fiber

Pass Go. Collect Growth.

The Learning Process Follows the Creative One.
— Theo Moorman

There it is: Pass Go. Collect $200. Just Do It. Give yourself permission to be creative.

Your job is to follow your creative impulses because it's truly how we learn. It’s the no pain no gain formula turned on it’s head. Go ahead and play, explore, and imagine because learning and growth follow. 

We learn after we do something.

“But I can’t do it until I know how .” How can I start if I don’t know what I’m doing?

Common questions. If we don’t know how to do something, and we can only learn better how to do it AFTER we’ve done it, then what exactly are we doing when we begin?

We are taking a leap of faith.

Step over the fear. Act instinctively. Apply that paint. Knit in a new color. Skateboard off the stair railing. Try that new recipe. When you feel an urge, consider the most immediate bits of info required, and then do it. Your act of faith will give birth to something that did not previously exist. And you get to look-see-feel-hear-taste it. You will naturally learn from it. You will grow.

Theo Moorman, an outstanding textile artist, 1907-1990

 

A Yarn Tree Grows in Brooklyn

 The Miracle of Thread

The Miracle of Thread

Once upon a time, I planted a garden. I was fascinated by the process -- prepare your soil, drop in seeds, water and weed, and viola, food and flowers for all.

How these seeds, dried and stored on shelves for months, once in the ground, release all the elements of life to sprout is a miracle. And lettuce amazed me most of all: teeny-tiny-little specks of seeds. Where do these come from? I’ve never seen a lettuce flower…

After I poured out my package of sunflower seeds, the amazement turned to alarm. These seeds were exactly the same sunflower seeds I buy for snacking – roasted and ready. And the paranoid urban dweller in me thought: someone knew I was coming and they thought it would be funny to switch out the seeds for the city girl: she’ll never know the difference.

My connection to the food I eat was so lost that I didn’t realize that the sunflower seeds that I eat are also the sunflower SEEDS that I would plant to create more sunflowers! Really!

Two days ago, I was at TAC (Textile Arts Center, awesome place). I'm learning to weave and I was for a new color to add to my work. As I was facing the yarn tree I couldn't help but see a pile of kids coats and winter wear. Immediate connection: those coats and mittens and scarves all generate from the yarns and threads on the tree. And those yarns and threads are sheared and spun from animals, on farms, living and breathing, tended to and cared for that that year-after-year they give us the gift of cloth.

Just like with food, my connection to what I wear was dismal. Where do my clothes come from? H&M, Target, Walmart, sale racks, cheap bins; clothes are so plentiful and inexpensive that we purchase gloves and hats and scarves like they are $3 umbrellas: use them until you loose them and don’t sweat it.

I like buying my onions and eggs at the farmer’s market. I like feeling connected to what I eat now. And now that it's The Year of the Goat (or sheep, or ram), it's a great time to start giving the same consideration to what I put on my body. (I'm also looking forward to getting to know the sheep and alpaca that I’m wearing on my head!)

Happy New Year!

Weaving and Water

Ever wonder why you do things? Like, why you are naturally attracted to a certain type of movie or you pick one coffee shop over the other? And do you wonder whether people actually change over the years or if they are who they are at birth and onward. 

Like, you're a kid who obsessively puts together model airplanes from age 8-11 and then you get on with life and eventually become an accountant and join a fantasy football league. One day, it occurs to you: assembling model airplanes, cataloging numbers so they work, figuring out stats so your team wins. Your 50 years really don't make you that much different than you were as a kid. 

As a painter, I've painted seascapes for years. I thought it was because I loved Wellfleet, Cape Cod. I thought I was trying to reproduce the place in paint because I couldn't live there in person.

But years later, (now) I'm sitting at a loom, and as I sit there, pulling weft thread after weft thread through the shed, one after the other, inch by inch, I look at what I'm creating and you know, the result is not unlike my early seascapes. 

It got me thinking, is my love for seascapes really about a physical place on earth? Or, is it about creating a work with tonal movement, transformation, and shifts of visual bands of color? 

 

Fiber in a JuneBug.

Fiber is in the air. Maybe it's because I'm learning to weave (thank you Textile Arts Center) or because I'm learning to knit (thank you La Casita Yarn Shop) or maybe it's because it's cold and everyone's wearing lots of fiber (thank you winter : ). Whatever the reason, fiber's in the air. 

And since I'm all about connections and associations, let's consider that "fiber" can also mean "thread" and "thread" can mean "connecting things to each other". 

SaraJuneBK is a wonderful hair salon in Brooklyn. The "thread" that carries through the shop is this: there's a warm and considered attention to the natural beauty of things. Oh, that's right up my alley. 

Sara's sister embroidered this small junebug for her. It presents itself so simply and beautifully on the natural wood wall. 

After my appointment, I went to TAC and as I was sitting at my loom I looked down and saw this beauty in the aged patina and marks of the studio's natural wood floor. 

The beauty of both, one created with intention and one created randomly over time, calm my soul.

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