Saturday, November 4, 2006

Originality/Creativity

I'm starting to get a little greedy. I now want my weaving to show originality; something like a signature. Which is a funny thing to say right after all the oohing and aahing of Randy's textiles, and I still want Randy's mark on my weaving as well. But I want to be able to create something beyond that. And I'm looking for ways to include a point of difference. (Though I hate all these marketing talk.)

I am of the opinion, as are many weavers, that there is nothing new under the sun when it comes to weaving. We may have computerized looms and new fibers, but most everything we do today has been done before, and some of them quite a while ago on what we would think of as "crude" equipment, and maybe with the help of extra pairs of hands. So I don't claim to do anything new, and yet I want to show originality.

I'm from Japan, the greatest country and people for improving and fine-tuning skills and products someone else invented or discovered. Just about anything 'uniquely' Japanese can be traced back to China or Korea in the old days, or the US or Europe in the last few centuries. I was amazed at the similarity, for example, of Kabuki theater to Chinese operas, the gestures, the delivery. And try as I may, I am yet to come across anything in art or industry originating from Japan. In the eighth century, we literally kidnapped Korean potters so we can have a flourishing ceramic art, to the point it decimated Korean pottery. So it's not in my DNA to be original, and yet I want to explore my creativity.

I only got this far in thinking about originality and creativity. It's going to be a long apprenticeship.

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