Sunday, June 6, 2010

Pics to Picks: Debriefing

About my project:

There is no doubt the big surprise during this design challenge process has been that I was able to follow the lead of my right brain. I feel like a new person; well, more like two persons.

The project was deliberate and slow and spontaneous, all of which I value in others' work, and in theory in my work , but not exactly a big part of my practice. The process felt intimate and personal, and it made up for my feeling my pieces were becoming "thin" in early 2008, after the mad dash being involved in however many exhibitions I was involved in in the previous 14 or so months.

I liked being so involved with the making of one tiny almost-scarf; I missed that. I liked feeling as if perhaps I was weaving something extraordinary. And I enjoyed remembering Randy Darwall's workshop; swapping colors and thinking of the kind of transition I want to introduce put me back in that classroom in Paraparaumu.

I didn't do as many supplementary warps as I had planned because I had a tension trouble on the borrowed table loom; nothing to do with the loom, but my fault in putting on a warp hastily. In the end it turned out to be a good thing because securing loose warp ends in this uncharted (remember I made up the threading and treadling as I went?) fine cloth was tedious. I did not change the threading of supplementary warps, either; regarding this, the term "diminishing return" kept popping into my head while I wove.

I would like to keep doing this slow weaving on the table loom; for one thing this was a more therapeutic experience than weaving on the larger looms. I am redefining for myself how I should consider/differentiate unique/exhibition/production pieces/processes.

After the washing and the photographing was done, however, the scarf looked as though I had seen something similar before. Maybe it was one of Randy's work; maybe something else. I still like this piece; it's rare for me to weave a scintillating piece, but I think this is one such. I have tons of future ideas, but I'm not sure what I'll work on next.

About the Challenge:

With all of us living in different parts of the world and living different lives, I never know when is a good time to hold such challenges. If you recall, I started thinking this out loud last December, and we had two months to work; I had imagined that would give us ample time. But as usual, real life gets in the way, particularly if you have children, or if you move house, (well done, Desirée!), and even if you are not a seasoned procrastinator like myself, we run out of time. I'm not sure how to improve that; we could easily have three months after we exchange photos, but would that improve the challenge?

I must apologize to some of the participants. The deadline was the end of Saturday, June 5, wherever we lived. Which would have been later on Sunday for me. I was away all day Saturday and when I came home I had few emails from participants telling me they had posted their final posts, and Ben was shouting (in excitement) how hits on this blog was "getting up there". Which in my typical guilt/paranoid way I interpreted to be in anticipation for me to hurry up. So after I got the 8th notification (i.e. more than half), I went ahead and posted the Big Reveal post. Which was not what we had agreed on beforehand.

I'm sorry if you felt you were behind; that was so not the intention, but I thought folk could start looking at the ones which were finished, and come around to ours later. It won't happen again.

I would like to thank all 14 weavers for taking up this challenge. And if you had a fraction of the fun I had, it will have been worthwhile.

And thank you to all our visitors. Do please leave comments as you tour around the world and look at the results.

PS: Participants, if you do something beyond the last post, please keep tagging/categorizing the posts, and let me know if you'd like links changed/updated.

PPS. If we do this again. any words/phrases of apologies for not weaving the end product, or not going as far as had been intended, will be banned. Of course while it's lovely to see a finished piece, (particularly for someone who is visual and has a hard time being described artwork with words,) we didn't commit ourselves to that. We promised to think of something to make, and show how we thought, and what we thought of. Not too late to go and delete those words of apologies from your posts, but of course you don't have to. But I'll whip you thrice for every word of apology with a skein of Japanese sewing silk if you do it next time.

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