Lynn Smetko – The Factory Tulips

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I like to design the whole piece, considering every aspect before weaving. A panel of three tulips in different bloom stages, inspired by Yayoi Kusama’s Tulips, was the start. My technique of assigning separate sets of shafts to repeating and non-repeating areas allows different graphics to be woven between selvedges.

Four tulip panels in pop colors were designed for a 2 x 2 arrangement, inspired by Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe prints from his studio, The Factory. A normal-colored panel (red flowers, green leaves) is followed by three panels with unexpected pop colors (à la Warhol). Primary and secondary colors were used, with panels in opposite corners sharing a color, creating balance across the piece. Left and right panels were made symmetrical for visual interest. Identical checked side borders, in a panel’s leaf color, unify the panels and frame the tulips in each panel. Last, in a nod to a tulip’s life cycle and to create a full cycle for the piece, a ‘dropped-petal’ center tulip appears in the last panel.

Structural notes: Polychrome summer and winter was used to place color in specific areas. A single treadling repeat was used to enhance smoothness of the graphics. The design is completely loom-controlled: no pick-up or manual manipulation involved.

Dimensions: Each frame 15 x 12 inches (38 x 30.5 cm). All four frames as one: 31 x 25 inches (79 x 63.5 cm).

Materials: 60/2 bombyx spun silk: black warp & hand-dyed wefts in very strong pop colors.

Loom: 40-shaft AVL with compu-dobby

  • Lynn Smetko