Friday, July 19, 2013
You Say Toh-mah-to
It seems as though there are days when controversy rears its head. Most days I can hit 'delete' or 'next' and not pay too much mind. But other days?
My first introduction to weaving heresy was when I ordered my AVL Production Loom. The hue and cry that went up! Then when I added the Compu-Dobby - a computer assist was once again 'cheating'. And again when I added the air assist.
But the weaving community has other factions, too, one of the main ones being whether you dress the loom back to front or front to back. Another is which resources that get recommended.
I used to think I knew the correct answer to the latter two. (I already knew the correct answer - for me - for the first three.) I gradually came to realize that the correct answer to which process and resources were used was as much up to the individual as my choice to go with a much more mechanized loom.
The only correct answer was the one that was correct for me.
But the controversy rages, especially on the chat groups. I don't know if it is just that much easier to be abrupt in a written media. After all, you don't hear tone of voice or get to see body language. It is easier to take offense...and give it...when all there is to go on is the text.
But I'm tired of it. It's devisive in a craft that is already struggling to stay alive and attract new practitioners. How welcome does someone who has a rigid heddle loom feel when the 'old guard' denigrates their loom? About as welcome as I felt when I was told I could no longer call my textiles hand woven if I wove them on an AVL. But I am perhaps more stubborn than most and I stuck it out. I carried on with my plans, doing what I knew was right for me, even though the criticism stung. I didn't let other people's opinions stand in the way of my goals and heart's desire.
So I tell my students - If you are happy with your results, you don't need to change a thing. But if you aren't happy? Learn other methods. Learn about other tools. Learn how to make it work for you. Learn as much as you can from as many people as you can. Choose your expert. Learn enough to become your own expert.
And yes, I prefer back to front. Didn't stop me from recommending front to back to a student when it was the appropriate thing to do.