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In some of my posts, I have lightly touched on some of the weaving research into texture that I have been focussing on in the past 2 years, and which are the subject of some of the lectures that I am giving at the Complex Weavers’ Seminars and also at HGA’s Convergence 2010 in Albuquerque in July this year (HGA – Handweavers’ Guild of America).  That has piqued the curiosity of some of my blog readers, and also my recent students, who have seen texture samples strewn all over the studio as I put together my presentations.  So firstly, thank you so much for your input and questions.

In response to these requests, I have decided to put together a regular blog, published every Wednesday or as near to a Wednesday as I can get it.  I don’t have updates automated yet, so I write them in real time.  Life sometimes gets in the way and delays publication, but that is something I am going to look at in the autumn.

In the meantime, I thought I would start with some practical steps for beginners to introduce texture into their work. 

But before I do that, if you don’t know what I do and why (and why should you?!), here’s a quick bit of background.  I’ve been weaving since 1991, and got obsessed almost immediately.  That’s one of the amazing things about weaving – it’s something that can really grab you and engage your mind and body fully.  Right from the start, I always loved creating images or abstracting design ideas from a picture that I could translate into weaving and this was magnified when a huge industrial jacquard loom came into my life in 2002 (see my website for further details!).  After she arrived, and I had learnt how to use her, I acquired 4 other baby jacquard looms that I use for teaching looms.  Then I was given a book on aerial and satellite images of the earth, and that was it.  I knew what it was I wanted to do with my weaving and my life – translate the textures of nature into works of woven art – artwork that would rise up from the flat surface of the fabric to depict the physical aspects of nature.  I call it weaving in 2 1/2 dimensions as opposed to 3-dimensional work which brings to mind 3-dimensional sculptures. 

To that end, I have been delving into old weaving treatises, visiting archive collections, scouring new publications, badgering fellow weavers, learning all I can about how to create these wonderful natural textures in weaving.  And I am getting some effective and great results!  It is an exciting exploration which has me getting up in the morning eager to get to the loom, or the computer, or visit a museum to find out more.  And more than that, I want to share what I find so that other people can start from further along the research path and have great fun creating their own textural weaving.  I belong to the Complex Weavers study group in Collapse, Pleat and Bump, in which individual members research something that interests them, weaves some samples and shares the information with the group, and that has led to some ideas which I have taken further, which can then feed back into the group for someone else to take and develop some more.

So this blog is extending that process of exploration and sharing to a wider group.  I hope you enjoy the content.  Next week I shall, as promised, begin with some simple steps to creating texture in your weaving whatever sort of loom you have.  In the meantime, please do let me know your thoughts, and what sort of information you would like to see included in these blog posts.