Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Making of an Exhibit - Part 3: Angst and Joy

Monday night, I was weaving an ordered scarf unrelated to the Exhibit(ion); it's a simple Dornick twill in two grays, each strip four-ends wide, the twill direction changing with the color change; the weft is a dirty yellow; all in 100% cashmere. It's the kind of textile I weave often, and what I like to weave. It's guaranteed to have a luxurious hand; the wearer will enjoy it for several years; the construction is sound. And I was weaving on the smaller, four-shaft Jack loom, in the shadow of the big loom on which I have been weaving the Exhibit(ion) pieces.

I was thinking if I had many shawls of the kind I like to weave or am good at weaving, "MY" kind of weaving, the Exhibit(ion) will be filled with reliable but predictable textile, just like a department store. And then I wondered why on earth I ever committed to doing an Exhibit(ion), and knew that I am really the wrong type of person for it. If I need to put myself in a box, I aspire to be a master craftsperson, rather than an artist; I do not aspire to shock or protest or really even express by what I make, but I aspire to weave what is beautiful and functional, and make one person happy. So what I am I thinking, flirting with the idea that what I weave, and a whole bunch of them all lined up, may be interesting to look at, and be worth someone else's time!!

There must be a 6- or 10- or 12-states of emotions artists go through in preparing for their first Exhibit(ion), NOT that I'm calling myself an artist now, but Monday was definitely an "Angst & Self Doubt" stage for me. And it brought back the age-old question of art vs craft to the surface.

Oh, but this little scarf is delicious; and it took only a couple of hours to weave. Darn, I'm good.

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