I'm a self-taught weaver; a few things I do without thinking, some I don't know how to do properly and wing it; and some I do in different ways depending on the fiber, weather or just-because. Yet others, I pace, talk to and gaze for hours, days and weeks concocting a solution. This is why I don't teach; I may not know the answer, or I may confuse you because I'll blurt out three different solutions. I always thought weaving is what you make of it, and it's a solitary thing for me; I cherish that.
So it was with trepidation and anxiety that I awaited for the appointed time on Friday when Annie came with her dressed-and-partially-worked rigid heddle loom she picked up in Christchurch for $30 then hauled back to Nelson on a bus. I knew Annie to be a young art school graduate, with some experience working in several art galleries, with a famous artist big sister; we worked together packing up Red as we knew it. She asked me earlier in the week if I could show her how to weave, and I didn't know how to say no to this lovely youth, so we set a time. I thought I'd wing it, not make it a regular thing, but just show her enough; she's an art school graduate, she'll know what to dobeyond the mechanics. I should have a lovely time over a cup of tea.
And that's how it went. For four and a half hours. We talked about weaving, galleries, climate change and natural disasters, NZ politics, and we had a lovely time. She's one intelligent cookie, and I take it a superb listener. She got the basic idea from my frantic, fragmented explanation, with great illustration, (body language, that is.) We're not sure if she's going the cloth-weaving route, the art/show-piece road or both or something in between, so we went back and forth brainstorming. She's worried about putting on a new warp, so she might come back to dress my RHA. All I'll do is to think of a project, collect material/tools, and figure out the numbers; when she comes, I'll give her just enough hints so she can make the warp and dress the loom. Win, win.
Make no mistake, I'm not turning into a teacher; I'm not good at it. But I can do this with Annie.
And speaking of someone who does teach, last week when I was working on the sketchbook, guess who looked up at me from the pages of an old Australian magazine? Kaz!