Developing an idea

This post is not for everybody. However, if you are curious about how my ideas for scarves are developed, keep reading.

An artist first learns their tools. Then they learn to decode the "recipes" and try several different projects adding to their knowledge and skills. Finally, using all that expereince, they find a way to personalize the project and make it their own. This last part is the most import. It is where we as artists are able to take our materials and tools and create the vision we see in our mind. We find our voice.

In the beginning of developing my ideas for the scarf collection, I chose a Dornick twill as a weave structure. Why? I am a story teller at heart. The broken twill resembled what I see when the wind hits the river. The weave structure helps tell the story of where I live on the Oregon Coast. Then I build a landscape of color to tell the other part of the story.

There is another weave structure I turned to called Summer and Winter. The boxy pattern lets me tell a story about cities. The first series was a direct result from a trip to Itay and was called "Stucco and Stone." I choose a palette that resembled what I saw. I stayed more closely within the confines of the structure of the draft. What developed was a memory of what I saw on that trip.

Later, I revisted that structure but chose to push it a little further. I took the original draft and divided the threading units in half and used a palette from the vineyards (purples and greens). Then I crossed the warp and rotated the same colors throughtout the scarf. There were several variations to try. The first was to rotate the colors in the warp as weft throught the scarf. The second was a combination of this with some stripe areas.

I noticed that with the first there were a lot of little weft ends to trim. So, one second scarf, I turned those weft color changes into a design element. They became fringe on the side of the scarf. That eleminated having to trim ends closely. I found a way to use those changes to an advantage.

Now that spring is here, I developed a new color way. With this series of scarves I used the same Summer and Winter block draft. This time I did not let the draft structure dictate the stripes, but created my own color units from small to large. In the weft, I rotated the same colors. The weaves structure appears in the background as texture, but the color gradations work totally on their own. This is a good example of finding one's "voice."


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