Friday, February 24, 2012

Step #3...Making the Plate

The original fabric on the State Department Sofa.

When Chris first approached us about the possibility of embossing a pattern from the State Department Sofa we were excited, a little bit apprehensive but full of enthusiasm.  Unfortunately the first photos that we received of the fabric were not of the highest quality but with hard work and diligence we were able to start and extract a design.  None of this would have been possible without the highly skilled expertise of my two colleagues, Alison Pyott and Zoe Sheehan Saldana, who transformed an almost illegible photo into a workable design.

The first thing Alison did was to blow up the photos and then meticulously trace around the design so that we could send a clearer picture for Zoe to scan in the computer.
Zoe starting to extract the key elements of the pattern from the design.

Zoe and Alison conferring about the pattern.
After the design was scanned into the computer Zoe worked up the key elements and then printed them out in multiples so that she and Alison could begin to form the layout.

The main elements of the design laid out in the size of the pattern repeat.

The next step was to add the secondary designs and start to tie it all together.

Alison and Zoe fine tuning the pattern repeat.
The final draft printed out to scale with a sample plate of the "pomegranate".

The finished plate ready for embossing this coming week! Stay tuned for the first run through.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Chris Rebollo Sofa ~ Step 2: Building the Warp

The first thing that we do after dyeing is weave a small sample to check how the dyed colors look woven up.

 Once the color is approved in the woven sample we can then forge ahead with making the warp.
Here is Lynnette winding spools from the dyed skeins using an umbrella swift and a walking wheel.
There were thirty five skeins of dyed yarn so we ended up with thirty five spools to make the warp.  Here are the spools set up on the skarne (spool rack) ready to start.  

 For this project we needed a 30 yard warp, 32" wide with 48 threads per inch.  The total amount of
dyed yarn was 9 pounds.   It took over six hours to make this warp, start to finish.
                                                                Here it is all chained up!
             The loom that we are using for this project is a documented 18th c. loom from Connecticut.
 This step of winding on the warp is called "beaming" because the warp is wound onto the large back beam at the rear of the loom.
                    The warp at the beginning stage of winding onto the back beam.
 The warp all beamed on showing the raddle which spaced the warp at the correct width.