Submitted image (click to enlarge): Split.
Submission title: Split
Submitted by: Emily Dubois
Participant’s field of work/interest: Textile Artist
Participant’s Image Description: "A collaborative interpretation, as a woven fabric, of an image from one of my mixed media works on paper. The weaving will be an embodiment of literal and figurative meanings of figure/ground relationships. In the fabric, the weft-faced code symbols float above the rest of the image, the textured cold black lava, the vibrant hot lava, and calligraphic marks moving in and out of a grid floating in space. Working as far as I could on the image, I became intimately aware of each pixel and data change. The most important aspect of the project, as with all my art work, is expression. The combination of weave structures and weft materials should reflect the spirit of the image."
Translation and weaving by Sophia Borowska, with help and suggestions from Emily Dubois and WhiteFeather.
*This particular sample is unique in that it was designed for and woven on a 6-colour CMYK warp. Most submissions are woven on a single-colour warp.
Pointcarré weaving simulation (click to enlarge).
Translation to Weaving
The challenge of working with such an experienced Jacquard weaver as Emily Dubois led me to work beyond what I already knew and the processes I tend to always go back to. She provided specific instructions for the feeling of each colour area, allowing me to experiment with how to achieve this vision. Of foremost importance was that the Ascii symbols be completely raised and floating over the background cloth. Then the background itself was to be composed of many different textures and layers. The calligraphic marks were to be floating over the yellow, but beneath the Ascii symbols, and the areas of lava had to appear variously liquid and solid. The submitted image itself was worked on already as a translation of another work, so I experimented more with process than with conceptualization of the piece as a weaving.
Structures (click to access structures - available to WDRG members only).
Technique and Process Notes
I knew that to achieve the bold, floating symbols, I would have to use long, thick weft floats, because the warp doesn’t have enough substance to provide that three-dimensional effect. Because they were in so many different colours and needed to be thick threads, I decided to make the symbols in brocades. This means that I only need to weave those threads in the areas where they appear on the surface, and not from selvedge to selvedge like the background threads. I reduced the number of colours to two technical brocades, and switched between the 5 colours as I wove, to get an even yet random distribution of colours, similar to the submission. For the calligraphy, I chose to use the more delicate warp floats, which would create a layer in between the weft-faced symbols and the tightly woven yellow background. The whole cloth below the brocades is double-weave, allowing for a nice contrast between deep blacks and bright whites. I experimented with different things for the lava to get a liquid effect, such as shades of undulating twills. However, these appeared too decorative and unnatural. I decided to make a lava super-structure using a photograph of real lava in the process of hardening. This structure was then used in many different colour combinations, giving a subtle all-over texture to the lava areas that never repeats itself, and softening the divisions between the colours.
Colour reduction for weaving design (click to enlarge).
I’m very happy with how the piece turned out, and see it as the result of one of the first true collaborations I’ve worked on for this project. It was lengthy to weave and gave me many technical difficulties, due to the unusual weave structures and multiple areas of brocade, but the result is layered and exciting. It stretched slightly longer than the original submission despite many sizing tests, but the symbols still read pretty well. The piece is striking from far away, but most interesting up close where all the structures and different dimensions can be seen.
Original Dimensions: 288 x 600
Number of Picks: 6503
Woven Dimensions: 17.5" x 38.5"
Weaving Density: various
Threads Used: Warp is 2/20 mercerized cotton, with a 6-colour warp rotation of black, red, green, blue, yellow, white. Wefts are black and white 2/16 cotton, blue, green, red, and yellow 2/20 mercerized cotton tripled on the bobbin, and pink synthetic thread quadrupled on the bobbin.
Images of Final Woven Samples
FRONT (SECTION), ABOVE.
BACK (SECTION), BELOW.