I just took Candidate #6 off the loom, and I don't know what I'm feeling. I feel relieved, of course, and a bit sad that the weaving part is over, that I won't be improving on the Exhibit(ion)'s contents any more.
Initially I had hoped to weave between seven and nine or ten pieces, and choose maybe six best ones to put in the Exhibit(ion). Somewhere between Candidates #3 and #4, when I was weaving two pieces a week, I started to feel a prelude to pain on my right wrist, left shoulder and neck. So, although I could have continued that pace, or at least could have easily put on another warp, I deliberately slowed down and aimed to finish six pieces. And that's what I've done.
I also decided to add a piece called "Paua", which I wove in late 2005. "Paua" is Abalone in our indigenous Maori language, so it's from the sea. I didn't need this piece to make up the number, but I feel a little sad I worked so hard to incorporate literal images of "Sea, Sand and Sky", that I might have sacrificed incorporating elegance and sohopistication that I aim to include in my cloth. "Paua" makes up for it, in that this is the kind of cloth I weave, and this is the best I've woven so far.
My first and most daunting thought about the preparation for the Exhibit(ion) is that weaving mere six shawls and a bit of sampling did not make any visible dent to my stash. ANY. I had hoped to clean out my stash room, maybe add shelves, bring in a small desk, repaint the room, and start the year of apprenticeship with a really big bang by making my stash room more of an art/design room rather than storage space. Well, that's not going to happen. In fact, the lesson has been that I could probably weave three to four commission-type shawls a month if I worked really hard, in addition to the smaller scarves for the gallery, and if I did that, I'm good for the next 10-15 years stash-wise. (Though after 7 or 8 years, the color and texture combination might become a little... eccentric.)
I still need to fringe, wash, press, dry and tidy the last two shawls. But they are no longer candidates, and I have to start thinking of naming them.