Friday, March 30, 2007

My Crackl'in Kite

When I went to Convergence in Grand Rapids last year I attended a seminar on crackle. For those of you unfamilar with crackle, its a weave structure based a couple of 'rules' and when woven a famous weaver once said it looked like the crackle in old pottery. All the crackle I have woven hasn't reminded me of old pottery...but that's the tale my weaving books tell.

Crackle is a weave structure of no special interest to me except for the fact I am in the Complex Weavers study group of that name. Every year I play around and weave up a crackle pattern for a sample exchange. I have no special attraction for the structure...in fact each time I weave it I wonder why am I actually weaving the structure. I have worked diligently to make it interesting. One year, I attempted to make the structure look like the waves of the ocean. Another time I used sewing thread as the warp and weft and created rainbows. This last time I experimented with cassette tape as the weft.

Ah but back to my story. At the crackle seminar I attended in Grand Rapids the speaker definitely stated that you simply could not get accepted into a juried show if you wove with crackle. NEVER. There was just something about crackle which turns the jurors off.

Hmmm...that certainly sounded like a challenge to me. How could I get a crackle piece into a juried show...and if I was going to get in...why not win a prize? I always love the challenge.

Here is one of my entries into Showcase, a juried show, at the Visalia conference I just attended.




Yes - it is a kite. That's a box kite I constructed with woven material and balsa wood. The material was woven with 3/2 perle cotton and cassette tape in a four harness crackle pattern. The cassette tape was both natural and painted.

The piece placed second in the woven multi-dimensional category.

Onto the next challenge - here is the kite hanging in our backyard. It's quite light and seems like it really wants to fly. Any little bit of breeze and it starts moving upwards. Next time I go to Hawaii I plan to take it along and see how it flies.

1 comment:

jackie said...

I just put my first crackle on the loom. It is a sampler made out of hand dyed silk noil. I actually started weaving all those many years ago because Randall Darwell came to the school to give a workshop when I was a first year student. He is apparently famous for his hand dyed crackle weaves (although he has probably moved on by now) But I have never seen anything like what you have produced! Good for you for rising to the challenge!