My Pretty Thrum

It's been nearly two weeks since I installed my last/current exhibition, and I'm finally in a place where I can look forward. I picked up the last thrum I had on the coffee table for two weeks - not sure why I had it there in the first place - and thought it is the prettiest thrum I've had. I would like to make something out of it; something simple, like a short length of braid, or a tassel. Nancy went to see my exhibition twice, and told me the challenge of adding colors, to the point of needing a lie down, was well worth it. Jo from my figure drawing class was there one day, and since she knows the different things I'm trying out, she could see how I am challenging myself. This year may not have been as unproductive as I had been thinking after all.

I've been in and out of a bad place, which is not unusual after I hang an exhibition, but this time the scholarship thing really did my head in. I kept telling myself to move on, be cheerful, adopt the "Shit happens!" resilience, but I've felt defeated with continuing problems. Though that is not to say I was down all the time; on Saturday, a couple of hours after I wrote this post, I started writing a new post which started something like this:
The parcel was not my scholarship application being returned, but care package from my parents; they send us Ben's favorite rice crackers 2-6 times a year, even though I've told them we can buy a lesser brand from our regular supermarket now. I appreciate the thought, and if they get pleasure from sending us stuff they know we like, we'll gladly take it. Once in a blue moon, or twice between every leap day to be exact, they also send my favorite; it's a rice-cake-rice, steamed, dried, then pulverized to make flake/granule-like snow white dry ingredient. I reconstitute it by mixing in water and dunking it in boiling water to make dumpling-like goo; it's a (WARNING: POSSIBLY VERY OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE COMING UP) carbohydrate wet-dream, and that was in this package...
The start of this week was seriously low, but I went to work at the Red and the gym on Monday; gym, Sue's gallery, Arts Council and the Red to help out with their web sites on Tuesday; and I spent yesterday catching up with myself. At the time it's terribly difficult, but for my kind of light-hearted (??) depression, activity seems to be the best medicine. And a certain amount of denial that I am going through a bad patch. My wise doctor started thinking perhaps I should go on medication just to try it out, but I'm fighting that one; I've signed up for a counseling scheme to see if I can kick this "habit", because I really don't want to take mind-altering meds.

I started doodling ideas for Lloyd's Textile Awards. Because the ceiling of the venue is so high, I would have liked to have hung something from way up the top, but there is that limit of 1.5m * 2m limit, so I'm wondering how I can make something within that size and still look... huge. Or long. Not sure yet...

I also signed up for Kaz Madigan/Curious Weaver's on-line Ikat and Warp Paint course via the UK Guild. I found out about this only because one of you (sorry, can't remember who or when) blogged about it, so thanks a gazillion!! I've always wanted to be Kaz's student. It's also a good antidote to thinking, writing and planning how to study colors, and heck, I might as well start on my own, because the UK guild is charging only £29 for me to be a member for Nov/Dec. I can afford this now, thanks to my wee job at the Red.

I enjoyed yesterday finding my way around the UK Guild site, printing Kaz's instructions on fancy paper, and reading and planning. I've told Kaz I may not be able to come up with a finished item by the end of this month, but I'm hoping to be able to show her something before Kiwi kids go back to school, (Feb next year.) I'm not pressuring myself with this one, just trying to enjoy it; I have quite a few outstanding projects and commitments I'd like to finish before the end of year, I know. The towel warp, for one, was supposed to go up today.

After reading the instructions and narrowing down my options for the project, it was time for me to start playing with colors, and I took out my paint, but ended up looking at cotton color samples and ordering a few more cones for Lloyd's Awards project, and looked up Procion dye distributors in New Zealand.

It feels definitely more art than craft to be designing ikat and warp painting. I'm thrilled about that. But I'm such a chicken when it comes to colors. I love looking at them, but when it comes to proactively making/using them, it's a different story. We'll see how this goes.


  1. As you probably know, I am not "taking" the workshop but am following with great interest. Should I ever give any kind of a workshop, her handouts will provide me with an ideal model. No, I am not talking about copying them! Also, I was very pleased to see you joined the group. I've belong since it first began a number of years ago and I have very much enjoyed it. Sometimes I participate a lot, sometimes not at all. But I always enjoy it.

  2. I don't know if I'll stay with the group; it's still quite expensive for me, but I am glad I took the plunge because there's enough in Kaz's instructions to just go with the flow if I so choose, or be more original if I can manage that.

    I've ordered the white and black cottons; I need to order the dyes this weekend.


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