Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Never Too Many

part of my library.....

I'm always gob-smacked when people post on the internet chat groups that one particular book is the only weaving book anyone would ever need.

This craft that has been going on for literally thousands of years can be captured between the covers of one book? Wow.

The above photo is just a portion of my library. After I culled the books I felt I really didn't need because I'd read them and decided that direction was not in my future (books on drawloom weaving, rug weaving) and that since I wasn't utilizing them someone else might as well have the opportunity. :) Plus I needed the money. :(

I have no idea how many books I currently own. Some of them I consult regularly, some only occasionally, some almost never - but would like to go that direction - some day in the future. :)

Many of the books cover much of the same material. What makes them different - and therefore valuable to me - is the unique voice of each author. They all have different perspectives, different experiences and face it, no one person will ever (and I do mean ever) know everything there is to know about constructing a textile. Although I admit that some people come pretty darn close. :D

When I published Magic in the Water many people asked me what my next book would cover. At the time I had no interest in publishing another book. That one had just been such an enormous effort I couldn't see myself doing anything like that again.

But many moons have passed - hard to believe it's been 10 years since I started writing Magic! - I've had other experiences and through this blog have come to realize that perhaps another book by moi is called for. (Oh hush, I know that's my ego talking!)

For the longest time I resisted writing a book geared toward beginning weavers. But recent experiences have begun to raise the awareness that I, too, have a unique voice, a unique experience and that my perspective might prove to be of value to others.

Plus with the rise of e-publishing, I would not be in the same position of writing, weaving, copy-editing, assembling, shipping, advertising and bank rolling the effort. The beauty of e-publishing is that the printing of the hard copy is up to the reader - they can either read it on their computer (or Kindle, etc), thereby saving all sorts of paper and ink - or they can print out which pages they want to hold in their hands or bring to their looms.

I even had a vision of a publication that could be added to by the reader, including their notes and project samples that would make their copy of particular value to them.

Yesterday I asked on Ravelry for suggestions for book topics that people would like to see - what sort of information that they are looking for. I was sort of surprised by how many people asked for information that was already available in other publications. But many of those books are old and out of print. They are not now being promoted by present day publishers. They cannot easily be found via the internet. And some of them aren't really very eye-appealing. For example Mary Black's book was first published in the late 1940's - and looks very much like a book of that time period.

And so I'm mulling over how the new technology can be made to work for today's weaver. And looking for suggestions from others.

I'm leaving on Thursday but will have email access. Email me with suggestions. I'll be meeting with Syne Mitchell at the end of the month to discuss some options. My email addy is laura at laurafry dot com

Currently reading Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris - I managed to find the last two in the series that I haven't yet read, bringing me up to date on her Sookie Stackhouse series

ps - there are just 49 copies of Magic in the Water, plus around 50 or so abridged copies left. One of the options is to do an e-book on wet finishing....what say you?


Janice Zindel said...

We think a lot alike on the subject of weaving books. You can never have too many weaving books, different authors have different viewpoints and methods. My husband used to joke that he measured my books by the yard, and I'm afraid the number would be much higher now. I haven't been able to bring myself to sell or give any away yet, thinking I still have a few good weaving years left in me yet.

Enjoy your weaving list posts and your blog, and will look forward to a new weaving book.

Laura said...

Well, we'll see how the talks go and my schedule. I'm facing another 6-10 weeks of recuperation next year - time to write a book?


Laritza said...

This is great to hear. It would be interesting to make people understand that reading is still required....I have encountered many that want to get all the information for free online. If we want good solid information to pass on, people have to realize that they have to pay for it. Maybe less now than a few years back and with less hardship. Word of mouth is not going to cut it for long. Count on my support. The bulk of my belonging are books.

Sharon Schulze said...

I love books. You don't have to turn them off when the plane is taking off, you don't have to have electricity, and they are portable in such a way that a little bit of weaving can always be with me, even when I can't be near my loom.

Ulrike said...

I agree, one can never have too many books. Even books on the same subject. I have about 20 different books on spining (which still is my main provenance), 30 books on natural dyeing, even some hard to get oop copies and several books on weaving and I still would buy a book on weaving by you. As you said, every person, every author has his/her own voice and I'd like to listen to yours. Magic is too deep for me, I guess, but some in-depth book on beginning weaving, all those little hints and tricks you learned over the years would be really great.

I bought a 4 shaft a few weeks ago and still don't have the heart to start warping it. So much for me as a beginner weaver. When in doubt, I revert back to my rigid heddle. But I can see 4-shaft weaving in my future ;o)

be well

Laurel Corona said...

Hi Laura--if you are interested in another kind of book, I am a historical novelist, and my latest book, PENELOPE'S DAUGHTER (Penguin/Gallery Oct 2010) is based on the Odyssey. In it, the fictional daughter of Odysseus and Penelope is barricaded upstairs because of the mess the suitors have made of life on Ithaca, and spends her time weaving the story of her life. The advance reviews have been really good. I worked with a master weaver to get the details right, because I don't weave myself. Check out my website at www.laurelcorona.com, and if you decide you're interested, I'll send you a copy in exchange for a comment (honest ones only!) on your blog when you finish it. Thanks! Enjoyed checking out your blog!

Laura said...

Sounds great. :) Love to read your take on The Odyssey. My mailing address is on the contact page of my website laurafry.com

still in Seattle area for a few days yet

Laurel Corona said...

Laura--thanks so much! I will pass your contact info on to the publicist, who will send you a copy!

Trish said...

I love books. I learn well by reading. I want to learn about weaving. A lot of crafts (and the underlying ideology, which affects more than crafts) that became popular in the 60s-80s have faded again. So a whole new generation of folks need to learn and have few, if any, role models. I'd love a book on the basics. I was given a book by Osma Galliger Tod (perhaps?) about weaving, and I have studied and studied it. I know it is old and many aspects, I suspect, are outdated - like the discussion of yarns. I would love to find - do you have a recommendation - or have you write a book for beginners that covers a wide range of what you need to know to become skilled to a mechanical level with the basics of weaving. Don't worry about all the details, just get a dip'n'dunk about all the main things, so it is the first book to pick up as a reference during that first two-four years of weaving. JMHO!!

I was in training and education for over 25 years, and wrote a ton of user manuals, etc. I love good ones (and I've written several) and bad ones make me want to barf (and I confess to writing one that bad!).