After a month of struggle, a huge debt to CalmComputing and many muttered curses at Apple for dropping iWeb . . . ta da! . . . my new website and with a working “comment” option no less. I am very happy that all the content from my years of blogging has been preserved. I have now given myself the task of creating future content worthy of my fancy, new site.
First topic: Martha Stewart. We get a subscription to Living because of donations to the Special Olympics. As a young wife and mother, I was a self-loathing reader who looked at the color-coordinated table settings, weedless gardens, perfect meals served in idyllic settings with only the loveliest, most well-behaved pets, children, relatives and friends present – aspired and despaired. It wasn’t until years later when I heard from a friend that some particularly lovely Christmas cookies that appeared in the magazine had been the result of a week’s work by a Yale Art School graduate that I looked at my charmingly(?) crooked, Seuss-ian cookie project which I had done with my certainly lovely, perhaps not most well-behaved, perhaps not color-coordinated kids and sighed happily.
Okay, enough of the well-covered Martha Stewart-as-Satan – I want to talk about an article in the current issue by Lisa Borgnes-Giramonti. You can get a pdf of it here:
It is called, “This is Your Brain on Crafts”, and it is a very quick, light discussion of some neurological effects of doing crafts. The conclusion (hardly a big surprise to many weavers) is that weaving/crafting is therapeutic and makes you happy. The scientists say so! I usually hate the word “crafting” because it conflates everything from glitter pen on construction paper to tapestry and furniture making, but in this case it is useful because whether it is glitter pen on construction paper or tapestry weaving, the effect is possibly the same.
I have always wondered what makes an artist an artist. Common theory is that artists are people who are outside the norm, emotionally tumultuous, “brain-weird.” This causes them pain, but is also the source of their creativity. After reading this article, I wondered if instead of art being an out-pouring of a troubled or unique mind/soul perhaps is a necessary, blessed balm for that troubled mind/soul. Making art has the capacity to soothe anybody; it’s just that some of us need more soothing than others.
Second Topic: You must check out “Backstrap Weaving”.
Laverne Waddington’s blog and presence in the weaving world has been a gift from the start, but I just finished a 3-day backstrap/pebbleweave class with her, hosted by Barbara Hurley, and I have to say that Laverne is more than excellent. She is a wonderful, clear, informed and careful teacher – also fun. Her work is precise and beautiful without a doubt, but the relationships she has developed with the indigenous weavers who have been her teachers and mentors, and who she credits for their great generosity and skill, enrich the workshop experience hugely. If you have a chance to read her blog or take a class – do!
Finally, I will soon be hosting? doing? blogging? a few give-aways. I have a nifty little randomizer widget that will basically allow me to randomly pick a winner from among my commentors. I am thinking of some Deflected Double Weave kits – Including drafts, instructions, pre-wound warps and enough weft to complete a project. Possibly a skein or two of my lovely hemp. Maybe something woven . . . I will post details in a day or two. In the meantime please comment on the site, craft therapy, Laverne Waddington or what you would like to see as a give-away. Remember, you will be put in the randomizer if you do . . .