Weaving > The South Pacific Series
The South Pacific series was devised for the Liverpool Exhibition in July 2008. The requirement was something that fitted into a CD case and was 'A Response to a Song'. The warp was white 60/2 silk put on the Megado at 90 epi to make two cloths. The main cloth was threaded on 28 shafts as a point twill while the subsidiary cloth was threaded on 4 shafts as not quite a straight draft as the direction reversed at each point of the main cloth. The cloths were stitched together on the subsidiary cloth which gave a stout cloth with some body for laying in the CD case. The width was five inches off the loom.
I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair
For this, the draft was devised to show lots of different size circles (bubbles). The warp of the main cloth was painted brown in streaks with SEKA silk paints and the weft was white (Figure 2). I also tried painting the warp brown all over (Figure 1) but this did not give the effect I wanted and I abandoned it.
Figure 1: I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair (solid brown warp)
Figure 2: I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair (space painted warp)
This is a scene of beach, green trees on an island and blue sky (Figure 3). The warp of the main cloth was painted green. For the sea, blue space dyed weft on main (green) cloth in twill. For the beach, yellow/orange weft broken twill on the white subsidiary cloth. For the island, a draft of land and palm trees on main green cloth was used with green space dyed silk weft running into blue space dyed weft for the sky. The flowers were done in Honiton lace by Kathleen Harris (Figure 4) and sown on.
Some Enchanted Evening
The sea is woven in a blue/grey and white space dyed weft on the subsidiary cloth in broken twill. The land has the main cloth warp painted black and woven with a black weft in point twill pattern. The sky is dark blue weft in broken twill on the subsidiary cloth. The stars are the white warp of the main cloth brought forward.
If You Have No Dream, How You Gonna Have a Dream Come True
This pattern draft is based on a pattern created by me and based on Mughal windows. A prisoner is looking through grey bars at a grey sky. As he lifts his eyes, the bars break up and fade away with a sunrise and blue sky at the top. The warp of the main cloth was painted aubergine and red at the bottom shading away to pale pink at the top. The weft was all space dyed silk, grey/white, pink/grey, various shades of pink, blue/darker blue.
Figure 5: Some Enchanted Evening
Figure 6: If You Have No Dream, How You Gonna Have a Dream Come True
There Is Nothing Like a Dame
I wanted to get a 'Dame' as a dream-like figure much larger than life. I decided to try using disperse dyes on silk. The instructions on disperse dyes all say 'Gives strong colours on synthetic fabrics'. My sister, Dorothy Eggleton, tried disperse dyes on silk for me (Figure 7) and it clearly works and is wash-fast. Experiments showed that it was better to print on the final fabric than to print onto the warp. Figure 8 and 9 show two versions with a different colour of blue in the sky. The beach was broken twill on white subsidiary cloth with yellow/orange space dyed weft. The palm trees were green painted warp on the main cloth with blue silk weft from Handweavers Studio.
Figure 7: Disperse Dye on Silk by Dorothy Eggleton
Figure 8: There is Nothing Like a Dame
Figure 9: There is Nothing Like a Dame
Figure 10: You Have Got to be Carefully Taught
You've Got To Be Carefully Taught
This was easily the most difficult song to interpret. It is strongly and bitterly anti-racist which is astonishing for the period at which the song was written. The warp of the main cloth was painted in different colours on sections of one threading repeat (55 threads). The colours were yellow/brown, brown/black, grey/pink and red/brown. The warp of the subsidiary cloth was painted the same grey/pink all over. The idea is that the colour grey/pink is dominant and finally swamps the others (Figure 10).
A set of six were exhibited at the Association's Exhibition at Liverpool in July/August 2008. These were 'I'm Gonna Wash that Man right outta my Hair', (Figure 2), 'Bali H'ai' with Kathleen Harris (Figure 3), 'Some Enchanted Evening', (Figure 5), 'If you have no Dream', (Figure 6), 'There is Nothing like a Dame', (Figure 8), 'You've got to be carefully taught', (Figure 10).