It has been a long time since my last post but a lot has happened. For more information about where this started see the previous post ‘A New Journey’.
As planned I have done the walk again as Seaford a second time. Returning with the same friend we walked along the coastal path to Cuckmere Haven and then up the Cuckmere River to the main Road at Exceat Bridge. Again the weather was good and the tide out so we were able to take the low tide path down the river.
By the time I did this second walk I had got my first major piece of work on the looms. I wanted to weave a hanging inspired by the cliff itself. Therefore I wanted it to be a large piece and set about planning a piece the full width of my loom; which is 120cm. The length would be in proportion to this so aiming for about 180cm. I wanted to use a mixture of paper yarns as I felt these were sympathetic to the source material both in colour and texture. The extra length of the warp which is usually thought of as 'wastage' to a weaver I envisaged tumbling down to reach the floor as the bottom of the cliff meets the beach.
I chose a variety of yarns adding a linen and a high twist wool to the mix. I used 2 layers in the weaving to create different textures in various areas. In one layer I used fine yarns and the other I used thicker yarns. Most of the surface or front of hanging is made from the fine yarns but with blocks where the thicker yarns come to the front, thereby changing the scale of the textures in these areas.
The cliff itself; though mainly chalk has bands of other materials or pieces of rock like flint in amongst it and the surface is then eroded away around faults or fissures in the rock face. I didn't want the layout to look too 'neatly' composed and yet weaving requires so much planning that I have always felt that 'random' is not a concept that sits well with the process. So my first challenge was working out where blocks would appear and how.
My second challenge was actually weaving the piece. This combination of yarns was not easy to work with, but now it is finished I have the blocks of different textures create by the variety of yarns used.
When working with high twist yarns there is always an element of chance as to how much shrinkage will actually occur in the final piece. However in this piece it has shrunk a little more than the other yarns adding to the texture and puckering of the surface.
Now this piece is complete I have called it 'Escarpment'. It will be exhibited at 'Wonder' at The Oxmarket Gallery in Chichester. The exhibition is the Summer show of the Society of Designer Craftsmen. I am delighted that my piece has been chosen for the exhibition. See my events page for details.
This is my first piece of finished work for this project but the journey will continue ...