In 2009, a new loom arrived in my studio – an AVL jacquard-type loom that allows individual control of each thread in the cloth. My older loom controls groups of threads, and is limited to abstract patterning. With the new loom, I can weave much more detailed, pictorial designs. In fact, I can weave a photograph!
The process of designing jacquard textiles is quite different from what I’ve done in the past. For one thing, instead of weaving design software, I use Adobe Photoshop® to design each piece. I often start with a digital image, sized to the same number of pixels in width as the loom has threads (in my case, 1440). The image can be any length, because I’ll just weave until the image is complete.
In Photoshop, I reduce the image to the same number of colors as the weave structures I intend to use (weave families chosen to give me the effect I want). Each weave is previously defined as a fill pattern. Once the image is ready, I apply the appropriate fill pattern to each color in the image. The end result is a black and white bitmap file. As the loom reads each row of the file, from bottom to top, a black pixel means “lift this thread” while a white pixel means “don’t lift this one.” Easy, right? Not so much!
Then I start weaving. Some families of weave structures require just one weft color, thus just one shuttle. Others require two or more weft colors, and a corresponding number of shuttles.
Aileen - Based on a photograph taken by my mother when I was about 4 years old (that's me on the left, my Aunt Aileen making flower crowns in the middle, and my sister on the right). Black cotton warp, natural silk weft. approx 12 by 10 inches.
I offer Woven Portraits as a service; if you have a family photo you’d like me to turn into a family heirloom for you, see the Woven Portraits flyer here.
Autumn Leaves – black cotton warp, red silk and gold rayon wefts, approx 16.5 inches in width.
Beech Grove with Wildflowers – Based on a photo taken on holiday in Devon, England. Black cotton warp, green and purple cotton wefts, approx 16.5 inches in width.
Grant Park Oak – Based on a photo taken in Grant Park, on the east side of San Jose, CA. Black cotton warp, blue cotton and rust cotton/bamboo wefts, approx 16.5 inches in width.
Revelstoke Park, BC – One of the few places where you can see every microclimate from temperate rainforest to alpine scenery in one park, all accessible by car. Black cotton warp, green cotton and rust cotton/bamboo wefts, approx 16.5 inches in width.
Oak at Sunrise – Black cotton warp, gold and blue-violet cotton wefts, approx 16.5 inches in width.
For more information or for purchases, email Sandra.
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