Friday, July 31, 2015

Don't Despair

So many new weavers get discouraged by how long it takes to dress the loom.  I just want to give them a hug and assure them that it will get better.  Honest.

Weaving is a skilled activity.  By that I mean that the practitioner must learn how to operate the equipment, understand their materials and hone their physical skills.  It also helps if they have equipment that suits their purposes and the space to set the tools out so that they can be efficiently used.

Most people don't have the luxury of a dedicated studio space, nor do they have the time it takes to practice this ancient craft on a regular basis.  And it truly is a case of "if you don't use it, you lose it".

I did a time study tonight, just to see how I was doing given my recent health issues.  It was a way to determine how well along in recovery I am.  I have to say, I'm doing quite well in terms of studio work.  My times were pretty much standard for me.

But I came to the craft with some advantages - a childhood filled with activities that assisted in terms of learning how to weave - lots of textile crafts, lots of music/dance/athletics (which gave me good experience in biofeedback and coaching), manual dexterity and a sense of appropriateness for the textiles I was constructing - how they succeeded in their job - or, perhaps more importantly - how they failed.  And an analytic mind to help me figure out how to get closer to success.

I am now in my 40th year of weaving - or will be come September.  It has been pretty much my focus for most of those years.  While many people would like to spend all day, every day, doing what they love, the reality of life means that most people can't devote their lives to weaving in the way that I have.

All of the experience I have had in those years, including all of those failures (which have been legion) have contributed to the weaver I am today.

However, it isn't necessary to devote all that time - and yes, money (for books, classes, equipment) - it is only necessary that the practitioner enjoys what they are doing.  Not everyone wants to be as efficient as I am, nor do they need to be.  It is not a contest.  Each of us has to do what makes us happy, in the way that it makes us happy.


Currently reading An Apple for the Monster (ed by Charlaine Harris)


Anonymous said...

40 years of weaving! I envy that so! I've come to it fairly late, after so many other crafts, and there's so much to learn!

Terry said...

Thank you!!! I am only two years into this weaving thing and I love it! I am 63 years old and live in a motor home as we travel, (my husband is a very supportive writer!) for our business and I wish I had been able to do this many years ago. I have always loved fiber and have a spinning wheel, too, but the weaving is what I NEED! I have done many shawls, towels, and other simple things, but no matter what I am working on, I LOVE it! I am not very efficient but my work is well done and I am very proud of it. I have an 8 shaft Baby Wolf so I can do a lot, but have to fold things up often so it can be frustrating, too. Your comments in this blog give me particular value and peace. Thank you again. I read your every post and appreciate all you have to offer. I also have very much to learn!