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  • Sara Nordling


How on earth do you begin something like this? That has been my conundrum for some time.

First, an introduction, my name is Sara Nordling. I am a weaver with an MFA in studio art. I weave and I teach. In addition to teaching weaving I also teach in the Fine Arts Fundamentals area at a local university.

In the weaving world there are many books on warping a loom, various weave structures, and projects ideas. Very few books, even those that push you to be creative and try new things, tackle an area all art fundamental students deal with, that is composition and design.

I have lead workshops on this topic and found my students enthusiastic and eager for these ideas. So, when I thought of beginning a blog, I decided this was a good place to begin, at the beginning, with the elements and principles of design, as applied to textile art, and primarily to woven works.

The elements of design are the tools you use to create a design. These are universal tools, not specific media, like a loom. The elements are: line, shape, value, color texture and format. The principles of design are how you use the elements to create art. The list I will be using is one that is generally accepted, although there are some variations to the list. The principles are: balance, emphasis, movement, rhythm, pattern, repetition, proportion, variety, unity, and economy. A woven textile may easily use all the elements in one work. On the principles, using every one in one textile won’t work. Usually an artist chooses one or two that predominate with others playing a minor role, if any.

Over the next weeks I will be posting on each of the elements and principles. These will not be exhaustive posts or complete explanations. Whole books have been written on color, for example. I will touch on a few basics. That said, questions are always welcome as are images you have that may fit the element or principles discussed in the post.

Also, remember to follow the blog so you may get updates when they are posted and, tell any friends who may be interested.

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