Sunday, October 12, 2008

For Whom Do I Weave?

It's an annoying marketing question, isn't it.

I keep staring at a smallish print out of this draft from Friday and oscillate between the threading in the far left, and the third one from the right. All are 9-end points so I can finish making a warp, wind it on the loom and then decide, and that's exactly what I'll do.

I like the third from the right, trope as writ; it's unlike anything I've woven in recent years, at least that I can remember. I also like the bottom two on the far left threading, but the impression of these are too similar to many works I've seen in recent years. (Which tells you more about what kinds of things I've been looking at, but never mind.)

The warp I'm making has 5 colors and move from AAA-ABA-BAB-BBB and so on to Color E, then back again to A, so it's a gentle gradated look in gray-ish "raincoat" blues and greens, light to midway in value. No, nothing Randy or Fibby about it, and perhaps not as vivid as this pic. That's why I decided on the third-from-right threading; the color graduation is mild so I wanted to give it some umph in the structure. Even though the two threadings at the far left are probably more "appropriate", "suitable", textbook, for graduated coloring.

Which led me to something I think about occasionally. Who do we weave for? Do we weave to impress other weavers, including our menotors, or for that one collector who will be enthusiastici about adding my peice to her/his collection of handwoven scarves, or to a desparate gift-seeker? I wished my answer was a straight-forward: "Of course, to please me!", but the feeling is more layered. And theoretically this makes commission work easier, but it doesn't work that way, either!

Anyway, I have about half a day of measuring the warp to go, so plenty of time to contemplate yet.

6 comments:

  1. Good question, Meg. It must be for ourselves ultimately. At least for me, the reality is that I don't sell a lot of my work, far less than I'd like to sell, so I must be making it for myself, exploring things for myself. Oh yeah, also for the kudos on my blog!

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  2. I noticed a while back that more and more I'm focusing on artistic and technical challenges, whereas I used to envision a person walking and wearing it. The person would have been the person for whom it was intended if it was a commission, but if not, I had a tiny group of friends whom I used to "dress" and make walk in appropriate settings with my next shawl. So the visioin was quite specific. (I was mentally dressing friends... and family and sometimes their love-interests.)

    I never do this any more, and I was lamenting the fact, and wondering if it's a good thing or a bad thing that the focus has shifted.

    No answer here, at least not today, Connie.

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  3. I try to find that place within myself that interweave with that place within the recipient of the cloth. For me, the cloth is the external expression of an internal process.

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  4. I like the warp. I'm pretty much where you are right now and I believe it to be a good place to be. It's possible there will come a day when vision and artistic/technical challenges will work together.Maybe your beginning to wonder about your focus is the beginning of a move in this direction. I think of Peter Collingwood as a magnificent weaver for whom this did happen. Perhaps Peter is a useful model to hold on to?

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  5. I like the warp too. And I think it's okay to weave for a variety of people. I've talked to several production weavers who burnt out trying to mass produce things to sell. That's no good. I rarely sell anything but I don't mind trying to weave something to please someone else, in fact I like being pushed out of my personal color comfort zone. Ultimately though, it's the challenge of the creative process that I weave for.

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  6. By no means do I believe it should be one or another, but I lament I don't do the mental dressing any more.

    Bonnie, can you expand on "external expression of the internal process"? Especially about the internal process? For example?

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