Sunday, January 11, 2015

Shedding Some Light

Handbook of Weaves by Caroline Halvorsen
Handbook of Weaving by Caroline Halverson
Copyright Oslo, 1927
The book arrived last week. Here it is. The author, Caroline Halverson, is not named on the cover.

This is a great little book filled with interesting drafts. Fortunately actual drafts, like music, are universally understood. Unfortunately, I do not speak or read Norwegian so the text is beyond me.

Checking online translators gave a general idea of the description for the original draft #185 on page 104 of Halverson as referenced by Marguerite Porter Davison with her "Norse Kitchen" draft.  But that raises the question, "Is the Halvorsen draft the actual original?" Somehow I doubt it and unless someone has further information to share or someone who understands Norwegian can find a reference within the text there doesn't seem to be any other trail to follow. Perhaps you have seen similar designs and can point me in the right direction.

The Norse Kitchen design from the Davison book is clearly derived from the draft in the Halverson book. They are very similar but not exactly alike. In Halverson there is a photo of the woven piece that looks very much like Davison's photo but with additional repeats in the border sections. Interestingly, some of the things that bothered me in the Davison draft also appear in the original draft. Those wavy lines all curve in paralell directions in both drafts (bother number three). And the unbalanced nature of the draft (bother number four) is apparent in both drafts as well as in both photos. There is an unsettling unbalance in the Halvorsen border in that of four oval figures in the corner block, three are closed or complete but the fourth is not. Interesting, isn't it? Davison changed the draft to close that fourth oval.

The most striking aspect of the piece in Halverson is the design is woven perfectly to square. It is so precisely woven that one has to look with a very critical eye to notice some of the problems I found with the draft. Those problems are far more obvious in the Davison example. The Davison piece is clearly not woven to square. The design is compressed warp-wise, most noticeably in the corner blocks (bother number two).

It would be an interesting exercise to make adjustments to the Halverson draft and weave it. But for now I will have to be content with the solution I found for my Christmas Conundrum. I am now weaving a second warp using my own version of the draft. I'll let you in on what I came up with in my next post. Maybe by that time I will have photos of the finished pieces currently on my loom.

By the way, I realized that somewhere along the way I stopped signing my posts. So I will do my best to remember from now on.

Warp on/Weave off,

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