I have a workshop coming up, and I am really looking forward to getting a chance to talk to some pretty awesome agriculture teachers. They are high school teachers who are wanting to explore Farm-to-Table and Fleece-to-Fiber topics to bring back to their classrooms in the Fall.
Which launched me into evaluating and considering what possible topics would they be interested in learning so they can take back to their students? Classrooms (unfortunately) rarely have an actual floor loom, which is how I have learned to weave. Even a rigid heddle is rare for classrooms. But what could be accessible include backstrap, card looms, frame looms, and inkle looms. And I have really been procrastinating the act of breaking out the inkle looms. What better excuse to pull them out of storage?
So while I have several projects hanging out on floor looms, I now have a brand new project coming to fruition on an inkle loom.
Time management for a weaver is more about efficiency than anything else. I am finding that I can get completely wrapped up in fiber and lose all sense of time in my studio. Several evenings have found me at my looms when it is dark outside, and I had no idea. I get so focused on trying to weave along in the hopes of finishing up so I can move on to the next thing that I just lose all of my sensibilities about when to stop with weaving. And when I start to consider production weaving, I really have to ponder whether or not that would be a good experience for a weaver who truly wants to pursue the art of weaving more than the products of weaving.
I am at a point so early in the concept of Transcend Fiber Studio that I can be intentional about the direction of the weaving. If I set up the studio to be production, that will take on a whole vision unto itself. Then it’ll be warping and weaving and tying on and weaving and hanging on to as much of my sanity as possible. I find that I get bored of projects pretty quickly. I wonder if it is because weaving is still so new to me that I want to soak up as much as possible which keeps my eyes and mind looking forward to the next project. Knowing this about myself tells me the production weaving may not be best for me.
So I have decided, now while I still have time, to devote as much time as possible to simply learning. Like those agriculture teachers. They are spending a summer morning learning for the sake of their next students. I have to also expand myself and learn more for the sake of my own students. I am considering pursuing some certificates and I have signed up for Jane Stafford’s Online Weaving Guild. I want to really ground my knowledge in a foundation that enables me to teach well. So I must be a student also. Fiber itself seems to be my best instructor, but pursuing excellence in the form of guidance and a sensible progression will propel me farther than randomly going at it.
While I may not have much to offer you now in the way of pictures, I do hope to see the completion of some beautiful Gotland wool blankets. It looks like I may finish them up over the weekend, which would really tickle me pink. Next week, I am doing some research on how to get reasonably priced wool on cones. Wish me luck!
What projects are you working on? Are you a weaver or an artist? Have you intentionally walked into a season of learning? Did you benefit from that? I would love to know what others have experienced when they are learning new techniques and methods and how they set out to push themselves further.