Rarely have I had the well run dry of ideas for more textiles. It was one of the things that drew me to weaving - I almost immediately saw the potential for unlimited creativity. So much so that I became overwhelmed and my biggest challenge then became to choose what to do.
I did that by setting myself creative limitations or boundaries.
First was function. What textile *thing* did I want to make? What function did it need to have? What choices did I need to make to create a textile with the characteristics that it would require?
Only after all those limits were decided upon did I begin to think about colour and design.
Once I had the parameters set out, I didn't need to think about the technical issues any more and I could just play with colour and design. That was were the fun part was. The scary part, truth be told, because I never was an intuitive colour user. I had to work to get good colour combinations. And sometimes I failed.
But I never let my 'failure' be the end. It was just one more step in the process.
At times I would say that I was either too stupid or too smart to quit, never really knowing the answer to that.
People would assume that I was making a living at weaving when all I ever did was make an income. By no metric in our society could the income I brought in be described as a 'living'. But I stubbornly refused to stop. To give up.
Because what I got was satisfaction from doing something that yes, challenged me, but that I also loved doing, on many different levels. And just enough income to keep on, keeping on.
In terms of 'retirement', I could never just stop weaving - and I won't, until it becomes physically impossible for me to continue. Even so, there are other ways to play with string, not just weaving on a big loom - knitting being one. My mother carried on knitting until well into her 80s even though it had become painful. She realized that when she stopped knitting, her hands seized up and she could do even less. So she continued knitting for the hospital auxiliary gift shop, although her output was reduced considerably.
Right now I am working through some physical issues, trying to regain some function in this body. My new massage therapist commented that it was time that I stopped pushing through, time I accepted when I was in pain, and let my body rest so it could recover.
I am already seeing progress in reduced pain levels, and am trying really hard to remember to do the exercises because they seem to be helping, as subtle as they seem. Apparently that is what this body needs right now - subtle, not dramatic.
My goal each day is to spend about two hours in the studio. Some days I manage a little more because prep work takes time, but not much physical effort. Some days it is less.
Since the end of last year I have burned through I don't know how many pounds of 2/16 cotton weaving tea towels. I'm down to the dribs and drabs of tag ends of tubes in most cases and coming up with colour combinations that appeal to me is getting harder and harder. That particular 'well' is running 'dry'. Stash busting - it's a thing!
Today I hit the halfway mark of the current warp and have four more warps waiting in the queue, with a fifth percolating on the back burner. I think I might have enough for one more mostly beige warp. Yes, I have lots of beige based towels, but I still have yarn, so...
But the well is running dry in terms of ways to use up more of this yarn. Once I have the four warps in the queue woven, I can recombine those colours and perhaps come up with a few more warps.
I am focused and determined. And I will keep weaving for as long as I can.
In the next week or so I will be posting photos of the latest towels. More twill blocks based on a four shaft overshot, originally designed by Janet Dawson, edited by Tien Chiu, then converted to twill blocks and edited to meet my requirements.
No (wo)man is an island - we spark each other, and spur each other on.