Hard meets soft

Since meeting up with Jen in Dundee, I've been giving a lot of thought to our discussions of jewellery-meets-textiles and the contrasts we are working with.

Jen's designs provide a great platform for yarn-based doodling! I can imagine happily weaving together dozens of these roundels into a sort of 'brass quilt'

The material I am used to - yarn - is soft and pliable. If I am too lazy to reach for the scissors, I can break it with a sharp tug of my hands. Jen, on the other hand, works with brass: a real take-no-prisoners kind of material. It doesn't submit to either the weaver or the loom, so it poses a real challenge to my methods of working.


One way to incorporate hard objects into a woven textile is to create pockets in the fabric. Items can be inserted as the cloth is woven and they are permanently trapped inside, making a third layer between the two layers of cloth. The properties of the yarn and the weave structure allow the insert to be hidden or revealed, so there is a lot of potential to explore here.


But I also wanted to see whether I could keep Jen's pieces right on the surface of the cloth, just using the weft yarn to hold them in place. I decided to start by experimenting with something simpler and found I had a stash of over-sized binder rings which would do nicely.


I like the fact that this is a very open and lightweight fabric, with a lot of scope for playing with the density of the weave. I have had this sample pegged up on the wall of my studio for several days now, and it is still intact, so that's a plus.


Meanwhile, the sampling continues...

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