Weaving in a time of isolation

2020 is turning out to be a very interesting year of rapid change. I began the year being recently unemployed/retired from a technology role in a large company. Reason for that at the time was my dear partner in life had taken a hard fall, and I did not know the cause and I was concerned about leaving him on his own all day long. While he insists that he is fine, the truth is he needs support for daily living most especially in advocacy for health care, meal preparation, and long distance transportation. I have since discovered the reason for the fall and am working on resolving the issue with therapy and new custom shoes. Things look promising. And from my current perspective he will continue to require caregiving support on a long term basis.

With the advent of the restrictions caused by the recent pandemic, the total shut down of gatherings of people, 2020 has impacted my dream of introducing patterned hand weaving using 8 shaft table looms to the public as a STEAM curriculum.  As of today, I can not offer instruction via adult education or demonstrations as art and craft fairs.  Nor can I visit schools as they are closed.

I am determined that I will not stop being an artist, even though life can and does often intrude on my artistic endeavors.

Looking at the internet most weavers have returned to their looms in a flurry of creative activity. I can also return to my loom and I have. I also have other artistic interests and talents, and I have decided that I would like to express them as well. I like to illustrate, and to print. I expect that you will be seeing more of this work in the future months as well.

What am I doing? I have decided not to close down the business but to continuing my historic research on the subject of handweaving and personal artistic development in the studio. The project you see here has been woven on my drawloom, I am able to combine both the text and the opphamta structures to create simple looking inspirational pieces. This item is only 3 x 3 in size. I have plans to continue this line of work.

I am continuing to be focused on houses as I was in January. Houses are my mental metaphor when I am making changes in my life structure. The original image that was an inspiration for my illustration can be found here: https://www.britannica.com/place/Beaune. When looking at the roof, it I realized it looks very much like a weaving. I decided to see if I could puzzle out what the weaving draft would look like from the image. I discovered I could weave it structurally using an 8 shaft loom. To get the colors the same as the photo will require the use of a double weave structure, but it can be done.   To prove the draft, I warped it on a 24″ inch table loom and it wove wonderfully.  There is a 60″ x16″ fabric in wool and cotton available for sale as a result of my test.

Let me not forget the “Houses of Encouragement” series either: In this project, I am making use of older patterns and creating new images of houses. The point of which is to encourage us to accept change and to learn how to reorganize our efforts, thinking and hearts to move into the unknown future.

As of today, I have not figured out where my artistic revenue stream will come from, but I have determined practicing my art helps me to keep my sanity when the rest of the world seems to be losing theirs. When in doubt, now I take up a shuttle, or a pen and create my own imagined beautiful world. My work is not rapid, It’s not supposed to be, the point of the work is to require intense concentration in order to block out the uglies that I do not want to face right now.

I’ll leave it up to you to decide if you want to travel with me on my  journey through time. I am sure a great adventure awaits us just around the next bend in the road.