Quite often I get asked how do I actually design a piece. Every creative person has a different approach to the way they design. For me, if it is an exhibition piece, the germination of an idea will just come, then the design starts building. It’s not often that I sit down with my sketchbook and just design…and quite often for a special one off piece, it is a word that will start the designing process.
The other side to my designing is for customers, and that is when you have to think on your feet and come up with colours and a design right on the spot. You don’t have the luxury of tossing around ideas for days on end.
Recently I was asked to design and weave a throw rug for a customer to compliment her sofa and match her armchairs.
This is the sample piece of fabric that was given to me. She had a plain sofa but chairs covered in this fabric design. First step was to decide on the style of throw and yarn and we chose an 8ply pure merino wool yarn with the throw being woven with a subtle pattern.
Then it was a matter of choosing colours that would compliment her fabric. It is very difficult to match colours when you are dealing with different fibers as each has its own unique properties. So the choice of colour was two shades of blue, woven with a pale sage green. One of the skills you learn through experience as a weaver, is how different colours interact with each other to change the overall appearance of a piece.
Weaving with a pale sage green over the blue colourways would result in an almost fawn hue to the throw, which would compliment her soft furnishings perfectly.
My suggestion was a very subtle pattern running through the throw, as depending on the yarn used, often a plain weave is all you need, but I knew that this merino yarn had a lovely sheen to it and the best way to enhance this yarn and give the throw a luxurious look and feel, was by weaving this pattern.
The one aspect of weaving that I will never comprised on is the quality of the yarn used. For me, the time and work that goes into a piece such as this throw, deserves to be made with the highest quality yarn available.
This throw was a pleasure to weave and the customer was very pleased with the end result.