Saturday, 31 May 2008

Absence from the loom

It has been eight weeks since my last entry.

Thank you for taking time since then to leave comments on my blog. Each one has felt like a little ‘energy’ present from you to me, gently encouraging and reminding me to weave. Finally, the balance has tipped and here I am again.

My life-work balance shifted over the last couple of months: a temporary increase of hours in my paid job meant the energy or desire to weave dwindled and it all quietly took a backseat. Things are now back to normal though and I am perking up again.

It highlights to me the classic question experienced by anyone pursuing a vocational activity: How do you earn enough money and feed your soul at the same time? My compromise has been to work less, weave more, and accept a lower income. It’s about choice and sacrifice: not everything is possible, but some of the good and important things are possible.

The warmer weather has led me outdoors. The sun, at last, has been making its presence known after a long damp winter and so my recent creative energy has been spent outside in the garden. I’ve been thinking about bringing the weaving outdoors by creating functional structures which form an integral part of the garden. I have been considering what materials I might use and how to make them weather resistant.

My first project is to recreate an old archway which finally collapsed during a vigorous storm several months ago. I harvested branches from a budlia at the back of the garden, which are currently strewn around, sorted into straight, bendy, forked and irregular limbs. With these, I hope to recreate the archway which the vegetation can then grow into and embrace. The idea of having a subtle, creative presence in the garden is appealing

Are these reasons not to be weaving though, I ask myself.

I have just fetched my loom out from storage to take a fresh look. The black and white design makes me think of the energy of woodcuts. I like its immediacy. I hope to create work with energy about it, intrigue and interest. The panel of circles is still on the agenda. I look forward to playing more on the warps. There is something about the realness of the materials which I find healing and reassuring: the physicality of the wood, the firm warp, the fibrous wool. What I love about weaving is the simplicity, the focus, and the quietness. I haven’t been in a very quiet and balanced place of late, and so my mind has been resistant to sitting at the loom - but I am here again, touching base.