Friday, January 16, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

On Creativity – Tien’s Blog

Tien published her post the day after I published mine (Freeing the Creative Spirit).  I wrote mine in response to a post by Meg.  Tien wrote hers in response to an email.  I like her focus on what she calls “doing,”  that creativity is a doing, but it is a doing with a goal, using a particular medium and requiring technical skill.  Well, she really didn’t say technical skill, she used the work “mastery.”  I prefer technical skill because it allows those of us who have not mastered the techniques the ability to be creative.  But the implication is clear, especially as she gets into her subject in more detail, that greater technical skills foster the possibility of more creative work. 

One thing Tien does not mention.  It is an obvious part of her excellent work.  And I think it is an essential(?) attribute for an artist.  Intensity of focus.  Tien herself is very intense.  But the intensity is strongly focused, not just on weaving, but on the particular aspect of weaving that most interests her right now. 

Four Excellent Questions – The Painter’s Keys

This arrived in my mailbox the day after Tien’s blog.  Perhaps there is something in the water?

Thinking about the Edges – t’katch

Cally’s post about selvedges quite moved me.  It is a beautifully written brief essay about her own struggle with selvedges.  The combination of transparency and beautiful writing is hard to beat.

Colours – Theory and Practice – Dot’s Fibre to Fabric

This is a wonderful post on color with a discussion of many books I am NOT NOT NOT going to buy………sob, tempting as they might be.   I am NOT NOT NOT going to buy the books she mentions that I do not own...NOT NOT NOT......sob. 

Dorothy has trouble with color rules.  I do too. So often the rules just do not work.

I also have trouble with color theories because they really don’t help me. 

What has helped me immensely is a series of dye experiments I engaged which involved gradation dyeing from opposite or near opposite sides of the color wheel.  These experiments opened my eyes to all the wonderful wonderful colors in between the pure colors (and NONE of them is mud—they are all glorious, especially on silk—or maybe it’s the silk that makes them all glorious?!).  These experiments helped me understand at a much deeper level how colors work together.

I am actually not done with these experiments.  Reading Dorothy’s post is reviving the itch to get back and do more.

Right now an issue for me is how to use white in a weaving where brilliant and/or rich colors dominate.  I see white beautifully used in paintings using rich colors.  But every time I try to figure out how to incorporate that into weaving, I draw a blank. I simply cannot see how to make it work.

"Recent Blog Posts of Interest" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on January 16, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina


Dorothy said...

I hope to follow you in doing some dye experiments this year. Everything time I play with colour I find I learn something.

One of my conclusions from looking at books on colour is that if you don't just find what you want by instinct you need to actually work at colour and try, test, sample in order to learn.

I think the problem with using white with rich colours in weaving is that the white tends to soften and dilute the colour.

I recall reading in one of Theo Moorman's writings that, however great the artist, paintings do not translate into weaving. Weave design needs a different approach.

Instead of using white plus rich colour, maybe the approach is to say "what is it that the white achieves in the painting" and how could the effect be achieved in weaving? e.g. maybe the effect of light would be given by a metallic thread?

Peg in South Carolina said...

Dorothy, thank you for giving me a new way to think about the white issue. I look forward to following your dye experiments. Also, I think it is in working with color that our instincts develop.