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Fiber Friday

One of the fun elements of travel, whether near or far, is translating what you see and learn back into your everyday life. Many people travel to gain new understanding of culture or see exotic places. What might be exotic for one person is mundane for another.

To this day, even after living over twenty years in Western New York, the bright autumn colors still impress me. Where I grew up, we had a short version of fall, and even then the colors were fairly muted. Trying to capture the feeling of a crisp autumn day under a canopy of red, gold and bright blue is fun, but hard to explain to all those who have grown up with nothing to compare it too.

The same is true with my recent trip to France - the colors, sights and sounds still dance around in my head, and I'm trying to translate everything I remember into items which express what I felt.

Woven Transparency
For the most part, weaving is the art form I gravitate to when trying to capture images. I use writing as a means to explore the depth of humanity and emotions, but to capture the image, I weave. Currently, I warped up my loom using a linen warp set at 7.5 epi (ends per inch). It's the same sett I used for the transparency above.

Part of the reason I wanted to use transparencies is because (a) I love the ethereal beauty of the transparency and (b) it lends itself to impressions, not details. It almost feels like an Impressionistic painting in woven fabric. Much of it is due to the fact I can put little detailing into the woven transparency. If I had a finer sett, I would be able to add more detail, but the sett I'm using doesn't lend itself to detail. Still, I'm able to capture the look, or the impression of where I visited in France.

My first transparency is that of a building I saw in Lyon. The colors were apricot and rose, and even in the late sun, still vibrant. I cannot capture the details of the butter and slate windows or the potted flowers with shades of lavender and sunshine. I can capture the color blocks, and size of the buildings.

Transparencies are still relatively new for me. I haven't woven many (the photo above was my first attempt and now currently resides at my cousin's house). Still, I enjoy the freedom of the structure - how I can put almost anything down and it comes out in an image to be enjoyed.

Fiber arts is one of the few art forms which can be used in a variety of fashions. Throughout its history, weaving specifically has been both covering and art - think of all the fabric we wear on  daily basis or of the woven tapestries from ages past.

Capturing the beauty around us in woven form takes time, but like all art, it is meant to be enjoyed.


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