Sunday, May 6, 2018

One Down...

I use the living room floor as a staging area for my trips.  While this is an old photo, my floor will soon look just like this again - or very similar.  Some changes have been made.

For one thing, the attache case that has traveled with me for literally thousands of miles over the years is just about ready to give up the ghost.  So I have invested in a somewhat smaller backpack that I am hoping will see me through to the end of my travelling days.  This last trip was the first time I used it and I need to sort out some things about what I pack in it, but I think it may just do the trick.

I will probably still use the attache case when I'm driving somewhere.  It's an old, familiar friend after all, and still has some life it in.  :)

The next three classes are pretty much back to back to back.  I will have to prep the last trip - the drive to Olds College, prior to leaving for Cape Breton.  Or at least, as much as I can.

Since level one unexpectedly filled to the point where the college agreed to run it, I now have to scoop the class materials I'd brought in for Olds for Cape Breton, and order more yarn in to cover the full (12 students) class in Olds.  I will pull that order together later today and get it to Brassard tonight so they can get it into the mail to me. 

The skeins have to be wound onto cones for the Olds students to wind their 2nd warp - plus I have to wind the first warps for Cape Breton and Olds.  Not something I can leave to the last minute.

I had many hours in airports yesterday - way more hours in airports than airplanes, in fact - so I had some time to think.  It was something I have known subliminally for a while - that being an itinerant weaving teacher takes just as much forethought, problem solving, organization of details and dealing with administrivia as does weaving itself.  I realized that learning how to plan, schedule and meet deadlines is as much a part of mastering weaving as the weaving itself, if you are going to teach weaving as well as weave.

In school one of my teachers looked at the way I organized my time and work and found my approach sadly lacking.  I think of her sometimes, and her comment on one of my report cards that if only I would be more organized I would have gotten a better mark.  And I wonder if she would look at how I organize my studio - and life - and be appalled at how I do what I do.  OTOH, I feel that I have succeeded in most (not all!) of my life.  I've just done it in a way that she might not recognize as any kind of organization. 

But we each process information differently, and perhaps her comment was more a reflection of the differences in how we process information?

I have also had at least one student remark on an evaluation form that it was upsetting to her that I didn't go through the class manual in a linear fashion, but jumped all over the place.  She found this confusing.  But that is partly how weaving works - on the surface it seems as though the craft should be rigidly linear.  But it isn't.  Or at least, not in my mind!

The main part of linear thinking in weaving is in the process of dressing the loom.  But the designing of the cloth, well, that is far from linear.  It is a constant sliding up and down the scale of opposites...drape->firmness, porosity->density, smooth->coarse...and so on and so forth.

So my mind tends to hop from here to there and back again, constantly comparing, contrasting, tweaking.

But today I am tired.  It's a good tired because I saw such progress in all of the students.  But because I'm tired, I won't do much in the studio other than some organization - the afore mentioned yarn order.  And an inventory of the class materials to see if I need to replenish anything else (like the Harrisville threading/sleying hooks).  I have 2.5 weeks until I leave, other studio commitments separate from teaching, plus getting ready to charge forward with the three classes still to be done.

Not to mention The Book, guild responsibilities, conference planning etc.  I sometimes wonder that if my approach to planning was rigidly linear, would I be able to wear so many hats?  Keep track of so many different projects?  Who knows...

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