Monday, October 26, 2009

Past, Present, and Future

During the past two weekends, in between visits from Open Studios attendees, I had a lot of time to think about my past weaving career and what I hope to accomplish in the future.

I realized that the reason I've been having a hard time getting energized to design a series of new drafts for scarves is that I've burned out on churning out scarves on a production basis. Although I'm pleased with the designs I've created, and the cloth that embodies those designs, I feel as if I'm just about done with them, and it's definitely time to move on to something new.

One thing I've noticed is that the fun of designing and weaving has declined - it feels like work, not play.

I'm hoping that the jacquard loom will help me regain the sense of fun and the ability to play.

Learning how to take advantage of the capabilities of the jacquard loom as fully as I have the capabilities of the 24-shaft loom will definitely be a challenge. A big challenge. But after all, it's mental challenges that keep life interesting, and fun, and even playful.

For example, I look forward to learning how to take an image like this rose (photo by my mother) and do interesting things with it:

I could interpret it as 7 shades of grey, to weave in 8-end shaded satins. Looks a little boring. But what would happen if I wove it in black and white, and then painted the weaving with thickened dye? My mother used to hand-paint black and white prints - after all, back when she was a girl, the only film choice for consumers was black and white. Yet there are a lot of "colorized" prints in my photo album.

Or, I could interpret it in 5 colors (black warp, 4 weft colors) and weave it in weft-backed satin.

Or, another choice is to index the image to more colors, and weave it in some other weave structure, one I don't even know about yet.

So many choices! So many possibilities! So much to learn! Now, this is really getting exciting!

Here's to the future of weaving! Long may it wave!


Connie Rose said...

Sounds like you're on to something, Sandra. You do read Alice Schlein's blog, don't you? She does wild things with her jacquard loom. In my brief weaving career, I, too, burned out on scarves. I knew I'd never be able to do as much creative stuff as I'd hoped to as a weaver (read: knew I would never be able to afford a jacquard loom -- or any other loom than the 8 shaft I have), which is largely why I gave it up for surface design and art quilting.

I look forward to seeing what the future holds for you!

Laura Fry said...

I understand your feeling of being on a learning plateau as I've been sitting on one for the past few months. The long drive home from Seattle - after the input of all those lovely textiles - has given me some new ideas. Sounds like you are already germinating new ideas, too. :) (Sorry about the pun - blame the rose!) :D


Benita said...

Wow, you went from depressed to excited in just a few paragraphs! Getting the chance to expand on what you already know and take it in a different direction ought to reawaken those creative dreams. Good luck and have fun!!!!

neki desu said...

just one phrase -the learning. it's the learning that is fun, that keeps one excited and motivated.
interesting how your mother weaves in and out of this stage