Weaving and any craft is so much about rhythm for me. I have been asking myself the question of why am I making? Why do I put in so many hours into weaving a piece of cloth when I can buy an already made one? Why have I chosen such a slow art…craft?
The slowness of weaving is my medicine. It is my counselor. It is my meditation. Weaving processes my thoughts and calms down my fast anxious mind.
As many people in the world today, I am mostly in charge of my time and in that freedom I also feel trapped. I am most happy when I find rhythm in my day to day and in my life. I have always been a person moving. Moving in jobs, houses, studies, and countries until my late 20’s when I felt the need to root into a place and find my rhythm and ground.
I always thought the nature of my mind was wild, unpredictable and free from structure so I was surprised when weaving put a spell on me. That’s what it did. I don’t know what came over me but after realising that I did not allow myself to do creative things, I signed up to a part time foundation and even just reading the words to the weaving course made my cells dance up and down and pop with excitement. It was like I had already done it, loved it, lost it and found it again.
I booked on without researching any further and just followed the popping excitement I felt in my gut. When I met the other ladies on the course I felt completely naïve not knowing the basics terms of warp and weft and kept forgetting the words. I was oblivious and excited to get started.
The table looms were already set up and we were told we would swap 3 times to experience the different weave structures that were warped up. I did not understand ANYTHING. I felt stupid and had to have everything repeated to me but there was still that excitement that drove me. On my first day I even had tears in my eyes at one point because I wanted so much to understand this beautiful craft that I was so drawn to but was knocked by the mathematics and structures.
I drove home feeling disappointed in myself, explaining to my boyfriend that I needed to understand weaving but I struggled so much. I have a dyslexic mind and I still have not figured out when it is just my mind thinking differently or just plain and simple not understanding something. He told me that maybe it wasn’t my craft and that was OK. Take off the pressure.
The next day I decided to have fun with colour and from that moment when I let go, it started flowing and that was that.
I didn’t have a loom or another course booked on and to my boyfriend’s confusion, I watched You Tube’s of weaving every evening to get my dose and researched read about it. Then I joined the guild, got set up and became a weaver.
The answer to my questions at the beginning is that anything hand made is worth so much more because the piece is unique even if it the same. You can see the emotion in a handmade piece. You can see when the crafts person got distracted by a call, customer, pet or studio buddy, the rhythm gets cut with a human hand and that is beautiful. It is human, and I think we long for that feeling of realness, of humanness. In some way we connect to that hand-woven garment or hand carved spoon because we can feel it was made by a real human being not a perfect machine. Handmade is a celebration of the imperfect in ourselves and in the world.