Weaving Research part 7

This week I continued on my daily practice. I redesigned my looms to make the warps closer together, and I created an even smaller loom to fit inside the other ones. I worked on leaving as little scrap as possible. On a 6 x 12 inch piece of acrylic I was able to cut eight looms, a comb, three needles, and three shed sticks. The file below includes stick shuttles as well.

illustrator file for laser cutting looms

I have already started distributing the file to my friends. I have gotten really good feedback so far and I'm hoping the design will continue to evolve.

Daily Practice

Day 1 This loom was my smallest so far. It's only 2 x 3 inches. I think this size is a little impractical for making designs, but I did enjoy how quickly it went by.

Day 2 I tried a contrasting warp to create a feeling of erosion. It reminds me of concrete falling from rebar.

Day 3 I used this one as an opportunity to play with shapes. On other larger projects I have attempted to make circles, but they always get distorted by the rest of the tapestry. In this tapestry, I could focus on the specific forms.

Day 4 I experimented with adding conductive fiber to unspun roving. I really like the visual effect, but it was not conductive enough to make a circuit.

Day 5 As my first attempt at creating text, I wove an imaginary number. I was hoping to include a hint towards false mythology. In the graphic novel I am reading about Ada Lovelace, she gets lost in a world where mathematics and poetry overlap. She ponders the idea of imaginary numbers and is taken on an Alice-in-Wonderland-like adventure. I wanted the background to be clean an uniform, while the cursive "i" is formed by a dangling tassel.

Day 6 This one was just fun.

Reflection on My Daily Practice

When we were asked to make a daily practice I kept putting it off because I knew it would not be easy. I felt some pressure to find a way to weave everyday in discreet capsules of work. The process of completing a tapestry every day was a very difficult feat, and even though I found a way to make it super small, it took much more effort than I even imagined.

It was much harder for me to get through this week of daily practice. On top of making something every day I really wanted to be making something meaningful. I thought if I kept making it would eventually turn into something cohesive, or that I would see some massive improvement, or I would stumble upon some great profound truth. In our tech-heavy program it's difficult to reconcile devoting so much time to something non-tech, especially when it stops feeling productive. I began to resent the craft. Angry weaving is not something I recommend.

Luckily, I was able to overcome this feeling pretty quickly. I realized that I did learn a lot in this process. I was less afraid to make mistakes with the smaller looms, so I tried new techniques and made things up. I now have a much larger vocabulary for my work (and maybe a few Christmas gifts).