Thursday, October 26, 2006

A Weaver's Repressed Memory

I'm still having a hard time coming back to terra firma, so I appreciate other weavers letting me know what they are weaving, or rehashing discussions from the workshop.

One told me she didn't want to be a Randiette, and then apologized for sounding disrespectful. Not at all. I expect many of my classmates would have been weaving for 20-, 25- or 30- years and have their own styles, and at any rate, workshops are to enhance one's work, not necessarily to emulate. Sticking to one's own creative direction is part of New Zealand's national psyche, and as mad about Darwall textiles as I am, I don't aim to reproduce his textiles even if I could. Nevertheless I was smittened by his work, and here's one reason.

Between 2000 and 2001, I tried spinning, dyeing, and other skills most weavers know and use to enhance their textiles. Back then, I told myself, "These are interesting but I need time to investigate, so I shall come back to them when I feel more comfortable/competent about my weaving."

To my shock/horror I remembered while recapping Randy's workshop that I made the same decision about colors one afternoon in May, 2001. That is, in my eagerness to improve my weaving technique, I needed to eliminate all "distracting" elements/components, and thus I started to weave with and buy only navy or otherwise blue yarns. Methodical but mad. What's worse, I continued to buy navy and blues, plus a small assortment of undyed, white, black, gray, (all with no or little hues, and more recently, reds,) and forgot that the colorless purgatory was mean to be temporary. Colors used to be my single most favorite part of weaving until that fatal afternoon.

Now that I'm also interested in texture and weave structures, I will keep weaving my monotone cloth, but it's time I resumed playing with colors. That's part of my apprenticeship.

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