Posted by David R.E. Hunt on 04-03-2005 06:34 PM:

Archtype = Prototype?

Greetings All

Find below a link to Marla Mallet's discussion of technique
generated designs, Tracking The Archtype: Tedchnique Generated Designs and Their Mutant Offspring


Posted by David R.E. Hunt on 04-04-2005 07:52 AM:

In Defense of...


A series of excerpts which I believe may aid in the substantiation of my thesis. The following, from Marla Mallett's
Tracking The Archtype.

Among the more restrictive techniques are brocading, the warp-patterned weaves and slit tapestry. When borrowings occur, these are frequently the sources.

Determining origins is simple when identical design features in two textiles have been dictated by technical or structural limitations in one of the weaves.

We must be aware that RECIPROCAL designs are much more likely to evolve in certain weaves than in others. The freedom inherent in knotting and soumak neither fosters nor discourages reciprocity. In more restrictive weaves, however, reciprocity is either a natural characteristic or is encouraged to varying degrees. In one of the most common kinds of Anatolian brocading, for example, three-span floats alternate on a fabric's front and back sides, automatically forming designs with reciprocal elements (Figure 30). In warp substitution, warp tension problems encourage reciprocity. In these cases reciprocity is structurally generated.

Design purity is most likely to be maintained over long periods when motifs remain within a single weaving medium. Continuity is especially predictable in the restrictive weaves. For example, designing in brocading and warp-substitution, with their severe constraints, remains much more constant than in knotted-pile or soumak. Any weaver can freely alter knotted or soumak motifs as she pleases. It is design migration from medium to medium, however, that truly encourages design changes and disintegration.

Design influence flows normally from restrictive to less restrictive techniques. Design features that are dictated by structural limitations clearly indicate their origins. Structural problems should alert us to outside influences. Inconsistencies in design execution often indicate diverse design sources. Fine articulation, cohesiveness and strong positive/negative design relationships can point us toward likely origins. And last, design change and disintegration is accelerated as motifs migrate from medium to medium, since different technical constraints apply.

Are certain designs typical of particular techniques or structures? Are there truly technique-generated designs?
The answer: Yes, definitely. With every weave structure and process, a distinctive repertoire of naturally evolving forms is generated. It is in the medium of its origin that each pure, archetypal form is found.

Design differences that result from varying loom refinements are a somewhat separate subject. For example, hand-picked sheds encourage different kinds of patterning than do mechanically made sheds; drawloom processes facilitate some kinds of patterning but discourage others. This article is concerned only with the design influences exerted by structure or by those aspects of the processes that remain constant, regardless of the loom used.

A provocative paper presented by Jon Thompson in Hamburg (June 1993) outlined possible drawloom influences on the pattern layouts characteristic of some Turkmen weavings. In general, drawloom procedures and mechanics are a restrictive design influence, while the fine scale of drawloom fabrics typically means that weave structure (often compound weft-faced twill in early Asian patterned silks) is a less limiting factor.