Monday, October 6, 2008

Mind Set

Tea Towels on the Fanny.

The weave structure here is sometimes called Herringbone Twill, or Dornick Twill. You can see the changes in direction in both the warp and the weft. One of the advantages of this weave structure is that no float is more than two threads. The other advantage is that you can change direction of the twill line without having the outside threads "fall out" of the cloth. This means that I don't have to use a floating selvedge to keep my selvedges nice.

So, what is the difference between weaving purely for one's own enjoyment and satisfaction, and weaving to earn an income? Essentially, it's in one's mind set.

Yes, I weave for enjoyment. Let's face it, most people choose a career that they will enjoy doing every day. :)

But the fact that I enjoy what I do is a wonderful bonus because I can never lose sight of the fact that I must also satisfy others to the extent that they will be willing to hand over cash to acquire what I've made.

And so I must be aware of the marketplace - what colours/textures/designs are available from industry and then choose to go with the flow, or produce something else - another choice for the customer. Let's face it, not everyone wants lime green or baby blue, in spite of what the stores may be carrying!

But I must do this with knowledge, and be able to find satisfaction from the choices I make.

I must also be aware of how much it costs to produce what I make, and how much labour is invested. If I can't sell what I make for a "reasonable" price, then I must decrease how much I am paying for materials, or get really efficient at the process so that it doesn't take me as long to make it. Or stop making that item and make something else that I can make more efficiently, and/or for less cost.

But the thing that I cannot do is make something that I am not "proud" to attach my name to - the textiles I make have to say something about me as a designer and a craftsperson. In the end, it's a balance between one's ego and reality. I can't afford to let negative comments overheard in my booth crush my ego. I have to don my Teflon suit and let comments slide off. Fortunately negative comments are fewer now that I've learned how to choose which shows to exhibit my work at, and developed a reputation for quality work. But every once in a while, someone says something to remind me that I can't please everyone, not even some of the time!

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