Sunday, November 17, 2013

Oh Heck...

I mended all the broken warp ends and fringed one and a half piece, (pieces?) yesterday while thinking about colors for the next project. I made the new warp specifically to tie onto the old, but the old warp was so fragile I took it off altogether. 
Pat came over on Friday and we talked about some of the things I've had on the living room floor. These are old Swedish yarns I've had forever, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about the two tealy greens and the sharp yellow since I came home. They're hard, so they are more suitable for hangy things rather than to wear, but one never knows... I have designs on the teals but so far only in my head.

(Yes, Ben and I have been walking in between the sets to get to/from the kitchen. The things I make him do!)
And then we actually sat on the floor in the basement and played some.
A and B are the kinds of combos I used to weave with, but I haven't done it for some time I'd "lost my touch," as it were and am finding it somewhat troubling. For the next warp, we tried to think of saturated combinations when Pat pointed out that I keep selecting complementary colors and I don't have to all the time. C is Pat's choice, D and E are what I had thought of.

In 2008 when Jill wrote to me with suggestions of how to make my weaving more edgy, an item on the list was to use complementary colors, and back then I felt they were uncomfortably discordant I tried my best. I guess I've become somewhat used to it I more or less reach for them naturally. Apparently. Jill's request is to weave "saturated" pieces, and subsequent discussion has got me confused about "saturated" and "complementary", but as far as colors are concerned mean "very", no? As in, very red, or (skip to the next paragraph if you're allergic to potty mouths,) don't be ha1f-@ssed about values/intensity? Anyway, so much more to learn. relearn, and try.

Then, "Dodo" from Kolkata asks me what's special about my colors, (to which all I can say is, not a lot except they are complex and bright for me,) and why don't I research Northeastern Indian textiles, which brings me to that puzzling and contentious issue of appropriation.

It's not a bad idea googling images of textiles from around the world, and I do that from time to time as you know, but in addition to finding colors difficult, I have a mental block about researching anything in too much depth. First there is the fear of copyrights infringement, and though I believe there's nothing much new in weaving and don't claim anything to be truly original, I am afraid of being influenced anything/anybody too much. And then there's the issue of cultural appropriation.

I don't know how it is where you live, but in New Zealand there exists a sometimes-severe vigilance surrounding cultural appropriation that I don't fully understand. Folks in art education are cautious and at one end of the spectrum, I've been advised not to claim to be influenced by anything other than this Japanese. I even hesitate to talk about this, (so much so I don't want to reread the linked post,) but of course it doesn't stop anyone from being inspired by anything. So my research into anything tends to stop at a very superficial level. Which suits my innate laziness just fine.

Just saying; it makes me nervous.

5 comments:

  1. Love the colors of all the yarns! Are the Swedish yarns linen? Maybe suitable for sewing?

    About appropriation and inspiration...how can we not be inspired by what we see around us? Just because it's the jumping off spot, does that make it appropriation? Murky indeed. Or maybe overly protective. There really is nothing new, just new ways (maybe) to use something. Too much to think about on a Sunday morning.

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  2. The Swedish yarns are wool, Sherri. Thinking too much can do my head in, but with so much lovely things in the world, how can we not be inspired, I agree! I'd like to be sensitive to other people's cultures, and I've been on the receiving end, as it were, observing the "Hollywood" depiction of Japan and things Japanese, particularly of our speech, Samurai/Geisha culture, kimono, etc, but in this global times, it's also true we can't be too precious about regional/ethnic/tribal culture/aesthetics/traditions/treasures. So I guess as long as I don't denigrate anyone else's, we can proceed with caution???

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  3. Reading your post makes me want to send you the book I recently read titled, "Steal like an Artist" by Austin Kleon. It's an irreverent, tongue-in-cheek look at artist's influences and other things about trying to live and work as an artist (artisan/craftsperson/etc.) Nothing earthshaking or super profound, but just an easy, quick read full of reminders of things we already know... I liked it because it's all in one place.

    Re your thing about not wanting to research something too deeply because of your concern about being too influenced ... that's why I thought of this book today: Kleon writes, "You are, in fact, a mashup of what you choose to let into your life. You are the sum of your influences. The German writer Goethe said, “We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.”"

    Another bit in the book that reminds me of you, Meg, is this one: "Step 1: Wonder at something. Step 2: Invite others to wonder with you." You really DO this with your blog. I get the sense that you know what you don't know and you wonder about what you don't know and you definitely invite your blog readers to wonder along with you..." I like that about your posts.

    Here is a pdf with most of the pages: http://bit.ly/1aBw4Pz and here is a link to some quotes from the book on GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/18272194-steal-like-an-artist

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  4. I watched a TED vid of this guy after you mentioned the book on your blog, Maureen. You're right, nothing profound, but things I think/wonder often phrased more succinctly. I like that. I shall go check out the GoodReads next. Thanks for the link.

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  5. Sorry Google is being naughty. Sonya of StringHerder (http://insanitylooms.blogspot.com) emailed me this comment:

    To me, art is all about individual interpretation. So if you were to visit a marae, and were inspired by something you experienced there then that's what art is all about. If it's based on something second-hand, like a book/movie/documentary then it's inspired by that source rather than the culture. I'm not quite sure how that translates sometimes, or how clear it is, but it's very subjective!

    The most culturally foreign (to me) place I have been is Bangkok, and if I were to create something based on the impressions I got from the 24 hours we spent there then I don't think that would be culturally wrong. If I tried to claim that somehow it was an accurate representation of Thai life then I would be uncomfortable with that. I have no idea how much sense that makes, or if I will change my mind on that at some point.

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