I spent some time this weekend sampling and exploring my ideas – I was planning to stop with the visual journal and not make a textile piece but one is emerging anyway. Here I’ve tried out some ways of representing the darkness. (The idea I’m starting from is admiration of people who’ve “confronted their particular darkness by allowing something bright and fierce and tender and courageous to grow in their lives”.)

samples of darkness

samples of darkness

I found that hemp yarn, though difficult to knit with, leaves behind lovely curls and tendrils when you unravel the knitting.


I decided to weave a base fabric of colour and brightness, and I think I’ll use an overlay of painted scrim or plastic netting for the element of darkness. Painted with acrylic or ink it keeps a shape and can be shades of black and grey – I want it to net itself over the coloured fabric like some dark, strangling thing – it should have an ugliness yet the overall effect be one of beauty. I’d like to use the plastic netting because it has intrinsic destructive qualities in the environment, the way it literally overwhelms living creatures. But I think the scale of it is too big. I have smaller nets but they’re more stiff and difficult to distort and I want the darkness to gather in some parts and be stretched thin in others. I should play around with that a bit more, but time is short….

This is the beginnings of my fabric. The warp is wire, and I plan to use the ends to form tendrils of colour growing out from the centre, through the netted darkness, an affirmation.

beginning to weave

TIF Challenge January 3

5 thoughts on “TIF Challenge January 3

  • January 27, 2008 at 10:59 pm

    How interesting – I am fascinated by how you approached the theme. Your sketchbook is wonderful and I love the dark knitted samples – the hemp is particularly fascinating – it is a lovely hairy fibre isn’t it – so is shredded linen.

  • January 28, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    Wow, Fiona, these are deep waters! Both the idea and the interpretation! Watching with interest!

  • January 28, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    As the others have said wow, and love your sketch book examples, now I can’t wait to see the end results.

  • January 28, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    I’m looking forward to your journey with this design. Do love the design idea and I can already “see” that it will be ‘bright and fierce and tender and courageous.’

    (Those four words together are so poetic.)

  • January 28, 2008 at 10:30 pm

    I can’t wait to see how you continue your journey, it is very creatitve and I like the dark/light idea very much

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