Last fall I began a hand weaving of the dried corn ready for harvest. Somehow the scale — 55″ across, full of detail — daunted me and I never finished it. This spring, while beginning to make image files for the new jacquards, I decided to make use of the scale & detail of the jacquard loom and imagine the tapestry as I had meant to weave it by hand. The color was a challenge for the mill, reddish golden stalks, but the weaving arrived today and I am delighted. And the scale is majestic: 54″ high x 80″ across!
I have been experimenting for some time with jacquard-woven “tapestries” in relation to my hand-woven work. The industry has a specific kind of warp setup known as “tapestry”, which consists of a repeating combination of 6-12 colors which combine & re-combine optically to create a semblance of a color spectrum. Semblance is, of course, the operative word. It is both a frustration, in that the true color I want to see is often not possible, and a relief, in that I know that the color I work by hand with such control is inimitable and hence, worth the effort!
Here is the first serious attempt to make a jacquard woven version of a full-color tapestry: Chicory, which relates to my work of last year called Cornflowers.
The question is rather like that I always ask at our life-drawing class: do I want an exact likeness or do I want to learn something new? I.E., is the color good enough here, without reference to the original? Perhaps I will let you browse back through other postings to find the original, as I can’t yet bear to see them side-by side, and yet I consider this image to be quite handsome in itself. More on this as it evolves — revisions are in process as I write this.
Shown here: Chicory 1, 2008, 26″ x 36″. Copyright Laura Foster Nicholson
I find that I am needing sharp spring green in my life right now: I have been waiting for it but it is cold out and things are slow to open. The fields of winter wheat are emerald green against leaden skies and rich wet brown earth, but that sharp yellow green is only here & there in a weeping willow budding out. By next week I will be satisfied, but today I am weaving it in among the grey & black stones on my warp.