This week we are diving into a solution for one of the questions we get asked most often - if I weave with this mix of colors, will they look good together? We try our best to give advice, but the truth is that the design process plays a big part in determining whether beautiful, bright colors weave up into the bold piece you are dreaming of, or a flat dull pattern.
There’s a common misconception that some people just have a “gift” for color, and that the rest of us are doomed to muddle along and hope for the best. But the truth is that there’s a lot of science and technique to working with color, and you - anyone! - can learn these techniques.
We are welcoming Tien Chiu (you may remember Tien from Episode 3 of the Weave Podcast), to give us some insight on weaving with bold, bright colors. Tien is the founder of Warp & Weave, a website which features articles about color, a color mixing tool for weavers, and online classes about color and weaving.
If you’re ready to dive in and learn more, we encourage you to check out Bold & Subtle Patterns - a freeonline mini-course by Tien Chiu. This survey course will teach you how to pick yarn to create beautiful projects that come out with crisp, clear patterns - or understated ones - exactly as you like. Throughout the course, Tien covers topics such as color value, light vs. dark, pattern and scale.
Also included in this course is a design-your-own project exercise, Illusion Dish Towels. These towels feature stripes of reversing twill “arrows” that give the illusion of diagonal movement, even though the stripes are perfectly straight!
Tien developed this interactive exercise that allows you to mix and match different colors of 8/2 Un-Mercerized Cotton and to see in real time how the colors look together in a weaving draft. Below are a few screen shots of this interactive exercise included in the course.
You can use this tool to design your own color combination and weave a set of Tien Chiu's Illusion Towels on your 4 shaft loom. All you need to complete this project are 2 cones of 8/2 Un-Mercerized Cotton Weaving Yarn in a color combination of your choice. Experiment with the exercise to see how the colors interact in unexpected ways! Download Tien's pattern below to weave your own customized towels.
Bold and Subtle Patterns is a preview ofColor & Design, Tien’s new online course, which she will be teaching from September 22-November 2, 2019.Color & Design teaches you how to design handwoven fabric with the look and feel that you want. You’ll learn how to control the pattern clarity, degree of color mixing, and mood of the fabric through your choice of color palette, draft, and yarn size/pattern scale.
In this six-week online course, you’ll get text and video lessons, fun interactive online exercises, inspirational handwoven galleries, discussion questions, a chance to design and weave your own projects, and weekly live Q&A sessions with Tien.
Registration is open NOW through Friday, September 13, 2019. We are proud to be partnering with Tien Chiu on this course launch, and appreciate that a portion of the sales of her course will go to support our blog and podcast.
Tien is also hosting a free webinar this Sunday September 8, 2019 at 2pm Pacific about color mixing in handwoven cloth. Learn to predict how different colors will weave up together, and get your other color questions answered, too! Click here to sign up for the webinar.
Tien Chiu is an artist, weaver, and “art scientist” based near San Jose, California.
Tien started weaving in 2006, when she bought an 8-shaft Baby Wolf and fell madly in love. Since then, she’s been obsessed with dyeing, weaving, and sewing her own handwoven creations. She spent one year and over 1,000 hours weaving and sewing her wedding dress, which is now in the permanent collection at The Henry Ford Museum. Her riotously colorful Kodachrome Jacket, which immediately followed the wedding dress, was featured on the cover ofHandwoven.
Tien also loves writing. She’s written over 30 articles for weaving magazines, and wrote a book about the creative process in craft -Master Your Craft: Strategies for Designing, Creating, and Selling Artisan Work.
Beyond weaving and writing, Tien loves what she calls “art science”. Raised by two scientists and trained in mathematics at Caltech, Tien says that while she considers herself an artist, science is a big part of her approach to art, and particularly to color.