Weaving gives me the opportunity to transform ideas, visual elements from the world around me and inspiration from art into actual woven fabric. Weaving, in my opinion, includes designing, converting the designs to technical weaving patterns and choosing the materials, textures and colours to achieve the effect that I want.
What really fascinates me are repetitive abstract elements that create movement and depth or even be optically misleading to the eye. To arrange these elements in colour and texture and shifting but repetitive patterns I find very exciting.
A design usually starts with the inspiration I get from artists who bring abstraction in colour and shape to life. Think for instance of Bridget Riley or other artists of the Op Art movement such as Victor Vasarely, the Israëli Yaacov Agam or the South American Carlos Cruz-Diez who made experiments with repetitive elements and colour to the life long-theme of his art.
To me, elements of the ordinary world which are repetitive, as in building blocks, read as woven fabric. They inspire my designs.
The design process proves to be quite time-consuming to compile, arrange and materialise the ideas sparked by my imagination. I use different techniques for this, like drawing, painting and paper cutting. I also use a spreadsheet programme to play around with structure and colour in grid cells.
When I'm happy with the design the next question is: “Can this be woven?”. That means, can this design be woven within the limitations of my loom, a 32 shaft Louet Megado electronic dobby. Often, I have to compromise or return to the drawing board. This can be an iterative process.
The design process is perhaps the most fun of the entire weaving process. And of course the delight when the idea seems to work after 10 centimeters of weaving. That is amazing!