Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Layers

I believe in KISS. Even though I'm long-winded. You shouldn't have to read between the lines of this blog, or while I blabber on in person. Even when I speak in Japanese, even though directness especially by women is frowned-upon; I had a nickname of "Miss Straight-to-Business" in IBM Japan and I thought it was a compliment!

Being lazy and impatient, my weaving practice consists of 1) buying nice colored yarns, 2) mixing and matching them in a pleasing but straight-forward way, 3) weaving, washing and pressing, and 4) delivering it to a show or a gallery, sometimes while the scarves are still moist. In other words, if you made a flow chart of how I work, it's a straight top-to-bottom line. About the only embellishment I've done has been a bit of beads either in the fringes or in the selvedge. And still I manage to be the slowest weavers I know.

I've followed Connie Rose's blog for a while; she has a contemplation rod; see the second last pic here. Since yesterday I have some inside (?) information on the process of one of Kaz Madigan's scarves; I haven't checked if she's documented how she arrived at this scarf, and she's been blogging a while so it may take me all summer to find out. Now I'm working on this color thing, and as a result I feel positively, mind-blowingly shallow.

I feel shallow and linear, (it has to do with efficiency,) and superficial and a bit of a cheat. Granted, before Saturday, I didn't see the attraction of layers, (though I've liked the look of these weavers' work,) and I was aiming for a different look. Suffice it to say it's the first time I connected the L-word with my own work, but can you imagine how much more personal the end product is, how much deeper the satisfaction must be when a piece is finished? And how unique each piece is?

So, layers: good for more than what goes into my suitcase. But a long way to go.

9 comments:

  1. I tend to use the less is more approach to embellishing. But then I sometimes think I am just being lazy or cheap.

    Then I notice I avoid buying things like clothes with beads and little sparklies, so maybe it is just my preference to stay plain.

    I like to enjoy the fiber and texture and pattern without the distractions of bling.

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  2. There are certain colors you can only get, though, Dana, though layers. I knew this when I looked at Shiele's paintings closely (well. reproductions of them), but when I read/hear how some weavers work on cloth over and over to achieve the look of their work, I do feel lazy and cheap, as you say.

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  3. I do like your colour sketches - just looking at them I want to run for my drawing pastels and play. I've never tried this sort of thing, I suppose I'm too nervous of what might happen.

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  4. You could have been describing me at the loom here...

    "Being lazy and impatient, my weaving practice consists of 1) buying nice colored yarns, 2) mixing and matching them in a pleasing but straight-forward
    way, 3) weaving, washing and pressing, and 4) delivering it to a show or a gallery, sometimes while the scarves are still moist. In other words, if you
    made a flow chart of how I work, it's a straight top-to-bottom line. About the only embellishment I've done has been a bit of beads either in the fringes
    or in the selvage. And still I manage to be the slowest weavers I know."

    Uh, yeah... :o (Except the pressing, galleries, and fringe.) But I'm trying too. Maybe we can try together!

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  5. Dorothy, I enjoy it as long as I'm just playing around with no specific goals in mind. I tried to be more specific yesterday and drew the outline of the Ikat piece we are to weave, and tried to color in, and it was a disaster. I was absolutely paralyszd and the result painfully uninteresting.

    Crystal, absolutely. Lazy Weavers Unit or something, and have vague, personal, flexible goals or some such!

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  6. This is fascinating, because I feel that there's a lot of personal taste in here as well. Pieces with lots of depth and layers can be icnredibly stunning, like the examples you've cited. And yet, I've always been a firm believer in knowing when to stop as well. It's all too easy to go overboard.

    FWIW, watching what you're doing with those colour boards is making me feel lazy! Far too many of my design decisions are made on an ad hoc basis, fuelled purely by instinct.

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  7. Yeah, myself included, as in not knowing when to stop. Kind of interesting, still, investigating different approaches to work, Geodyne.

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  8. Investigating new approaches is always a good journey!

    Please keep blogging about it. I'm learning to much, right along with you.

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  9. Yeah, a little more variety in what I make. I'm really warming up to the layers idea, Geodyne. I'll be even a slower weaver than I am now.

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