Saturday, April 4, 2009

Taueret, Weaver

One of my scattered thoughts came about when Taueret and I became Flickr contacts recently, possibly one Thursday evening after I had been threading my mad cotton warp. I'm not sure if it relates to the art/craft thing; I suspect it's more to do with what I like vs. what I like to make, and the shadow of that obnoxious (to me) genre, fiber/textile art. I'll try to be intelligible.

For clarity, I'll also pretend there exist various artificial boxes/categories/labels about people and art, though I truly believe human nature and behavior sit somewhere on spectra, and should be viewed as such, rather than A or B, Yea or Nay.

In our on-line chat, Taueret casually referred to her weaving as "not your cup of tea", which made me want to clarify my thoughts to her, which made me realize I didn't know what I thought. It was easier to flip through her photos to see her work, because too often I'm distracted/attracted by her writing in her blog.

Certainly the kind of premeditated weaving I do is pole opposite to the seemingly spontaneous style of hers, which she calls "freeform" weaving. Because I place a lot of wishful credence to experience and accumulated knowledge, and suspect these become instincts or semiconscious over time, I'm not sure if an artistic person's instinct is entirely that, or a combination of native talent, practice, and hard slog. Still, I can only hope she and I sit at two ends of one loom-bench spectrum called the Sisterhood (or, Personhood) of Handweaving. (I blame the metaphor overload on Swiss chocolates Ben got me yesterday, half a box of which I had for breakfast with coffee, and nothing else.)

Posted by permission; ©Taueret_Spins, 2008

Taueret's scarves look artistic, unique, and therefore far more valuable than mine, though by what standard I measure value I don't know; more worthy. Her work impacts me emotionally. The pleasure and pride wearers must feel from each of her scarves is palpable, and the amount of discovery to be made while handing, infinite. She plans from the dyeing/blending/spinning stage, so she is not an entirely serendipitous weaver. Yet she weaves to create pieces that look like "a human made it," as "there is something I find really endearing and almost heartwrenching about intentional imperfection." In the end, a piece hits her in the right spot. Or not. And having that "spot" puts her in my "Artistic Persons" box.

Knowing Taueret has worked with fibers all her life, and that she comes from a visually enlightened family prejudice me. Yet I'm not so blinded; I find her fine knitting and lace-making as determined as my weaving, but I know too little about these to comment further.

Mind you, all this detracts nothing from my work and process; I like to experiment and sample and plan. I like flat fabric, and I feel pride in a well-executed plan. I think you know I enjoy what I do.

I sense the dichotomy of art/craft or artistic/"clever" can be crossed over only by sheer determination, a bit of native talent and a lot of luck. Still, part of me feels guilty because I mistrust my instinct though I love others'. I constantly feel the need to justify my every choice with the pitiful learning I've done, or worse, to act counterintuitively as often as I can. And I suspect, but am not certain, this is why I am detached from what I make; this is why weaving has not been as intoxicatingly thrilling to be almost sinful; and this is why I cannot pretend to claim my stuff "art".

I covet Taueret's "spot", the umph in her work.

And just when I happily plunked my unsmall bottom on This Side of the Big Divide, I saw Susan's piece, and understood where talent meets good planning.

Gotta love life. And the Internet.

2 comments:

  1. I like how much thought you give to all of this. A little like the conversations running around in my own head
    sometimes. I think it's fascinating to read about how you plan and come to your projects--and they are so beautiful. I only hope it can rub off on me a little!

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  2. Hi, Susan. If I thought less and worked more, I might be a productive weaver, mightn't I? I think it's a habit I acquired in the years I was a Philosophy major in college. But since I have all kinds of chatter in my head most days, I might as well focus the chatter on something related the thing I love!

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