We went to the Audax Textilemuseum last Thursday, to celebrate Engel's 5th anniversary! Owner Sabien invited us - her 2 designers (Anouk and me) and her co-worker at Engel (her cousin Vivian) - to design our own woven tablecloth and teatowels and have it produced in the Textilemuseum! Spending the day in the Textile Laboratory, looking at each others ideas and designs....What a feast!!!
From top left: Anouk looking at her perfect 'photo teatowel', Vivian bringing in the mini-birthdaycake, Sabien making a wish before blowing out the candles and me yo-yoing, as allways, between red and blue!
There were lots of choices to be made. Unfortunately it was not possible to work with more than one colour next to the white warp threads. So my initial design (see previous post) with two colours was no option. But next to that restriction there were millions of ways to combine this white threads with the one colour of our choice. Every so called weave gives another shade of colour. It is just a different kind of thinking: I had to skip from thinking in flat colours and images to thinking in structures. A very interesting process and...hard labour!
The moment that our samples were cunjured out of the machine (the loom) was magical! It is exciting to see your design becoming a real textile!
By the way: the people working in the Textile Laboratory of the museum are mostly former workers from the textile factory that closed down already years ago. They are highly professional, with lots of knowledge and they obviously love their jobs and their machines. Most of them are older men and they changed their blue overalls for hip black museum clothes, with an arty woolfelt museum button on their shirts...
We ended the day in the Laboratoy with a complete plan: a digital design combined with choices in yarn, colour and weave. The actual production of the tablecloths will take place later. We went home with our sample textiles.
Just before I left I chose a dark blue (indigo) cotton. But the next morning I woke up, showed the samples to my three men and told them that I still was not sure about the colour... My 12 year old son said: 'Mom, take the red! The blue yarn makes the white in your design a bit grey and gloomy'. I called the museum immediately... Red it will be.
Dear Sabien, it was so much fun to do with you three, it was very educational and a big inspiration boost. Thanks for this great present. You are an Engel (= angel in dutch).