Monday, November 15, 2010

Inga and the Seven Bacon Martyrs

Now that I've ascertained this piece has reached its recipient, the last piece off that warp...

"Inga and the Seven Bacon* Martyrs"
cotton warp/ground weft, wool pattern weft

This was part gift, part practice piece for spacing. The first piece I did had some problems with the ground weft.

For pretty much all of the shorter figures in that piece I had to add one or two additional ground wefts, thrown in from the edge to the first warp thread into the solid part of the figure, usually from the top and sometimes from the bottom of the piece, in order to even out the fell line (the last line of weft woven).

While I don't know for a fact (yet) that they did not do this, the research I've read so far has not mentioned it. Typically they have mentioned an issue with spacing at the beginning of one of the pieces where the figures were not as skillfully placed to avoid this problem.**

This is what they're talking about. You can already see signs of that problem as I finished the second figure in the previous picture. Here, above, after the sixth it has become very noticeable. The weft on the right of the second figure and to either side of the sixth is clearly packing down to a greater degree than within the figures themselves. You can still see the unevenness in the finished piece.

This is not a beating issue, I was weaving this on a modern counter-balance loom and using only the beater bar to beat down the weft. There was no additional beating done on the sections of bare ground cloth.

Finished piece on the loom. Off loom and right side up, I believe it's about 8 inches tall and 5-5 1/2 inches wide.

* Why bacon? Because...shut up. That's why! (Actually because I had the Evil Thought that the figures in the first piece I did looked like they'd make excellent bacon, and well, when I have those Evil Thoughts, they Must Be Done, or I will go mad. Also, Inga likes bacon.)

** The literature discusses the fact that two of the four pictorial pieces of the collected Överhogdal tapestries (pieces usually labelled 1a and 1b in the literature) appear to have been woven on the same warp, as they both contain an identical warping flaw throughout. They are, however, not continuous pieces, though they may have been sections of a single larger narrative piece.

One end of 1a has loops in the warp ends characteristic of being tied to the warp beam of a warp-weighted loom. The beginning of the piece has the same sort of distorted weft due to less skillful placement of the figures as in my piece, which continues for a short length, after which the spacing abruptly evens out as though a more skilled weave took over or the original weaver learned the method to the spacing.