2018 - Fall President's Message
I've been weaving a very long time - over 45 years. Weaving is a life long passion for me, and I've explored many pathways: functional items for the home, clothing and fashion, 2D art concept works as well as 3D art concept sculptures. I've woven cloth of various weights and, when introduced to weaving with wire as a warp back in the 90s, have woven hundreds of yards of woven metal fabric. So what is left for me to learn?
Everything! One of the touchstones of my passion is the knowledge that I will never get to the end of "it" in this lifetime. I can pursue different pathways, or "rediscover" old paths in a new way. Sometimes our long time habits can get in our way. I find that these last few months, I want to approach weaving with a beginner's mind. What's a better way to warp, thread the heddles, and tie on to the front beam to begin my fabric? Since opening my mind to new ideas, tools and techniques, I find I am an old dog learning some new tricks!
This is one reason I have undertaken studying Madelyn van der Hoogt's "The Complete Book of Drafting for Handweavers". Chapter by chapter, she builds on understanding basic structures, beginning with what she calls The Royal Family of weaves: The King - plain weave, The Queen - twill, and The Princess - satin. I made a cursory study of drafting decades ago, but find that I want to go deeper; I want to have a better working knowledge of the structures so I can begin creating some new designs of my own.
No matter where you are on your weaving path, there is always something new to be learned. With our state weaving organization's conference coming up next spring, the Contemporary Handweavers of Texas's 2019 Conference “Treasuring Our past, Discovering Our Future”, there is no time like the present to gear up for some great learning experiences. If you haven't attended a CHT conference before, seriously consider attending the 2019 event!
So give that prefrontal cortex some exercise! Learning NEW things is a healthful activity for your brain. Find an area of your weaving practice you want to delve more deeply into, and enter with beginner's mind. Explore some new ways to expand your weaving, spinning and dyeing practice and have fun at the same time!
Happy Fiber Trails