There is no sign of the many yards of silk ribbon I hand-dyed for the weft or the last skein of white cotton for the warp. Today was one of those days that all the little things go wrong… until I finally got the materials sorted out and started work. That makes everything better. Warping is so meditative.
The first layer of warp (the up and down bit you weave the weft/across bit through) is mostly in place now. New yarn arriving Wednesday to finish that. The optical fiber comes next, then some near-invisible mono-filament for structure. Then some loo/warp setup-stuff, THEN I can start weaving. I don’t think I can really hook up the LEDs to the optical fibers to get them to glow until the whole thing is woven.
I was testing the optical fibers again the other night. They are meant to only pass light from one end to the other without you seeing it out the sides. By abrading the surface you get a side-glow. If I abrade any single fiber evenly the whole way the light won’t make it- it will go dark in the middle, so what I’m going to go for is an almost rainfall-like effect- individual fibers abraded differently. The tricky thing here will be that I will have to apply all the abrasion before actually seeing any of it lit or woven, so I will only see a slightly more opaque bit to tell me where the light will be.
I have mountains of concept behind this work, but as usual I’m reluctant to talk publicly about it while the work is in-progress. I want to hear people’s experience of the work before telling them what I think is important or what my intentions are. A lot of it in this piece is about the meanings within the materials and their history, and the methods employed to produce the piece- drawing from a painting, digitization, cropping, weaving. The image itself is around the 6th version of same. Days and days of work and artistic decision-making have gone into a deceptively simple derivative image.
In other news tomorrow I’ll be meeting with the other artists in the show I organized for the Diego Gallery at SFAI (selected by an outside jury). Interwoven Connections– contemporary fiber (April 28th-May 4th). So far so good. Four awesome women (Dara Rosenwasser, Jacqueline Buttice, Heather Jones and myself) working at the intersection of fiber, photography, chemistry and technology.