In Which I Curse My Ambition…

The trouble with being unable to submit Project 5 on time is that the neverending warp of sandy brown is just there. No change of colour, no alternative textures to break the monotony, until I splatter the warp with dye powders and then wet it whilst it is on the loom. This of course means I have to let the wet areas dry completely, so more hold ups. I have however changed the top layer from a Galway single linen that was too greenly-grey to work to a 65% silk 35% stainless steel. Hopefully it will stand up to the rigours of the metal heddles better than the linen. The run up to Christmas has knocked into the weaving time and I have to be honest, I’m still struggling physically. I am finding it really hard to reach for the second back beam to sort the tension out when I’m working with that top layer. I’m also slowed down by a tiny little change but it’s messing with my muscle memory. On the first Harris loom (The Beast) I borrowed from college, the levers for the odd numbered shafts were on the right hand side of the loom. I swapped The Beast for this version with a second back beam (originally called The Beast II but more recently referred to as Alan – think B’stard) and the levers for the odd numbered shafts are on the left. Such a little thing, but even after three months I’m still messing up lifting patterns and having to “unweave” sections. Or just wind on the warp and start again.
I sound like Moaning Myrtle, don’t I? Add the physical niggles to the sneaking suspicion that my original idea to commemorate the pardoned executed soldiers of World War I with a 2 foot by 4 foot double cloth wall hanging is beyond me. My concept was to explore how the top gauzy layer could be used to insure things. I wanted to show the reasons for the courts martial (e.g. cowardice, desertion, sleeping at post, etc.) on the top gauzy layer, probably stitched into it, whilst simultaneously obscuring the underlying reasons that modern sensibilities acknowledges (e.g. combat fatigue, PTSD, exhaustion, getting lost, etc), which would be stitched into the back layer. I’d also quite like to trap 306 poppy heads between the layers, one for each pardoned serviceman. So… yeah. Ambitious.
Quite possibly beyond my physical capabilities and level of embellishment at this point.
But, on the plus side, last month I learnt enough about Adobe Illustrator to create my mood board, and this is something I am very pleased with.

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