Thursday, July 14, 2016

Risky Business

Colours not quite true to life - this warp is a kind of coral - not quite pink, not quite red, not quite...

Woven with the same solid in the weft,.

Again, not true to life - woven with a kind of tomato red as weft.

There are a number of aspects about being a person who creates things for sale.  One of them is sometimes using colours that don't...speak to you.  As with this warp.  I'm not a big fan of coral - it's not 'my' colour.  But I have this yarn and it needs to get used up, so I'm weaving with it.

Because it's not 'my' colour, I can't tell if I've succeeded in making something attractive. (Remember the colours are not 'true' in the photos.)

But I carry on in spite of that, feeling insecure in my ability to work with these colours in a meaningful way.  Because being a textile designer from the thread up is a risky business.  I risk my time, my materials, my...reputation...every time I push past my comfort zone and try something I'm not sure is going to succeed.

I don't rely on others to tell me what to do - which colours to use, which weave structures, what density.  I choose those things for myself.  And for me, it is that - shall we call it - acceptance of responsibility - that makes someone a 'master' or not.

I think for myself.  I may, at times, check in with someone else if I feel they are more informed than I am about something, but ultimately it is my judgement that needs to be used.  So I have to know as much as possible about my materials (and equipment and processes).

My successes and failures are mine alone.  I do not blame someone else because I was following their instructions.  I study the materials (by sampling), I make my best guess, I try it.

And I do fail.  Sometimes spectacularly.  But when I succeed - I've learned something then, too.

And that is mastery.  It is not relying on others to tell you what to do.  It is thinking for yourself.  It is pushing beyond your comfort zone, your level of knowledge - in order to learn more.

So yes, it is risky.  But every day I learn something I didn't know before.  Like the fact that coral and tomato red kind of looks ok - even to my eye, that doesn't really 'like' those colours individually, never mind together...


Lynn said...

Hi Laura, I agree that colorways are so subjective, and depending on the season, age group and even region, they can vary dramatically. Sometimes, I'll check the Pantone color of the year and am often surprised at what I find there. By the way, I use an Olympus digital camera, and have found their (free, I think) photo software very helpful in controlling the colors, brightness, size and more, in my pictures. Once a photo is in my 'pictures' folder, it doesn't seem to matter whether it came from my camera or somewhere else. Hope that helps! -Lynn

Joanne C said...

Hi, I love the texture that I see in the photo. I can understand what you mean by taking a risk in choosing a pattern, a colour, a texture in weaving. You are an expert. I am a beginner even if I took a weaving course in 1978. I just inherited my mothers loom and with the help of a friend I set up my loom to do some rugs. I love it. I am at a experimental stage about colours (I used whatever was left from my mothers). Can I ask you what kind of thread you used and what size of "ro" or "peu". I don't know how to say in english. How many threads in an inch ?
Thank you. You are an inspiration for me.

Stephanie S said...

Color is even perceived differently by different people and the same person will perceive color differently at different ages!There aren't many colors I don't like, but there are colors I have a more difficult time with. I think a lot of it has to do with how they flatter the individual. Most people like colors they look good in and to some extend what's in trend I think.
Here in Oregon, Coral seems to be a popular color right now.

But you brought up an issue I struggle with. We work in isolation and it is difficult to know if something looks good. While I don't weave "to please people", I want potential customers to fall in love with what I make. We look at our work for a long time - dressing the loom, weaving and finishing it. By the time I'm done - I am sick of it and can't imagine anyone wanting it. Critique groups can be helpful, but they are hard to come by. Who isn't insecure about their creative work? Most women I know are, men seem to have other issues.

Laura Fry said...

Joanne, this is Bambu 7 and a textured rayon yarn at 16 ends per inch, 2 per dent in an 8 dent reed. I'm trying to beat to 16 picks per inch.

Stephanie, I agree - it is hard to be objective at times, especially since colours do change - natural to artificial light, time of day, time of year, etc.

But we have to keep trying. And since everyone perceives colour differently, what I think is ho-hum may be the cat's meow to someone else. :)

Lynn, I was too lazy to go get my 'good' camera and just did quick snaps on my ipad - not the best camera, I agree.

Anonymous said...

das ist doch genau der richtige weg..ausprobieren..riskieren..alles andere ist langweilig... und eigenen stil machen..herzliche grüße wiebke
thats just the right way, testing, risk, thats not boring, and so you find your own style..