Pay It Forward
I feel the spirit of Pay-It-Forward. I just finished reading the great discussion on the Yahoo Group Weavetech http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WeaveTech/. The group which can occasionally get a little gripe-y for my tastes is talking about the national weaving conference Convergence in a really positive, helpful way. No bashing, just smart people talking about how to promote weaving among younger people (one of my obsessions) and how to expand the sadly ever-shrinking, wonderful world of weavers. It is a really interesting discussion which brings up issues of cost, availability of teachers and equipment to young weavers. The responsibility of older weavers to mentor and nurture young weavers, etc. Lots of food for thought. Check it out, put your 2¢ in and let me know what you think as well.
Talking about keeping weaving alive, I have a weaving friend in California who didn’t just TALK about it, she took ACTION and look what happened:
She (in her spare time!) started a weaving program at the University where she works. She marshaled forces and got many? most? all? Kim? of the looms donated. She wrangled space at the University. She reached out to groups on campus that you might not think of as potential weavers. She said that it was a struggle to get and keep the University’s support, but look! She has done it! Look at those beautiful projects. Serious KUDOS to Kim – I would be smiling too if I were you!
In my own current (tiny) effort to keep weaving alive, I am passing a lovely, little loom onto my niece. I got a dusty little Baby Wolf at an auction years ago and have had it stored in Texas since 2009. A pair of very nice packing elves (thanks Mom & Dad) went to work and shipped it back here for me to pep up with some strollers, new tie-on cord, heddles, etc. And now it is going to my niece who is a high-school senior, a very talented artist and has diligently woven with me in the past. I am very excited to see what rolls off that wolf in the next few months!
Finally . . .what’s wrong with this picture?
These are six wound warps ready to GET WOVEN. I don’t think I have ever had such a traffic jam. I think I better turn off the computer and sit down and clear some looms!
Hi Elisabeth, As a weaver in South Africa, it is also a big worry among weavers that our craft are dyeing out, one of them is that looms don’t fit into young peoples space.
Thanks for the comment Marlene. Exciting to hear from another continent! Loom space is very hard to come by for young, mobile potential weavers, but there are looms that fold up and roll (Baby Wolf is one) and take up as little room as a modern TV set and stand. These looms are rarely to be found free or cheap. Because they are so stowable, people tend to keep them unlike the big floor looms that can be found on auction sites for relatively little. I’m wondering if it is simply the fairly steep learning curve involved in just gettiing started weaving. With knitting the funnel top is wide, many people learn to knit and the funnel narrows very gradually. There are also knitting teachrs everywhere from one’s grandma to one’s best friend . . . With weaving, it could be considered an inverted funnel – hard to start – gets easier once the set-up is mastered. Finding someone to teach you to weave is also harder. That part disturbs me because weaving schools, University programs and stores dedicated to weaving are fewer fewer – ends up being a vicious circle.
You are so right, it is even more dificult to start weaving in South Africa, as our exchange rate/$ is very high, R8.40/$ and shipping is very expensive, it is dificult to import looms. We were lucky to have Greig Kothe who’s husband build the proto type Kothe Table looms for Varpapuu living her in Pretoria, so we still can buy secondhand + tablelooms, as well as floorlooms, but is dificult to get well made new looms. I also find the weavers who persevere, are wonderful weavers in the end. We are also now getting more and more diangle, triangle, inkle and card weavers because it is more portable.
sorry diangle should spell diagonal weaving