Sunday, November 2, 2008

Hung - Part 2: Debriefing

I've never made a secret of the fact I'm not a technically-strong weaver. At least I hope I didn't; remember all the times I said I'd never show you pics, but I had this-and-that problem? In fact the uneven picks, iffy selvedge and making a smooth, flat hems have caused me a lot of heartaches. All the more reason the recent Verdict annoyed me, because I would have liked to have had intelligent/constructive feedback from the unnamed "excellent, experienced" weaver, but that's by the by. This latest lot really exposes all my weaknesses. Fibre Spectrum Exhibitions coordinator Susie dropped, on her bike amidst horrible rain and wind, to say hello, and we discussed ways of showing scarves while hiding weaving evils, but in the end I went for exposing all my fabulous unglory. I'm not a read-me-between-the-lines type, and like everything else, these scarves are WYSIWYG; they're not expertly woven, and that's where I'm at now. (I now see how liberating it is to get older; we really stop the pretenses, don't we?)

I urgently need to come up with a better way to wash the woven cloth as well so as not to further damage the picks. A closer sett might be the first step. I need a method to make better hems, too. I've been compiling a list of issues I need to your help with since June, particularly pertaining to weaving with fine yarns, but this list is constantly being modified and is getting longer and longer. I may need to post it in three parts.

Ben and I talked about how I can work smarter to take away some of the emotional downs from my process, as this one was particularly difficult. Besides getting started earlier on projects, to allow room for extra opportunities that pop up which may distract me, as well as unexpected hindrances, I've gotten into a bad habit of trying out new things just before projects, for the projects, and that's not smart. It just so happened I had many opportunities to participate in exhibitions last year. Which was wonderful. And because I didn't want to show the same old, same old every time, I tried new things in quick succession. Which, last year, worked for the most part.

This year, I had created heaps of empty spaces on my calendar, but I can't remember what I did with most of that. And though I'm giving myself more lead time than before, and I'm trying new structures, yarns and colors, I'm doing these too close to the deadlines. I've always known it takes me a long time to take in new things and make them mine. (Remember, I wove plain weave for five years before multiple friends said it may be high time I wove undulating twills I'd been talking about for three years?) Well, the only reasonable conclusion is I must try new things in between and well before and not directly leading on to projects, so come project time, be they commission pieces or exhibitions, these formerly new skills have had time to become my tools and I can design and plan with less unpredictable factors built into my schedule.

Sounds so obvious. I knew this before my first solo in Jan 2007; I don't know when I forgot.

On our way home, we stopped by at the Refinery to see the sculpture show. Scroll down a little to see the installation 'Fil'et Kunzea' by David Carson. These skin-like pieces of wood/bark are hung from boards laid across the glorious Refinery rafters. (Is that the right description? He put six or eight boards on top of the beams up there.) Using the rafters and doing something big is what I wanted to do last October, and in a smaller scale, it's also I wanted to do this time. I like the answering-to-myself aspect of art making, but only I can let myself down when things turn out less than spectacular. And that's one big responsibility.

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