weave your own color magic


Sheri Smith weaving - Cogs, detail

Sherri Smith, Cogs (detail)

Like painters and designers, weavers know about the tricks colors can play in juxtaposition.  Some artisans and painters have made the journey into color their entire practice.  It’s a journey with no end!

If you’re curious to try creating visual magic for yourself, a simple weaving is a great place to start.  Why?  Because a weaving doesn’t have to portray anything, so we can by-pass the inner critic who likes to tell us how our work isn’t ‘right’ – ever.

Take a large sheet of strong colored cardboard. Pick a color you like, not too dark or too light.  One color only.

Placing it in the portrait position, cut strips in the card 1.5cm wide without cutting completely through at the top and bottom.  No ribbons, the sheet stays intact.  Use a craft knife.  These strips will be the warp.

Find or make strips of fine wood or heavy card for the weft.  Strips from a bamboo blind work well.

Paint the strips with white undercoat and allow to dry.  Then apply colored paint (acrylic) randomly along each stick.  Don’t use too many colors at first.

Weave the weft strips in and out of the cut-out card strips – one over, one under, or in whatever pattern you like.

Notice the way the colors dance when juxtaposed.  Think about how you could choreograph that dance by placing the colors on the weft sticks in strategic places.  Try deliberately causing odd perceptual effects in the tone and hue of the card color – similar to what we’ve seen in the last two postings.

Have a close look at the Sherri Smith’s hand-dyed and plaited fiber works, just to supercharge the creative juices!

I’m sure you’ll be up and away with a host of ‘what-if’s and ideas to explore…

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