp and weft interact.
In the example above there are some interesting tonal variation when the threads pass behind the warp.I also like the fact that you get a ‘peep’ of the what’s behind the weaving (but not too much) though the gaps.