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Colorful lichen formations

I see intriguing lichen, a stunning sunset, a charming silhouette, and I think “How could I weave that?”

A loom comes home with bells and whistles that I’m compelled to use, compelled to learn techniques that will show the loom’s full capabilities.

Our guild challenges us to create within the framework of a theme, a museum inspiration, a commercially chosen color, a natural phenomenon.

These have subtly influenced my weaving this year.

Last summer’s total solar eclipse loomed large in our community. Everything had an eclipse theme, including our annual guild challenge— “Light and Shadow.”

I put it in the back of my mind, behind the hangings, towels, and blankets in progress. Gradually the idea came into focus, a continuation of my museum inspiration from last year—how highlights and shadows can be woven into a 2-dimensional fabric.

Last year I used undulating twill. This year I used satin damask. Last year I wove scarves, this year an interpretation of a photo, a simple bowl of fruit,

First the photo

cropped for focus and color stripped,

Gray Scale Apple and Peach

leaving a pixelated image.

Pixelated Apple

With each step, I reduced the image further to the bare minimum for single weave units. I graphed out the image on computer, trying to grade the shadows into the highlights. I adjusted the graph squares to more accurately reflect the proportions of my warp and weft.

Apples and Peach off the loom

This was a project for the process rather than the end product.  It doesn’t have a specific purpose—which in itself is a learning experience for me! But as a challenge project, it did serve a general purpose—that of learning more about perspective, shading, dimension in weaving, proportion. I’ll tuck these lessons in the back of my mind until the next warp.

Meanwhile, there are towels to weave and aprons to sew.