Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Design Challenge Week #10: Results

This week's challenge is based on a photo in an article about ancient Inca calculating devices. My brother sent me the link; it's the first photo on the page.

As a spinner, I was interested in the concept of the fiber and knots, and a quilt that combines both quilting and spun threads/yarn is a possibility that holds some considerable interest.  That's an exploration for another day.

Today I played with designs that are just fabric, and which are pretty close to the look of the original piece.  You could easily deconstruct it and play with individual strands and knots, for example but the piece as a whole is so compelling as a design that stuck pretty closely to that design.

There are a number of choices for a background; it could be a plain, solid piece of fabric or a pieced background in very subtle shades of natural whites and tans.  As it's a calculating device, I think I would do it in small(ish) squares, to add an additional layer of texture.

Now, on to the focus piece.  I thought about making the "strings" all the same length, but it wasn't at all the look I wanted.   My first concept used varying lengths, but the same width. However, hand-spun fibers are never exactly, perfectly even (well, mine aren't!) so I tried varying the width of the strips and liked that much better.

I wanted more variety of color, still using the brown palette.

Actually, I like that but I wanted to represent some knots in the strings and, of course, I decided to use small circles.

One per strand was good, but what would it look like with more than one knot on some of the strands?  I varied the color of the knots a bit which wouldn't be strictly accurate, as the knots on any one strand would be the same color as the strand of which it was made, but I'm invoking artistic license here.

Just to see what would happen, I did a little bit of duplicating and juggling, to create a few other designs with multiples.  They look fine, but I think I might like the single representation the best.

In the end, the piece might end up with more strands and more--or fewer--knots.  Another quilt might have strands from hand-spun fibers and actual knots, or perhaps wooden beads as the knots.

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