I have been spending more time at my loom and thus more time quietly thinking.
The first set of towels of high enough quality to sell are cut off the loom. This week I have the next set of baby blankets warped and ready to weave. I know what the next project going on the loom is going to be and have the yarn to do it. I am prepared to do the tweeking I need to do with my harnesses in order to solve a few issues I had with this last project. I know the process items I want to address next and what my goals are for the next few months. This is a great place to start from.
Part of my quiet thinking, has been the recognition that I would not be in this place of beginning, had it not been for the encouragement of my friends. I am now able to create quality towels because my friends and family have been the recipents of my R&D versions. Nearly everything I have made, successfully or not, has been somehow linked to a loved one. My friends have encouraged me in the possiblilities of pursuing weaving and the path to excellence. My friends have been patient while I have dawdled in the uncertainty and risk aversion. The projects I am currently completing are the fruit of the belief and investment of my friends.
I enjoy reading about how different makers get their start. How they find their voice. What their struggles have been. I love seeing the work that comes out of it, in the end. This week I was reading articles about Dee Clements of Herron Studio. In onne particular interview, http://www.designsponge.com/2015/08/life-business-dee-clements-of-herron.html, Dee speaks about a 10 year process of finding her path as an artist, digging in, and yes, even creating some “really, really ugly work”. I appreciate this process… I think the one’s who find their voice in the end are those that don’t give up there. Those who say, this isn’t quite it, but I’m one step closer.
Finish and Hem Towels
Order brand labels
Solve some loom issues
Prepare next warp
Focus on as close to perfect towels and baby blankes as I can.
Perfect warping technique… get faster
Continue to research, learn and develope the concept of handwoven clothing.
Whether putting together a Kickstarter project would be the right path for continued development.
Fall towels are on the loom and ready to go:
17×35 kitchen towels
Cottonlin (60% cotton and 40% linen)
Spring brought a lot of change for me. I started a new job with a whole new focus and schedule. This has freed up some of my focus so I can narrow my goals a bit. My new job has nothing to do with graphic design, so I am putting aside that portion of my education goals. I am happy with what I am doing and feel this gives me the opportunity to decrease the subjects I am focusing on so that I may make more headway in fewer subjects.
I also hope, in time, my new schedule will allow me to spend more time working at my loom and with natural dyes. I have a much clearer plan for both.
Also have enjoyed reading the War of Art and Do the Work by Steven Prestfield.
After weeks of being behind in everything I am finally feeling caught up. Not ahead, I am not sure that is an attainable goal, but caught up so I can continue to move forward. It seems life always has a way of taking our most basic and promising plans and intentions and testing your resolve. . . as if taunting . . . “Do you really mean it?”
Well, yes I do.
It is funny how it doesn’t really need to be anything truly bad that happens. In my case I had a virus that left me exhausted for 2 weeks. I have been better for some time now, but the things that were left undone during that time continued to plague me. I found my goals and habits tested. Usually this would have been enough excuse to quit the whole thing. . but not this time. This time my clarity of mission gives me grit.
In the process; however, I learned a few very important lessons.
1. Sometimes you just have to let go and do “nothing” in order to find your strength and footing again. For me I took one of my mornings off and danced to African music. My kitchen floor was my drum and for an hour nothing else needed my attention. Sometimes I paint, not for the brilliant results but the act of painting. Putting down a mark, choosing color and having the confidence to go with it are all soothing to me. But dancing is so physical, and for me private. The act is refreshing. Since then I have been able to take steps forward in catching up.
2. This year I purposely took 2 days off work a week to focus on my “school work”. I really need to map this time out better in order to truly be making progress. I have made too many exceptions in allowing myself to take this time to do errands, even shopping for myself steals time.
3. When the rest of my life feels behind, I really cannot be productive in learning design and weaving. It is necessary to continue to make inroads in keeping up with our daily living so that our whole family is free to do the work to reach our goals. This is my strategy and I need to be 100% commited to it. Sometimes that may mean taking a day to intensively focus on areas that can become distractions if not attended to in a timely manner.
In other words, sometimes in order to reach your goals you have to allow yourself to put them aside for a while and then pick them up again.
More good news:
This week I wove 5 towels and got together with some lovely friends to dip yarn in a vat of indigo dye. I am so happy with the results. Really, I am happy with anything that is blue.
One skein of Indigo dyed cotton/linen.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow,
than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The proper function of man is to live, not to exist.
-- Jack London
... Only faith working through love. Gal 5:6b
On the field of the Self stand a knight and a dragon.
You are the knight. Resistance is the dragon.
-- Steven Pressfield, Do the Work