Monday, March 16, 2009


Got to Puff on Saturday evening and got some pressing done. These towels were woven a while ago but they are now 'done' - ready to be tagged and priced and put up for sale.

But I've been doing a lot of thinking lately.

For 30 or so years I have woven pretty much every day - or at least done something weaving related - winding warps, pulling yarns for an upcoming project, teaching, writing - unless I've been out of town, or sick.

The reality is that I have more than sufficient inventory of woven textiles to last a good long time. There is really no need for me to continue to weave 3 to 5 hours a day, every day. Apart from the fact that I enjoy it, of course. :) The problem becomes - what do I do with all that inventory if it doesn't sell very quickly?

Well, some of it I give away as donations for worthy causes. Some go as gifts. Some just sits and gets dragged around from show to show until it finds the perfect customer. :}

On the other hand, I have been given a second chance at life and I've been wondering if sitting at a loom most of the day, every day, is the best use of that second chance?

So what is it I actually do?

I weave textiles and sell them. I dye yarn and sell it. I write. I teach.

All of those things require stuff - looms, shuttles, bobbin winders, reeds, *yarn*!

Dyeing - skein winder, pots/kettles, bottles for dye, jugs of vinegar, buckets to transport the wet yarn there and back (I use the guild room for my dyeing.)

Writing - lots of books, notes, paper, yarn to do proto-types, binders of samples. Copies of books not yet sold - boxes and boxes of them. Plus the sample packets produced for CD Weaver, and the Cd's themselves, the jewel cases etc.

Teaching - back to more *yarn* especially for the workshop topics I teach, more binders of samples, handouts, reference books, magazines, notes, etc.

Selling yarn - the yarn I dye, other commercially dyed yarns to go with the hand dyed yarns, labels, proto-types/samples, etc., etc.

All of the above has resulted in a studio filled to overflowing with all of this plus all the support stuff that goes along with it - shipping boxes, envelopes, sample cards, and so on and so forth. So much so that I have a separate rented storage area for what doesn't fit into my studio.

I'm beginning to feel as though I'm drowning in STUFF!

So - I ask myself - what do I want to do? What can I get rid of? Where do I make the cuts in what I am doing that will still bring in an income, because there's no way I can 'retire' - as in weave for a hobby, passtime, recreation - and not generate some sort of income from it.

This year I'm travelling a lot and teaching. I love being there (where ever 'there' is) - it's the getting there that isn't so much fun. :( But if it isn't necessary for me to be at the loom personally, then passing on my experience and knowledge is a worthy cause. So I'm thinking maybe I will look more towards teaching - now that I'm feeling more energetic and my bp seems once more to be more under control. :)

Someone once asked me how I decided where I would teach. I told them that I went where I was invited. Guess maybe I need to let more people know I'd like to be invited? :)

Currently reading: What Angels Fear by C. S. Harris


Peg in South Carolina said...

Teaching, writing books, investigating another aspect of textiles (dyeing, historical textiles). Just suggesting some possibilities to throw into the mix........

Laura said...

Hi Peg,

Yes, lots of possibilities. :) I may change my mind in a month or six - we'll see what opportunities come my way.



Katherine Regier said...

It's difficult when old ways of life aren't working anymore, but the way forward isn't quite clear yet. Scary, but exciting, too. I can't wait to see what unfolds for you!

Benita said...

Have you considered setting up an Etsy store to sell your towels, scarves and shawls? I know that I would love the chance to purchase some of your handwoven items, but since I live a couple of thousand miles away from you, there is very little opportunity for me to do so.

If you do decide to go the Etsy route (or some sort of place where we can buy your items), please let us know. I'll be placing an order immediately upon notice.

Laura said...

When I checked etsy out a few years ago it wasn't clear to me whether, as a non-American, I could even set up a store. Anyone know?