Tuesday, December 30, 2014

More Than One Way

There is more than one way to skin a cat (sorry cat lovers).

It seems everyone thinks their way is the absolutely best way to do what they do.  But we are not all equal.  Nor do we all want to make the same things.  Our looms are different, the yarns we are using are different.  So while I believe that my method is the best method for me, I know that it may not be the best method for anyone else.

Over the years I have fine tuned my processes in order to streamline the amount of effort required in what is a very labour intensive craft.  Once I figured out the best equipment to purchase for my needs, worked out how to do the processes with the least amount of surplus effort, set up my studio so that things are at hand, got looms that best make the type of cloth I want to weave, the rest was practice, practice, practice.

Over and over again I see new weavers assuming that they will get stellar results the very first time they make it to the loom.  Unfortunately weaving requires certain basic skills and they don't come without effort.

True there are some people who are better more quickly than others.  What I said about us not being equal?  Manual dexterity and eye/hand co-ordination are abilities that some people have in abundance, and others?  Not so much.  So yes, while some people do get really good results very quickly, it is not a given.

In addition to the actual physical skills required, obtaining appropriate equipment (warping pegs, warping board, mill, drum, wheel, sectional?), weavers must also learn about the materials they are using.  Being able to make good choices is sometimes intuitive, other times poor choices are made and results are not as desired.  Then there is the way colour blends in a woven structure, how texture affects the cloth, the appropriate density for the function the cloth is to serve.

There are many many facets or layers involved in learning how to create textiles.  It is what keeps me coming back to the loom, because there is always something more to learn.  I find that extremely satisfying.


MegWeaves said...

Me, personally, I love how we do the same things differently, and exchange notes. And it never hurts to exchange notes so we can fine-tune our "best" methods. Or stick to our guns. :-)

Laura Fry said...

I love finding new, better ways to do stuff. You show me something I think is better I *will* steal it! :)


Sandra Rude said...

I love the "more than one way" theory. It leaves room for each of us to improve our own methods so they meet our needs.

Happy New Year to you and Doug! And a healthy one, to boot!