One of the challenges of being a teacher is the desire to take *your* successful approaches and try to convince everyone else to do what *you* do.
It took me a while to come to understand that just because *I* do something, that doesn't mean everyone *else* should do the same thing.
Everyone comes with the same parts (pretty much), but they may be different sizes, or arranged slightly differently, have different 'problems' or injuries they are dealing with.
When I finally came to grips with this realization, I began to focus on the principles, encouraging others to learn those, and then how to apply them to their own circumstances.
Short? Tall? Long legs? Short arms? Physical injury that never quite 'healed'?
Then there are the other limitations. Space. Budget. Personal preferences.
So I tell people what I do. I tell them how I do it. I tell people *why* I do it.
And then...I had to learn to step away and let people do what they needed to do. For themselves.
Wednesday I do the next lecture for SOS on weaving drafts. One of the things I will address is reading the textile in order to understand how it has been designed. Because when you understand the draft completely, you should be able to interpret a textile and how it was made. Understanding a wide range of different interlacements (weave structures) will allow you to grasp how it was made, even very complex ones with lots of shafts. Or no shafts.
While I may never weave those structures, I can look at them and know the path the designer took to achieve their results, be they woven on a Jacquard, draw or other shaft loom. But also? I have a rudimentary understanding of how textiles are woven on an inkle loom, with cards, or other techniques.
What matters to me is this - has the weaver achieved their goals when they set out to make this textile? Do I even understand their goals? Or might they have a different goal from what I would set out to use when I design my textiles?
Attending art exhibits that focus on textiles is a great way to break open my thinking about what I'm doing, and what others are attempting. What they are doing may not be of interest to me, in terms of ME doing it that way, but there is always room for thought.
And sometimes that is the most valuable lesson to be learned - understanding that there are many many different roads to take and just because someone is not using my preferred path doesn't mean they are on the wrong road.
But knowing how many different textiles are made allows me to look beyond my own preferences, see what someone else has accomplished, and given me something to think about. Even if I decide that it isn't appropriate for me, I can appreciate what they have done.
Feedback from people who have taken my classes and adapted what they are doing in order to be 'better' weavers than they were are lovely. But ultimately, I just want people to enjoy weaving. And if they practice weaving in a way that reduces injury, I'm even happier.