Sunday, July 1, 2007

Big Commission--Chapter 6: Blanket Meets Saori

I just couldn't go away leaving this warp sitting on the loom. Since I am going to a Saori Conference, I decided to weave a test panel in what I believe to be the Saori way. After I come back from the Conference, I will have a better idea of exactly what that philosophy is. But this is what I did:
1. Weave what I feel.
2. There are no mistakes.
3. No planning ahead. For me, this meant "no counting" "no measuring"

Who knew I was a compulsive counter!

What started out as a frustrating exercise soon became lots of fun.

So here are 3 of the proposed 7 panels of the blanket. It was challenging to find a place where I could get far enough away from the panels to actually see the whole thing. (60" of the 90"). You can sort of see that the panels are not put together. My sort of plan is to intersperse four 8" panels. I thought it would be interesting to make the 8" panels a weft faced design using the colored recycled cashmere. I will still use the same bamboo for the warp although not ikat dyed. The weft will still be triple strands of unknitted cashmere sweaters. Because the warp will still show, the weft will be muted. The colors are full of nuance. I did much color blending, and the gray warp keeps the colors from jumping out too much.

The panels are folded over a rod, but you can get the idea. You're seeing about 60" of the length.

Not writing anything down or taking any notes is quite a challenging exercise, like working without a net. Ladies and Gentlemen, do not try this at home. It takes a lot of years and countless attempts. It takes a lot of faith. But mostly it takes knowing how to set up very tight parameters. Even though I don't really know what it is going to look like, that is the only variable I have. Showing you every step of the way is my attempt to demonstrate a process of weaving into the future.

I realize just pulling a piece off the loom is weaving into the future--at least it was for me the first 20 years or so. Weaving offers a lifetime of lessons, a lifetime of healing, and a lifetime of creativity.

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