Thursday, April 2, 2009


I've started weaving the first part of Poplar. It feels odd to be weaving again - there's no excitement as yet which is unusual for me. I don't think there's a tapestry weaver alive who doesn't sometimes shake their head and question the validity of a process which frankly seems so tortuous sometimes. Or if they don't they should. When I was at art school in Edinburgh once you had decided on a design to weave you had to really sell it to the course tutors. Convince them that it was worth weaving, that you could sustain interest in the design for the months it would take to weave, that it was worth the investment in materials, that it would gain something from being woven.

In her piece in Art Textiles of the World : Great Britain, Sara Brennan says 'To be a tapestry weaver it helps if you're a tactile person. But there's a risk with tapestry, that people get carried away with the making. It becomes a way of life and then everyone's too cautious to criticise. Constructive criticism is very absent.'

I don't want to make tapestries just because that is 'what I do'.


K Spoering said...

This is going to be a wonderful piece. I know what you are saying about motivation to weave. I confess that I often have to create my own motivation, and sometimes I don't realize the 'why' of a piece until it is woven, off the loom, and sometimes even until I have to verbally explain it to someone when it is on exhibit. But more and more, I do feel the urge to weave just because I am somehow inherently a weaver. The purpose of a piece matters less and less to me, upon it's beginning. I just trust that there will be one when it is completed.

Olga said...

I know what you mean about the joy of the tactile. I just love the feel of making my pieces, and the time it takes gives me space to think through and around the decisions I make and made about the design. However, the making is always secondary, otherwise I would simply be knitting jumpers for my husband or making cushions or bed quilts or whatever. What is paramount is that the design, image, piece of work is an expression of thought and feeling which conveys something to me that is an ongoing truth in some way - no matter how small a way. And that every time I look at the piece I will get something from it - even if that is pleasure alone.

Jennifer said...

Yes I understand there should be something more - a reason for the time. But I also concur with Kathy that three is a trust in the process that results in the end. The purpose may simply maintain one when no one else is there.

meabh said...

Thank you all three for your comments... Kathy - you are very kind and I hope that Poplar will be a good piece. I know what you mean by trusting in the purpose - do you know what I mean by not wanting to be a weaver by default?
Hello Olga, you're right about our small ongoing truths. Sometimes they seem so small as not to matter at all but they do...
Jennifer - I think I've been putting my trust in the process for a long time now - over 20 years - I just falter occasionally!
Thanks again.