Friday, November 18, 2011

Is Weaving Hard?

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I never tell my students that weaving is hard.  Rather I tell them that the creation of cloth is a complex process and if they take the time to learn the steps in that process and the language of the technology, they too can learn how to weave.

Weaving is a physical activity as well as a mental one.  There are also many levels of committment to the craft.  Once one learns the steps in dressing the loom they can spend the rest of their weaving life following 'recipes' and never learn how to choose yarns, colours and patterns on their own.  There are plenty of projects available in magazines and on the internet to choose from.

Or they can take the time to learn how colour works in weaving and choose effective colour combinations.  They can learn the characteristics of the various yarns available in order to create their own unique fabrics.  They can learn how weave structures work in order to create designs specifically for their purpose.

All of these aspects of weaving can be learned - but not overnight.  Weaving is not a craft that can be mastered without effort, without the time and energy required to absorb all the knowledge that goes into the manufacture of materials from the fibre/yarn up, including appropriate methods of wet finishing.

Learning the physical skills of weaving takes time and effort as well.  People often comment to me that I make weaving look easy.  They sometimes email me after watching my You Tube Channel and say that after watching what I do they have found they have been able to improve their own weaving skills.  When students come to study with me, they generally improve their efficiency in terms of shuttle throwing - and their selvedges - the first day or two.  I also show them how I dress the loom.  Some of them find my methods help, but not always.  It all depends on each person's manual dexterity, their physical abilities, their equipment at home and so on. 

There is no secret to what I do.  It has taken a lifetime of concentrated study to get to the level of mastery that I have achieved.  To quote Jamie and Adam of Mythbusters, I'm what you might call an 'expert'.  The difference is that I encourage people to try what I do at home.


Judith said...

Laura, I have learned so much just
from reading and viewing your work.
You are an expert but that is only part of it. Not everyone has the
ability to teach someone else even
if they have great expertise. I
speak from my years of experience
in a therapudic art studio which involved teaching weaving. I have also suffered through some unsatisfying workshops! Teaching is a special skill and not everyone that teaches has that skill. You definitely do it well!!

Silvinha said...

Hi Laura, everything is possible when we have love and hope, our mind make a great power, prayer,take a medicine ,and belive in God.
Bless you

Wishes for a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving day
Send love and hugs and wish for your family on this special occasion.