Saturday, May 31, 2008


Because I go on a bit about art/craft, especially pertaining to weaving, some friends think I have no respect for either "pure craft", or weaving as a hobby and other textile indulgences. Not at all. In fact, I love the craft part of weaving as well, and I do quite a bit of joy-weaving. (I coined this phrase, y'all; it's mine, unless you did before this week. I do get a natural high from the motion of weaving, don't you?)

My mom weaves purely for enjoyment and gives away anything that comes off her loom; she throws her arms in the air if I go on too long about art/craft, and walks away and puts on another warp.

For me, who never stuck to any of the extracurricular activities long enough to be good at anything, and who's had a string of admin-type job for pay, weaving is one of the very few efforts I found interesting, challenging and worth investing my energy into. And so I want to be good at it. And so I keep thinking of how I can be good at it. (Peg, there's the aspiration/desire thing, again.)

But Nancy, hobby knitter/felter/crafter extraordinaire, you've already had two things that are very much yours, and both involve healing others. Life doesn't get any better than that, so relax, enjoy your hobbies, but let's not stop talking about the stuff we do.

You have to have hobbies, too, you know. By turning weaving into the main focus of my life, I lost a lovely hobby, and a few years ago I started baking bread; the longer and more cumbersome the process, the better. Ciabatta has been my favorite for about three years.


  1. I happened to see an "artist's statement" at a pottery show last weekend, and it said something which really bugged me. The crux of it was that this individual defined himself as someone who took risks and therefore had to take the consequences of risk, and this - he said - distinguished the artist from the craftsman. Having just been through my washing machine episode with my scarf (while wearing, so far as I was concerned, a crafty rather than an arty hat) I thought he was spouting rubbish, frankly. My, I am turning into an opinionated so-and-so - what fun!

  2. I'm with you, on his statement, I think. Wet finishing for weavers can be risky, but we do it, because without it the cloth is unfinished... Though without having seen the said artist's work, I don't know how much risk he takes. Some would say getting up in the morning is a risk.

    I've been going back and forth in this issue. Peg mentioned that Connie Rose weaves "art cloth" and I seem to remember that some time ago that was my goal - cloth that is beautiful and is a piece of art in itself, but was destined to be made into something by undergoing another step. As opposed to "just for show" art pieces.

    I think opinionated so-and-so is good; it shows you are thinking. I don't care which way my weaving goes ultimately, art pieces (Peg called them masterpieces, I think) or art cloth, as long as I keep thinking about what I'm doing. That's my conclusion for tonight, Cally.

  3. I've now become much more aware of the word 'risk' cropping up everywhere, just because I am studying it - and a fascinating thing it is. You and Peg are getting to me to think about all sorts of other things too! Today I am toying in my head with a definition of craftsmanship that would balance skill with risk, that is to say controlling the things you can and learning to ride with the things that you can't. However, tomorrow I daresay I will have to start again.

  4. I don't think of myself as risk-adversed, but I'm still not sure what risk is for me, except perhaps to keep trying new things. Like today I'll dress the loom with a very familiar yarn but at a much closer sett. I have a bad feeling about it, but I'll try it once. And then tomorrow, I may resley it, thinking it was a bad choice. Or not.

    I wonder if this is "risk".


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