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.

14 comments:

Boomer Knows said...

Well stated! Is it cheating to bake a cake using a stand mixer? Using a hand mixer? A whisk? A fork? Is it cheating to start with a cake mix & add yummy things to it? How about the oven? does that matter? splitting hairs about technique & tools doesn't change the fact that you spent time making something tasty. Some people are just too wrapped up in bickering to see the big picture. hugs!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Laura for being a weaver who is not afraid to think for yourself, learn new things and for being so willing to share what you have learned. I have learned a lot from reading your blog.
Stephanie S

Fran Lo said...

Excellent points all. Thanks for making them.

Thistle Rose Weaving said...

Laura, you are an inspiration to this weaver. Although I don't use an AVL or have have any of the "new fangled" computer driven tools, to me weaving is weaving is weaving. You are one talented weaver, rock on!

Sandra Rude said...

If I had students, that's what I'd tell them: Do enough study and research to find a way that works for you; if it works, do it that way no matter what others say.

Diane said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Not always comfortable starting out!

Countryside Reflections said...

You're a wonderful weaver and inspiration. For someone to think that weaving on a AVL isn;t hand woven is ridiculous. ~Doreen

Gretchen said...

Thank you. We all need to learn what works best for us, then enjoy.

Anonymous said...

Well said.

raresheep@gmail.com said...

I could not agree with you more. Any method is only as good as it's ability to achieve a result. This is different for all of us. There are many roads to Rome...weave on!

Peg Cherre said...

Your attitude and common sense approach is what makes you such a TERRIFIC teacher, Laura. THANKS!

Valeriespinner said...

Laura,
Wow. I can really identify with and agree with what you are saying here except for 1 thing.... I wouldn't call you stubborn. I would say that you are steadfast in your belief. The word fits you better because you aren't negative like the connotation of stubborn. Steadfast is you. You are devoted to your craft and to your students. A truly admirable quality. Keep being true to yourself. Love ya, Lady
Pam

Linda W said...

It's a shame that such things continue to divide the community. For me, it was that I wove wall hangings rather than yardage. I finally just got tired of it all and seldom participate in any online weaving activities. I admire you, Laura, that you still speak so clearly.

PS - back to front or front to back? Depends on the loom and what I'm weaving. Nice to have both skills and options.

sommar said...

Laura, I have watched your video on warping without a helper with great interest. Will you please describe the warping valet. Can 1 hook in the ceiling be used to hold 2 chains attached to each end of a fat dowel? Could the height of that bar be adjustable? Lastly, what kind of chain are you hooking around the warp threads to hang the water jug from? Did you make the warp lease?