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  • Writer's pictureMarlene Dahl

Small samples

I am still waiting for the tools I require to be available from my supplier. Which is annoying but not much I can really do about it. This pandemic is really effecting everything. And especially typical that weaving equipment is so difficult to find! But hey, we have to keep going and find ways to continue on. So lets make some small samples.

Lately, I have been doing some more stitching in the studio. I have been mixing various techniques with different types of threads and as well as the ground fabric. By doing quick illustrations and thumbnail sketches I can narrow down what I want to achieve. I did some couching and combining different stitches. And again I found that the chain stitch (to the left in the picture below) was most successful.

I also attempted a little bit of sample weaving by using what I currently have at hand in the studio. It wasn’t easy but managed to get a few ideas out on woven cloth so that’s a start anyways. I was focusing on the thought of having a ground cloth and then using an alternate weft only on the surface. This, in weaving terms, is called the Theo Moorman technique. I chose to use a very thick inlay yarn to emphasise on contrast between the two weft structures. The inspiration for this particular sample relates back to flowing river outlets and streams.

In the picture below I decided to insert the inlay in a looser way. Here I was using many thin strands of cotton yarns of different colours together as the weft inlay. This was done in an effort to reference to ripples created on a water surface. However, this wasn’t very successful as it looks messy and not as defined as I would have liked it. And the textures created doesn’t relate to the chosen visual subject matter. Perhaps if I chose a different inlay weft? Something with more structure such as linen? Or do I have to change the ground fabric?

So despite the fact that some of these samples weren’t exactly successful I still feel I learned some valuable things along the way. And by figuring out what doesn’t work will hopefully lead me to figuring out what does work. I will continue with some of these ideas that I have discovered but try them with different materials.

Talk to you soon again,


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