Sunday, July 17, 2011

When My Way is Not the Only Right Way

No, I don't have this problem in weaving, thank goodness, thinking my way is the only right way, especially as regards creative process. I like to hear what/how others do.

Pat, for a long time, was a tapestry weaver and a successful one at that.  Discussing how we design, I observed she designs her Ikat pieces like she does tapestries.  No wonder she's so frustrated with her beautiful samples! It's hard to manipulate dye as precisely as you might the colors in tapestries. Armed with this observation, I'm wonder what she'll do next.

Observing my P2P2 process, Pat felt she decides her "final" product too quickly.  She thinks of a designs, and voila, she's dyeing, putting on the dyed warp, and soon she has another sample.  This is similar to how Mom works, and they are both prodigious weavers.  That I decide on the final product too early is what I'm told repeatedly in design workshops, so I've been training myself to slow down, and I'm silently pleased I've managed to do it after a few years. 

That doesn't mean I think Pat should emulate me; her processes, as regards tapestry, has worked very well; Andrea said, if I remember correctly, Pat has great instincts for composition. So while I enjoy my powwow with Pat, and we are bound to influence each other, I hope I don't unduly influence her.  I'm too stubborn to be influenced into doing something I don't want to.

Andrea came over on Friday and among other things I showed her my P2P2 so far, and she told me about how she designed one of her work I know well.  Andrea's work is inspired by her anger, at war, at domestic abuse, and the like.  Her work is an expression of her responses/reactions.

What's been interesting to me about my recent process is it hasn't been based on ideas or contents but that it's been about techniques, how I may express an idea. Not that it matters at this juncture, but I don't think this is how design textbooks teaches designs; I think we are supposed to start with an idea to express, and then try out different techniques and examine which best suits the expression.  And so on and so on.

Not knowing where I'm going with all this thinking and experiments is a little scary, and a whole lot exciting.  And there is always a chance I won't be able to design anything, or heaven forbid, end up designing and weaving something ugly!  

What I told Pat is, at least if we take our time, exploring a whole lot of possibilities, if Plan A doesn't work, we have a short distance to back track to think up Plan B.  I hope it's true. 


  1. Looking at your pencils confirms one of your favourite colours places!

    Haven't responded to your comments on my post yet. Trying to figure how much to say now, how much later, how much to leave unsaid - have to leave something for the reader/viewer to speculate on :)

  2. Yes? Because I'm still not sure which picture to pick, or if I have already picked.

  3. I'm just very puzzled at how I'm working this round, Judy. Not sure where I'm going. I find the contours of the Grand Canyon the easiest to work with, whereas I love the colors in the Canoe and Car Trouble pictures. I know I'll end up combining two or more in this project, but I'm still not sure where I'm going with it, and if I'm going to weave something, I really better hunker down and think about structures and how I'm going to express lines and shapes and... and... and...... !!!!


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