HNC Autumn School – Day 5

 

Colour Analysis

Colour Analysis

I returned this morning to the Drawing Studio to put the finishing touches to my analysis of colour: the type, proportion and texture found in taking a number  of perpendicular strips across this ‘organic’ collage. On the left you can see one of my perpendicular strips made from my collage complete with some ‘possible’ yarns to match the colours and textures. Friday’s objective was to match this analysis with yarns I would use as the basis for the eight swatches required for my first project.    

 

A Selection of Yarns

A Selection of Yarns

Down in the basement workshop the class were introduced to a selection of yarns and fibres available to us from the college’s own store of yarns found on shelves surrounding two sides of the room. All that knowledge and terminology gleaned from yesterday’s lecture came into its own as we were assailed with talk of ‘2-fold 24 cotton’ ( a fine cotton with a two-ply twist). Now this yarn and fibre knowledge was the serving the context of our weaving needs: if you are planning to do this, such and such a yarn will do that; this is good for warp, this for weft.   

The ruler method for establish the sett (the number of warps ‘ends’ per inch) we now used purposefully when collecting and examining a box of potential yarns. We were given a resource list of suppliers and then worked through a dummy ‘loom plan’, very necessary to work out and record the details of how our chosen yarns will be assembled on the loom according to the requirements of width and length.   

Yarns at Texere

Yarns at Texere

Next stop – Texere Yarns. We make a class visit to Bradford’s yarn emporium, a warehouse full of tempting colours and textures. As if in answer to my personal difficulties (expressed in the lecture yesterday in working out just what happens in the spinning process ) I find The Yarn Book by Penny Walsh (A & C Black). I have no real intention to buy yarn but I recognize there are colours missing from my collage analysis. With some hunting and patience I discover a quartet of green yarns that will not only suit the ‘organic’ project but will be perfect for Le Jardin Pluvieux, my mixed-media piece based on the garden of Brigflatts Meeting House in Cumbria.    

My Green Yarns

My Green Yarns

Whilst at Textere I discover our tutor Andrea in a distant corner looking through pieces of leather. She tells me a little about her own textile practice: work with expanding and contracting yarns to produce swirls of movement and texture. A combination of little research time, a young child and renovating an old house leaves little time currently for such creative work.   

 

Using the Cross-Sticks

Using the Cross-Sticks

After lunch its back to the workshop and the business of preparing a warp. The warping frames are to be set up for 4 metre lengths. Andrea does a very brief demonstration. Over and under  is the message for dealing with the two ‘cross’ sections (where we will unpick the yarn in sequence for threading through the heddles). I see the use of cross-sticks for the first time and realise that this is the first of many differences I’ll encounter in the European way of dressing a loom.

 

A Jacquard Loom

A Jacquard Loom

A short diversion occurs at this point of the afternoon in that we get to see a Jacquard industrial loom in operation. One of the technicians has regular personal time on this machine and gives us a very short demonstration of its operation and potential. After the handloom the intricacy and possibility of this industry standard process seems another world altogether, but here it is right next door to our workshop.

 

Possible Yarns for a Warp

Possible Yarns for a Warp

Before starting to prepare my ‘project’ warp I have had to assemble my first loom plan, a plan making use of three distinct colours, a principal (grey green) and two minors (grass green and white). This process takes all my flagging concentration to complete! But before the day’s ends I have made a start on warping these yarns together. Tomorrow, Saturday, the warp will be finished and the loom dressed. You never know I might get as far as weaving!

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