Saturday, March 21, 2009

Weaving on TC-1 Today

There is such a fine line between satisfied and dissatisfied. The other day I complained because my designs of tree branches and words seemed too pat, then by deciding to use Nona's recipe as the text I suddenly was gung-ho to design this weaving--tree branches and words. It needed something and in a conversation with Mark, I suddenly realized I could have the background (solid blue in the design below but stripes of two shades of blue in the warp) have damask circles in it. Then I was really pleased with this design and excited to see it as a weaving.

Design of Intertwined

So today I began. I am weaving this as a weft-backed cloth using a 12-shaft satin as the base structure. I have four wefts--black, red, white, and tan--and there are six structures in the design: one that shows the blue striped ground as a 11,1 satin, four structures that show each weft as a 1,11 satin, and one structure that is a 2 up, 2 down rib using the white weft.

Intertwined being woven on the TC-1 Loom

My structures basically show one weft on the face and the other three go to the back. On the front of the cloth, four consecutive picks beat down and look like one line composed of the four wefts. In other words, each weft goes edge to edge but because of the way the structures are designed, they lie on top of each other at the back of the cloth, and show as distinct colors on the front. The difference in appearance between the face and the back of the cloth is amazing.

Back of the Weaving

My design was for 1760 ends, so I am weaving the left half now and then will follow with the right half, since my loom only has 880 ends. In the detail below, you can see the six structural areas, though the 1,11 using the white weft shows only in small areas here.

Detail of Intertwined, a weft-backed weaving

I am putting the structure that brings the second weft to the face of the cloth (in my weaving, red is the second weft) here for you to see. It looks pretty small in this window, but maybe if you click on it, it will open large enough to be comprehensible. I didn't know about this type of cloth until I taught in an industrial program for textile design. It allows you to use one warp (rather than the two that are necessary for lampas or samitum and taquette) and besides having wefts show as distinct colors, you can design structures that blend them or shade them. There is a whole chapter in The Woven Pixel on weft-backed weavings.

Structure for 4 wefts, a weft-backed 1,11 satin showing the second weft on the face

I am almost half way through the left-hand side of the design. The TC-1 is working beautifully and once again I offer gratitude to Vibeke Vestby for designing this wonderful loom and allowing me and other contemporary weavers the ability to create jacquards at home (or at schools, or by visiting someone who has this loom). I hope history recognizes Vibeke and the TC-1 as the current iteration of jacquard technology. You can see a copy of the catalog for Banishing Boundaries, an exhibit of contemporary jacquard work by clicking on the title in this sentence. Digital Weaving Norway, a subsidiary of Tronrud, sponsored the catalog and there is additional information about Vibeke on pages 30 and 31. I was honored to be part of this show, and my work is shown on pages 24 and 25.


  1. This is the most amazing thing to me. It is beautiful.

  2. _Intertwined_ takes my breath away.

  3. Sounds a little weird, but this entry made my mouth water... Oh, how I love woven structures and the people who understand them! Very interesting how your structure here can bring the one color to the face and is dense enough visibly, but can then squeeze all three of the other colors into the back structure.

    I can still remember seeing a TC-1 cloth from Vibeke Vestby at the Nordic Heritage Museum in the Ballard section of Seattle, 10-12 years ago - I think it was black and white, two women at an ocean maybe? Perhaps it was the unique name and the handwoven jacquard image, something I'd never seen or heard of before then, but I'm sure I have the sketchbook around here somewhere in which I jotted down her name and the title of the work.

  4. Just looking at the image up close and it's really gorgeous. So jealous that you can do this in your home!

  5. Wow, I can't wait to see this loom in person!

  6. it is so visually rich!

    neki desu

  7. So nice to see your new weavings. Lia Cook was at UNT this week. We all had a great time and the students loved her.

  8. while at a party last night I had to share my most favorable and loving impression of a teacher and artist with another photographer, I was speaking of you and had to return to your site to fill the
    need of seeing your work and feel that strong creative energy. I actually felt as if I had a visit with you. thanks for such a wonderful visit