Monday, February 24, 2020

So, This Happened

Kiwis love power tools any time but this summer has been an exceptionally robust season of building/rebuilding/refurbishing/demolishing on C Street and surrounds, resulting in power tools of all manners chirping in stereo for the last four (?) months, which finally got to me. The last three weeks or so my shoulders and knees started shaking, especially badly in the mornings. (Full disclosure: we, too, used our tiny water blastser to wash a decade-plus's worth of build up on our concrete patio around Christmas.)

I tried Podcasts and Youtube at full volume, closed all windows, doors and all but one set of curtains, (thank goodness it's been a cool summer,) and draped thick fabric everywhere to absorb the noise, but the shaking wouldn't stop. I also went downstairs and let Telemann serenade me but my legs were shaking so badly I had to crawl off the bench and lie behind the loom a while.

I was getting on my nerves. How "frail" can I be? I tried depression-beating techniques to no avail. While depression, you could say, live in my head but the noise outside it, and they were relentless. (To be sure, I wasn't depressed.) I spent a few half days in bed in utter darkness reading stuff online, and got around to good articles I had bookmarked all summer, so it wasn't a complete loss. I knew in my head at least some of these jobs will be finished "soon", and neighbours will be pleased, and that's a good thing for C Street, but did I mention it was relentless?  I didn't go outside to check on my pots on the patio for ten days and missed the first of the late corn flower opening I had waited for since Ben's summer break.

Anyhoo, exasperated by my inertness, I tried various little things and reorganizing my To Do piles got me out of the funk this time. (To be frank it's been a little weird because my emotions have been switched off and at times I feel like I'm in autodrive.) I started fringing, which I could manage with the twister, and I finished the two hellebore cotton pieces.
The orange-yellow weft piece is bright, and easier to "appreciate", appreciate being in quotes because it's not the kind of colors that sells well, but you can see the details and color interplay immediately, the colors are harmonious and uplifting. That you can see more details in evening/sideways light is a bonus.
The pink-purple piece is a little different. In the first instance I'm not sure if I like the overall color combination, not exactly in harmony, the weft colors don't meld with but overwhelm the warp colors, which is astonishing because there are some strong oranges in the warp. Overall, the gold stripe in the middle disrupts, and the reds in one side of the warp and oranges on the other aren't especially discernible. But this piece looks so interesting and surprises in the evening light. So the original plan to weave in all kinds of purples would have worked.

When I made the red-orange warp, (the gold was for something else I inserted here to add interest,) I deliberately kept the hues of the warp colors to a very limited neighbourhood on the color wheel so I could experiment with harmony, (as in the yellow-orange wefts,) and complementary, (purples!), but the last few years I've been so intrigued by reds, pinks and oranges together I changed my mind. Humble pie. (I learned the origin of that expression from a Tony Robinson doco. :-D) 

Anyway, and you don't hear this here very often, these are nice and I like them. Nice big size, lovely weigh/drape/hand. I will be weaving more hellebores, or another design, in cottons for sure. But, also, I made them, so technique is rough, but I'm not dwelling on that. I repeat this not to convince you but me; I have become more and more aware of how much time/energy/head space I have left to make things in my life, and I want to keep moving.

I'm still astonished and mystified by the Year (Or 18 Months?) I Didn't Weave triggered by a bad project. It was astonishing because I noticed only after a while; I had no explanation, felt so dispassionate, not particularly disappointed, and utterly honest. I can still recall the calmness I felt the whole time concentrating on mixed media drawing and knitting. I wasn't worried if I gave up weaving altogether, and remember Mom finding me almost callous when I said that, because I was supposed to be besotted by weaving. And looking back, a degree of detachment, with which I used to hold my weaving long time ago, is a good thing for me right now.

Make no mistake, I am Japanese, so I don't buy into bad technique being "design features". It's not in my DNA, as they say, but this is more like forgiving myself. I'm focusing elsewhere - more on "design" whatever I mean when I use that word.
I don't know what I was thinking in terms of color in the warp-end fabric, though, other than perhaps trying to use up what was on the pirns and bobbins. I mean, look at this. Ugh. What a waste of good warp. Maybe a bag lining?? I'll fold it and see if it looks good in smaller sections. Or something...
 
We had several humid and a couple of rainy days so I haven't washed the cashmere piece, but I am pleased with the warp-end fabric; this I wished was longer so I could make a small vest; maybe just the back or the front bodices of one?
And then there's the "generous medium-size" cowl, which is not a cone but a cylinder. I was going by pics on Pinterest and thought it would be nice if it covered from shoulder to head. It's growing and one more repeat will cover my big head, but now I don't know how big to make it - a couple of more pattern repeats??? It looks to me in bad proportion, but worse, it's morphing into a tree trunk costume Mama made for Dear Child in a school play where said Child plays Tree #7 with no lines.
Before the shaking got so bad, I was weaving this. It's working OK. The colors are fabulous if I say so myself; more like I'm finally starting to understand how to play with colors? 

Ooops, we had a few days' reprieve but the power tools are back again. But I do better in the afternoons, so washing or weaving. We also picked 24kg of Roma tomatoes on the weekend and I slow-roasted 8kg in the pasta-sauce style yesterday; I want do the rest in oven-dried style if I can remember what I did last year, which was a much hotter summer. Low temp and oven on forever, perhaps.

Two things before I go: look up an art critic named Jerry Saltz on Youtube; he talks about artists having to show up and do the work. "Build and they will come," is one of his favorite quotes, it appears. He also says artists, (=makers) have to tell ourselves we are geniuses sometimes.

And there's this I found yesterday: Diedrick Brackens' tapestries defy tapestry weave conventions, but they make such an impression on me. And they are big so I bet it's awe-inspiring to see in person.

1 comment:

  1. The tree trunk cowl is probably in Minnesota weight, which brings back such "memories" as Dutch Elm disease and the painted "T" on trees to be felled. Oh, dear.

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