Thursday, January 25, 2007

"How Long Have You Been Weaving?"

This is another I don't know how to answer. I wove my first creation on 5 August 1995 on a rigid heddle loom. I bought a homemade 4-shaft jack and wove six cottolin napkins; then the loom collapsed. (I have to tell you this story some other time.) I borrowed a better 4-shaft Naggi (NZ) jack and contemplated undulating twills, but while I worked full time, I draped laundry over my looms.

In February 2001, I went to my first weaving workshop in Marlborough; this was my coming out; I declared/admitted to the world that... ummmm... I weave... And I had to learn how to read a draft in the first 15 minutes. I wove for a local weaver later that year for three months, throwing a boat shuttle for the first time when she asked me to sit at her loom.

Having woven two or three warps on 4-shaft, I went to Bonnie Inouye's workshop in Murchison in May 2002 to make up the numbers. I got Fiberworks PCW Bronze and a 16-shaft Thorp (NZ). I wove two or three warps. In August, I bought Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way", and totally uncharacteristically, "did" the whole three months. (I'm still kind of proud of that.) 2003 was a bad with health problems galore, both of us.

Early in 2004, after being throughly disgusted with my inability to switch to a creative/artistic life, and thinking I can always go back to an office job, I got a part time job, where I walked like a zombie wondering what world I stepped into. Around August 2004, I was more or less asked to resign, and that was the best thing that could have happened. I have been weaving more or less consistently since the day after I left that job.

I made plans and wove to schedule in 2005; I sold my first piece in September; I got a piece accepted at the national exhibition in Wellington and sold that piece; I had three commissions and finished weaving the last of these at 11:30AM on Christmas Eve morning - I had seven guests at 7PM that night. In February 2006, I got my first award, the First Time Entrant Award at the Nelson/Marlborough/Buller Area Exhibition, and then had tendinitis from a gym machine that's not suited to people with short arms and couldn't weave for six months. And then of course I went to Randall Darwall's workshop in October 2006.

So 1995-2004 was the Dark Ages, but I feel like I'm cheating if I say I started in August 2004. "I have been weaving intermittently for a little over a decade," seems to be about right.

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