Summer is slowly coming to an end and the golden light, warm blankets and muted colors of fall are just around the corner. Our new Fall 2021 collection is an assortment of wall art, pillows and rugs that were made in the past year-or-so and finally found together into a complete collection. In this article I will take you a little bit behind the scenes into the making process and travel back to October 2020, when the first piece was created.
The Seaside Sunset tapestry on the left was the first completed piece of this collection. It was a small in-between piece on my small frame loom and a second version following another prototype of a similar design. In the first version, a variety of yarns of different thicknesses were used, which led the piece to be a bit more wonky than I wanted. In this version, all yarns used are more or less the same weight, which leads to a more even overall shape.
The front panel of the River stones pillow on the right was started at the same time and with a similar color palette. The fabric was stretched across my other, larger weaving frame. The pillow plays with the flat stitched and fluffy sides of the punch needle technique, making it appear as if something was flowing across the mossy and speckled stone pebbles.
The next piece in the collection is the extra large Green grid pillow. It was woven on my - back then - newly acquired secondhand table loom, using the white cotton warp that was already on it. The pillow is woven in a simple grid pattern with a more bulky dark green and a thinner turquoise yarn. If you want to learn this weaving pattern yourself, you can check out our blog post: Intro to weaving: The basic techniques.
It took quite a few months to finish weaving the whole warp that came with the loom and some of the last pieces were the outer shells of the Large rope basket and the Small rope basket. I have to admit, I got a bit tired towards the end and was welcoming the speed of these pieces. They are both made with very bulky macrame rope and some slightly less bulky wool yarn. It is very satisfying to watch your piece of fabric grow, especially when it does so relatively fast.
In between procrastinating to re-warp the loom for the first time, I created some more small size punch needle pieces. On the left you can see the process of selecting the right colors for the Vases mini art work. Or at least trying to make a first guess, before inevitably changing some colors here and there after they are all punched and work together on the actual canvas.
Since I had another frame, I decided the Vases piece needed a little companion. There was also just barely enough of the bright orange linen base fabric left to make a matching sister art work, the Tea time mini art work. To make the pieces even more consistent, I used the same colors for the surface, shadows and window, as well as the same cobalt blue.
As it happens quite frequently, while looking for the bright orange fabric for the Tea time art work, I rediscovered this light grey mesh I had used for my Ocean view diptych and immediately got inspired to create another piece playing with transparency. The matching upcycled frame was found quickly and the idea to make a sun-filled plant room followed shortly after. The Greenhouse wall art features a set of lush plants, a golden watering can and some semi-translucent windows.
When people ask me, what inspires me, I always say the materials and it couldn't be more true in this case. Without discovering the mesh and it's unique properties, I wouldn't have been inspired to make the Greenhouse art.
At this point I had gotten myself into a situation with the Greenhouse piece, where I just couldn't find the right color for one section of the plants. So finally it was time to tackle the new warp of the loom. I chose a black cotton warp, that was slightly heavier and did manage to do my first loom warp somewhat decent. The tension was a bit off and it did lead to some of the pieces not coming out quite as nice as I had hoped. The Cobalt mini rug was one of the few pieces I actually was satisfied with, mainly because I am a huge fan of bright electric or cobalt blue. If I had to pick a favorite color, this would be it.
I am not one to dwell on failures for too long, so I decided to try again with warping the loom, learning from the first time and actually managing to do it a bit better the second time around. In this process however, I discovered why the warp tension is always slightly off. The two warp beams are not 100% perpendicular, probably due to the loom sitting in a humid place, unused and under tension for a few years. It's nothing that will impact the integrity of the fabrics, but it does mean I have to do some more adjustments during weaving to fix the tension.
In order to speed through this warp and get to fixing the root cause of the problem, I needed a big project. I decided to make the Black and beige carpet, an extra large rug that would be composed of two 1,80m long strips. The rug itself is made mainly with secondhand macrame rope and some DIY crochet rope, that I made with lots and lots of black yarn leftovers. Finally, after an intense weaving marathon of 30-something hours across two weeks, the rug and therefore the final piece for this collection was complete.