June 15, 2015

A New Textile: "Two Curves"

Two Curves, hand dyed wool on linen, 14 x 16 in.

From time to time I enjoy making an illusionist textile, with its challenge to create an sense of volume moving in space. My idea was to have two curves cupped towards each other, but I don't think it quite works. The blue curve is very clear, but the brown wiggles in space, not settling down with one clear reading. Sometimes I see it curve as I intended, but more often I see myself looking down at a curved bridge. I don't understand why this flip-flopped the way it did, but I suppose it's okay; it's just one of art's surprises. 

Two Curves detail

Although the work is completely flat, it can seem as though the blue shape is in front of the brown one. To get a range of values I dipped a long piece of wool into the dye, letting one end get darker––dipping it in the dye more often––while gradually dipping more and more of the fabric, until the other end gets just a little bit of dye. Making an illusionistic textile is a laborious project: the dyeing is not simple, then I have to separate sections of different values, keeping them organized and numbered. After doing a piece like this, I'm happy to move to something more direct.


  1. Light-source left, cyan convex, brown concave
    Light-source right, opposite.
    Nice colors!

    1. No, for both parts the light source is coming from the left. The concave of the brown hides the light on the left side if the light is coming from the left.
      Glad you like the color.

  2. This makes me want to stick a finger between the two arcs to see what is between them. ;)

  3. Both curved surfaces move for me--between concave and convex. This piece seems less about volume, more about movement in space, as if my visual cortex keeps sensing the various possibilities. There is uncertainty and continual questions. Beautiful.