Having completed Sample 1, I felt like trying something a little more free and intuitive, using different materials and decided to try the second approach. We were asked to choose a word as a starting point and I chose ‘Wabi Sabi’. I starting collecting together magazine images, some of my photos and other printed material which said ‘Wabi sabi’ to me. Photos of peeling paint, rusty metal and other pictures showing washed out and subdued colours created the atmosphere I was after. I then added some driftwood and my weaving from an earlier exercise and lay everything on a pice of A3 board. Words that came to mind when looking at the resulting composition included: peeling, worn, shadows, distressed, weathered, faded, decay, washed out. The colours were all pastel shades of pinks and blues ad greens.
I then went on to select from my collection of yarns, threads and fabrics. I wrapped some hemp yarn round a pice of card and wove pieces of ribbon, trimmings, lace and strips of fabrics round it. I liked the vintage, ageing feel to the piece but felt that this wrapping didn’t really express the washed out, weathered feel I was after so I tried again with a new wrapping.
For this wrapping I included pieces of japanese paper, traded sari silk strips, marbled paper as well as some of the ribbon and lace from the first wrapping. This captured the atmosphere i wanted to create much better.
I decided to use the paper string for the warp, as previously, as I liked the natural quality and found it good to weave with as it is strong and doesn’t stretch. Having spent a lot of time creating the atmosphere and selecting the yarns, I started to weave intuitively, using mostly a plain weave but also including some Soumak. I felt that the different colours and textures used created the atmosphere and I did not need to add too many different techniques. I included two pieces of driftwood and some washed up rope into the weaving.
I was very happy with the final Wabi Sabi piece, even though it took quite a few hours to complete. It is the first thing I have ever made that I would consider hanging on the wall! Does that make it ‘Art’?