Monday, June 6, 2011

'Love the machine knitting...

.......does it really do such cool stuff?!? Who knew.'
This came in an email recently from a friend. I guess there are many people who think that way.
On the last weekend of May, I attended one of two days of the MKAV (Machine Knitting Association of Victoria) seminar. There were demonstrations, a market hall, exhibition display and a parade of knitted garments by novices to experienced knitters, amateurs and professionals. All in all it was an interesting and full-on experience. My brain was bursting with new techniques and ideas. I wish I had put down my name for the second day as well but I am definitely attending next year!

I attended the workshops/demonstrations by Diane Chambers (ribber work) and Tony Bennett (design process).
Diane's workshop was titled 'get your ribber out of a rut!' Interesting technical tips and how-to's with the ribber was good but some of the information just went over my head as I have not really gotten the ribber out of its box yet, let alone letting it get into a rut!? It will happen but not just yet.....
Tony's talk was named 'picture perfect', I understood. He uses images of ordinary items/objects, taken from his daily walk as starting point to develop new designs, much like the Pics to Pick challenge except it is his own choice of images.
He showed us the original image and a step-by-step development, sometimes from a simple punch card to the blending of yarns and colours to finally come up with something that is quite inspirational and unique, and he demonstrates the final fabric in simple garment forms so that the fabric is the star of the show.

So here are some photos, and I hope that you will agree they are pretty cool stuff:
In the shadow, sample by Tony Bennett,
inspired by image of fencing wire shadow
Grate expectation, sample by Tony Bennett,
inspired by security grilles in a shop front.
Sunburnt country , human knitting machine
by Angela McGregor and others
So cheers to the organizers to a successful event, and much enjoyed by this novice.

Friday, June 3, 2011

P2P2: First thoughts

Just wanting to capture the initial reactions with each picture and see what comes to mind. For me, sometimes these initial reactions can be quite a (i) literal interpretation of the image or it can be (ii) an extraction of colours or patterns.

ii) I am normally not a bird lover but strangely this image is attractive. I love the background and the persimmon colour on the bird. I have no idea what type of bird it is but if someone can tell me, I will be grateful.
I can see some sort of woven shibori with a white background, dyed to the colour of the tree twigs/branches, a grey/black/brownish/greenish colour with some highlights of the colours on the bird somewhere in the piece. 
i) Literally this is a Saori clasped weft weave structure with the colours of the sea water, the foam and the various shades/tones of the sand, wet and dry. so far the most no. of colours I have tried in this technique is 3. I am sure in theory it should work with more colours but I can foresee lots of tangling issues!?
ii) Striped coloured warp with the colours as mentioned above and a broken twill weave pattern.
i) & ii) I can see a deflected double weave pattern speaking to me in the clouds. A combination of soft white fluffy yarn and pale grey colours. Actually the soft white fluffiness can be a variegated yarn with some of that sunset yellows and oranges. It is both literal and abstract at the same time!

There are 2 approached to this image. I can either work with the objects in the foreground or the pattern in the background.
i) The foreground reminds me of a combination of  diamond/rose path shapes with broken twill combination using quite strong contrast colours of dark and light.
ii) The background again is a Saori-style clasped weft weave structure that is quite free forming using white and various shades/tones of green and some yellow?
ii) I think that this will have to be a 'thousand flowers' weave structure with white, green, various shades of pink, mauve and deep burgundy. I used a peach blossom picture previously to design a broken twill scarf in similar colours so I probably won't pursue this image further.....
i) I can see the frills on the dresses and it speaks of movement. The Saori frilly scarf weave can apply to this with a change of colours to match those in the image. I am not sure whether this is literal or not anymore. 
* blogger had driven me insane with formatting so I will have to stop before I loose anything again or want to throw something at my computer.......

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

To be inspired.....

We do live in exciting times and there are much around to inspire me.
If you live in Melbourne, there are a few must see exhibitions.......

From left to right:
The Shumei Kobayashi - weaving the future at the Lesley Kehoe Gallery.
Wangaratta Contemporary Textile Award 2011 opens this weekend at the Wangaratta Art Gallery.
aRtECYCLE is at the Incinerator Arts Complex at Moonee Ponds.

The following images are from aRtECYCLE:
Virginia Miller
Horizon Deficit Syndrome: Antidote 2007
Anna-Maria Plescia
anew 2011
Brook Morgan
Untitled 2010
Kim McKechnie
Bound by the Collective Self 2008
I hope you make it there and enjoy.
Note: all of the photos are taken by me with permission at the gallery, with the exception of the last one, obtained from here.

Pics to Picks Design Challenge II

Meg from unravelling has organized various virtual events over the years. I have previously participated in a couple of them. This year is the second Pics to Picks* and there are 19 of us participating.  We each send the name we are given a series of pictures (from 2 to 6) and we use them as a starting point for a design for weave. I think that this is an interesting design method and what is exciting is that it takes me out of my 'comfort' zone a bit and makes me push the boundaries or work with elements that I may not have otherwise considered.
You can have a look here or click on the poster on the side to check out the rules and what the others are doing and how everyone is progressing.
The following 6 pictures are the ones I sent to Alienore and hopefully she finds them inspiring!
There is also a secret to 2 of these pictures. I have actually used them for 2 designs previously and I wonder whether she would choose those images and what she may do with them if she did choose them. Of course, I am not going to reveal which ones they are until the very end......

The following 6 pictures are from Geodyne and I got them this morning.

I think this bonus image of Charlie, the ginger cat, who is just focusing on some thread is to give me inspiration! and a demonstration of how I should be thinking about the pictures!

* a pick is a pass of the shuttle in weave terminology, i.e. one weft thread, and pics is short for pictures.