Friday, November 07, 2008

All that glitters

The fine gold brocade is still going on. I have to admit to finding it very frustrating - I can work at it all day and get no further forward as it is all so delicate. But, I am still on it and will not let it defeat me. But, I have learnt a few things along the way.

The first is that energy saving lightbulbs are really not a good idea. Over the course of the summer my whole house has had it's bulbs replaced as needed. And, during the summer that was fine. But now that the light has changed, I have moved the loom through 3 different rooms trying to get some light that was decent. Daylight is the best, which of course there isn't alot of at the moment, but I have found that with the energy saving bulbs the light is so bad in the evening that I just can't see the difference between the gold and the silk. I was tempted to light some candles at one point, but one of my lovely cats is a bit stupid about things like that. So, for a few days, that ruined evening weaving (a big deal when you do have a day job!) until I could go out to get a daylight bulb for a lamp. Which is much better. Last year's Saxon brocade didn't have this problem, despite being woven during the winter. So, it was either a brighter winter last year or the old fashioned, add-to-my-carbon-footprint bulbs were simply brighter. Which is what I suspect. Which begs the question, as we all change bulbs, will we be seeing an increase in eye-strain and headaches as a result of the poor light? Or will people just not bother to do things like read when its dark?

I also really have gained a new insight into silkwomen's work. Which is, after all, the reason that I first began learning how to do this silk work. Although, there is the arguement that many gold brocade bands, being ecclesiastical in their end use, where actually woven by nuns. And I feel rather more like a nun contemplating the world with something as time-consuming as this, than a business-woman building up stock holding! So, if bands such as this were made by professional women, how quickly did they work I wonder?

Still, at least I have a wonderful excuse not to do some housework.... ;-)


  1. I've found that a few stores carry "Daylight Spectrum" bulbs, also called "Cool Daylight" or "5000 K". If you can get a bright enough bulb (or more than one bulb in a fixture) they can make it Really Like Day in your room. It can actually be kind of creepy until you get used to it - sunlight should come into rooms via windows at an angle, not directly down from the ceiling. I use a 150-watt-equivalent (it's something like a 36-watt) that is monster-sized, and is almost like working in sunlight, and I use a clip-lamp with a reflector so I can move it wherever I like. They're perfect for photography, too. These aren't the long-bulb "Daylight Spectrum" things that are sold specifically as craft lighting, they are the swirly bulb-base ones that fit into regular fixtures.

  2. Hmmmm...I've got an energy saver bulb in my lamp - and continually adjusting it to get better light for my embroidery....

  3. Sorry to hear the band is posing so much troubles. I do not wish you any eye-strains nor headaches with my order!

  4. i find energy saving daylight bulbs are fine. or swap the work around and weave in the day and do the computer at night, that's how I work it.
    but yeah, i know what you mean about the contemplative aspect of monotonous work. I often zone out when i am stitching for hours. maybe religion would help me!

  5. Thanks all - I have only used regular daylight bulbs thus far, not energy saving ones - it's nice to know that you're having luck with those.

    I suspect that perhaps I am just missing sunshine?!!

    Ah Bertus, thank you and don't worry - I have solved many of the world's problems as I have worked on this weaving... perhaps I should go into politics after this! :-)


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.