Real Life Pixel Art

05 Apr 2019

Over the winter break, I ordered a book called “An Exaltation of Blocks” which is all about designing weaving patterns based on binary numbers and simple rules. The author describes two varieties - blocks and motifs, which have slightly different rules about symmetry. A block goes “AB-CD-EFE-DC-BA” but a motif is “ABA-CDC-EFE-CDC-ABA”

Here’s a block and a motif. You can see that the motif is larger and more complex looking, but if you look closer, the columns repeat in a predictable, simple way. You can find more blocks & motifs here. The site is built in React & Gatsby, and it generates patterns using random numbers and symmetry rules.

taquete draft I wove the block above using “taquete” - a double-sided reversible block weave that works well for blankets and rugs. This one is probably going to become a series of wall hangings that I can use as samples. The design on the right is what I actually used, since I wanted to use all 8 shafts on my loom but I didn’t have enough treadles to do a 6 block version.

taquete sample And here’s how it looks on the loom. Taquete is a very square structure, so the pixels in the image translate well to pixels on the cloth. If I had used another weave structure, like overshot, it might have been more squished in one direction.