Thinking While Doing

I finished the prototype Origami Top the other day and am now happily wearing it both around the house and even in public.  I made a few modifications to make it more wearable – small tucks all the way around the perimeter so that it didn’t tent as much and bias binding around the cuffs for a more finished look.  If/when I make this again, I’d go just a bit smaller (my original square, minus seam allowance was 18″) and the neck opening could use some modification as well.  But, it’s an interesting and flattering garment that clearly makes good use of handwoven fabrics.  Pictures will have to wait until I get some help.  Selfies just aren’t gonna cut it.

I’m also still busily mixing colors and painting away on color wheel templates.

First was a straight-up exercise in value, going from white to black.  You can see how my ability to hit the very light grays improved over time (second from the left was my first try; total fail) and the eventual value wheel that came of it.  The strips got trimmed so that the edges are clean.  I’ll save all of them because they’re good for showing progress as well as for comparing values.

Next came painting the color wheel colors either into white or into black.  Here are most of the “warm” colors:

I still need to do yellow/orange, but otherwise this portion of the wheel is done.  Part of the fun of this exercise is seeing how black affects the hue.  I’d learned some of this through the dyeing I’ve done and the way yellow becomes green never ceases to amaze me.  And the browns that come from adding black to orange is also quite compelling.

Here’s the rest of the progress from the other side of the wheel:

Lots still to do – blue/green and blue/purple haven’t been started and I think the purple to black needs revisiting.  Starting from a low-intensity color and moving toward black is really challenging.  Lighting in the studio isn’t as good as it could be and, interestingly, the reflection off the wet paint/white palette is also rather disruptive.  That said, I continue to get better the more I do this and each of them is useful in it’s own way.  They’ll all go into notebooks for later reference.  And, having homework has been great for ensuring I’m constantly making progress.

There’s another deadline looming in the background – the Fall submission for my Complex Weaver’s study group.  I really want to do something based on the hemp fabrics I sampled earlier this summer and I also have my handspun Dornick Twill fabric that needs making up.  Marrying structure/design to a garment is a challenge that I really enjoy and letting it just percolate in the background while I work on my color mixing is a nice way to make progress on both fronts.  That said, I’ve got just about five weeks to get it done and I lose about 10 days due to traveling and other things; so, this week I need to make a decision and go.  Maybe a run will help settle things.

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