The universe is challenging me. It could be telling me I've had it too easy for a while now.
I've been miffed that my tea cosy has been hidden as much as it can possibly be in the bookshop window. I mean, how dare they! That was way beyond my design comfort zone, and by far the wildest thing they got, but nooooooo, they had to bury it so keep in the field of colors so nobody will notice. Don't they know artists have very fragile egos?? Meh!
I should not have gone to the writing workshop on Saturday; Joan was lovely and the people there keen writers, (they belong to the Society of Authors, the Pen Club, for goodness sake!) but I was cold, worried about P2P, and though I enjoy therapeutic writing, I sure wasn't there to learn to be a better writer, per se. I would have been happier in a retreat situation. I should have been happier at home. But I did learn a thing or two, one always does in Joan's company.
Anyhoo, some of the writers were being friendly and I got the regular dose of, "Oh, I know a weaver," or "I (or insert any other female relations) used to weave," and any number of other comments about woven items circa 1970's/'80s. Small talk. People were being nice to me, for heaven's sake, but I became extraordinarily impatient and angry and I wanted to scream, "No, weavers nowadays weave things quite different from what you describe, cherish, or remember!" I felt my facial muscle tighten in trying to keep up the fake smile, it was quite upsetting.
When I came home, I wrote on Facebook I am a weaving snob, and I would like to distance myself from old-fashioned weaving, to which Sunny said she hasn't seen exciting weaving, and wanted links. Ouch! So while trying to concentrate on finishing my P2P today, I kept wondering what "exciting weaving" is. (And I've gotta add, I kept thinking I've seen work that looked very much like what I was finishing.)
I've always held that there isn't much "new" in handweaving, other than material and equipment. And I'm OK with that. In fact, it's almost nice to imagine somewhere, someone from a totally different time wove something very much like I've just finished.
In the "new" department, of course there are new yarns, new dyes/resists, (though mostly in post-weaving enhancement), and the photo/jacquard thingie, with which I'm not familiar.
Weavers appreciate those who find new ways of doing things, do something technically difficult or innovative, particularly if it was done "without pickup", or finish labor-intensive work. A while back, curves, network drafting and multi-shaft were new and exciting. But I don't know what I mean by "exciting" now; it's usually my next project, and the one after, and that's all I can think of today.
What is "exciting weaving" depends on what the person is looking for, just like any other art form. Right on cue, Sunny wrote back, "Color, texture, possibility. And like any work of art -- or well executed craft -- the unexpected quality that elicits an emotional response from the viewer. I personally prefer art that pleases me and makes me happy or satisfied. Others, I know, like shock value. I have no clue what would constitute shock value in a handwoven cloth, but I will give it some thought."
Friday, I thought I was being innovative, and Ronette commended me for breaking my old rigid barriers. My P2P excited me for a while. Today, though, I'm back in my familiar space of ... how the heck do I weave something spectacular?
It's the weather, too; gray and wet. Something is telling me I shouldn't go "there" just now. So instead, I'll go make some crazy gesso paper for next Friday.