After the Party
The last wizard just departed and some of us are very tired (see above). I have started pre-sleying the reed for the Guild blanket and hope to do some threading tonight. While winding the remainder of the warp I couldn’t stop mulling the question posted on both Weavetech and Weavolution :
Do most of us weave what we do because we want to explore techniques, or because we want to “say something” with our work?
I posted after thinking about it for quite a while, but as soon as I posted I began to disagree with myself (way too much time alone with the loom). I wrote,
Food for thought! It is hard to believe that I could be saying something with a scarf other then something about my aesthetic, technical skill, color preferences, etc. However, I think “something” is being said by anyone who chooses to be a hand weaver in the modern world. That something has to do with an appreciation of process and materials and a connection or desire for a connection to something fundamental to daily life. In the same way that baking bread or planting a garden might be someone’s expression of that same desire. But perhaps the question you are getting at is whether one is a weaver whose objective is perfecting a technique/producing a useful piece of cloth or whether one is a weaver who thinks of weaving as a medium as a painter would think of paint and canvas. In other words, mastering the materials as the objective vs. mastering the materials as a means to a further expression.
Now I disagree – I think a weaver can “say something” in a scarf – but the weaver is probably talking to herself. I was thinking specifically about the blankets that I weave. A buyer might look at one and see an item of home decor, either appealing or not. When I am weaving a blanket I am thinking about warmth, texture, protection, coziness, etc. in addition to all the technical details I am considering as I weave. When a blanket has gone off into the world I have a feeling of satisfaction that someone, somewhere is being kept warm by something I have created. That is me saying something (probably to myself) through my weaving.