Thursday, February 18, 2010

I Yam Wot I Yam


I am not an artist.

While I have in the past woven pieces that were artistic statements, this is not my primary goal.

I am a weaver.

I make textiles that are functional. Scarves. Dish Towels. Placemats. Etc. I make them as well as I can, with as much beauty and grace as I am able.

But I am not an artist. That is not my goal.

I am a weaver.

I have no other 'real' job that comes with a 'real' paycheque that I can cash to pay the bills. There is only me and my loom and my yarns.

I am dependant upon others to pay me for my skill as a weaver, and my artistic aesthetic in terms of how I design my textiles.

Therefore, woven into and through everything I create are efficiencies. Efficiencies of scale. Efficiencies of motion. Efficiencies of tools.

At times I will even go so far as to modify a design in order to be able to execute it - yes - more efficiently.

Efficiency is not my primary goal, but it is one of my three interwoven goals. To efficiently make attractive textiles that others will purchase.

I weave for myself, but my textiles are not made for me, but by me.

Why weave as a job, a career, instead of something far more lucrative?

First and foremost, the ability to - every single day - be creative on one level or another. To set my own goals. Master (mistress?) of my own schedule.

It gives me great satisfaction to know that other people buy my textiles because they appreciate them and want them to enhance their homes/lives.

I love to commune with my yarns and looms, becoming one with them as the inches build up on the beam. I love the physical activity, the dance over the treadles, throwing and catching the shuttle.

But in the end, in order to actually make enough money to buy my equipment, pay the rent, purchase new and exciting yarns, rent booth space at craft fairs, travel to attend conferences, plus all the other expenses of running a business, I must always work as efficiently as possible.

In a craft that is as time consuming as weaving, efficiency should not be ignored or discouraged. Learning how to work ergonmically and efficiently is as much a part of the craft as learning how the equipment works and fibre characteristics in order to make appropriate choices.

Currently reading The Hearse You Came In On by Tim Cockey


barbara said...

You are one heck of a weaver, your work is beautiful and very functional. You share your tips of weaving with others, you help where you can, you are inspiration to the weaving community. It has to be very difficult to weave enough to make a living, as it is a time consuming occupation; there is the prep work, dressing of the loom, weaving the items, finishing the items, tagging the items, selling the items. You amaze me - I know, I for one, could never make my living as a weaver. You are to be admired. I love the title of your last post "I Yam Wot I Yam". Keep up the great work.
Weaverly yours ...... Barbara

Sandra Rude said...

Amen. A very worthy statement of the purpose and goals of a very worthy career.