So I have been busy with my looking and an idea has begun to take shape. The picture I instinctively liked the least was this one, of the people bathing in the Ganges at the Varanasi ghats.
Why don’t I like it? Well, mainly because I am not very keen on the colours (although they are not quite as mustard-toned as that scan makes them appear). It is also too busy for my taste. The detail which would be engaging and inviting in a mural seems fussy and bitty to me in a postcard. (I feel so rude saying that! Sorry, Meg — though I know you didn’t necessarily choose pictures you like yourself.)
Anyway, a couple of weeks of looking can work wonders. I started to notice more of the subtlety in the shades of beige, brown and orange, and to think about the potential in the complementariness of the blue river and the orange robes. I got out my pastels and played with all the orange and blue ones.
I got out some yarns too. Thinking about the context of the picture, it seemed to me that unmercerised cotton was the fibre I should be using and, believe it or not, this is the range of colours I have in my unmercerised cotton stash:
Although that’s not a brilliant photo, the colours in the picture are a bit more accurate this time! Anyway, I thought it was worth trying out some wrappings, like this one (in yet another colour rendering variant).
Plus, as you know, I have been thinking about weave structure. The reason I started on the whole Brighton honeycomb business was due to the context of the picture again. What goes with bathing? Towels! I have never woven a towel, so this seems like an opportunity to try it.
The first structure that came to mind was ordinary honeycomb (or waffle weave), which I’ve used before although not in any very exciting way. So I turned to the books to look for inspiration and found two things: the Brighton honeycomb and an article by Alice Schlein on network drafting with waffle weave (it’s in Fabrics That Go Bump if you’re interested). Like the threading for waffle weave, the threading for Brighton honeycomb can also be used for plain weave, so I am experimenting in Fiberworks with things like this.
The next important step, though, is to try it in practice. I’m winding a sample warp (hooray! a whole warp for sampling!) in an assortment of cottons to try out some of the structure/colour options. Not bad progress for something I didn’t like the look of.