Thursday, April 26, 2007

Three Elements of Weaving--Texture, Structure, Color

THE MOIRAI: CLOTHO; LACHESIS; AND ATHROPOS

The original title of this piece is "Bonnie Boldly Faces the Millennium"

The cloth is the horoscope weaving cast for 1/1/2001 12:01 AM Seattle, WA. The faces are all casts of my face. The center face is about 10 years old. The two side faces are at least 20 years old. It might be time for a new face.

When I first began to journey along the path of weaving, it was confusing. Weaving is so vast. There are so many twists and turns. Where is the next step? What do I want to weave versus what do I have to weave? Do I really want to weave? What is my level of commitment? Do I want to be known as a Weaver? What do I have to give up in order to weave? What is my weaving worth? Do I want to risk burning out the love of weaving by doing it for money? How do I support myself and still have the time or energy to weave?

In my first 10 years of weaving, I was so engrossed I never stopped to ask myself any questions. It was during the next 10 years that I began to ask myself these questions. (over and over as I wove) After 20 years, I realized the questions were moot. I was committed; but now I had to figure out how to make a living at it without compromising. (something I continue to work on:))

At 30 years, I looked back at weaving to realize I had been on a path all along. When I first started weaving, I was fascinated with the idea of weaving circles. To create round shapes from straight lines seemed like the thing to do. From weaving countless variations on color wheel gamps to translating horoscopes into bands of colored stripes, I had continued to work with circles. Instead of turning straight lines into circles, I turned circles into straight lines. And everything I turned into color. The human eye can detect 8 million color variations, and I wanted to weave them all.

At 40 years, I started thinking about weaving in a different light. Yes, weaving is the most wonderful and healing thing to do, but how can I justify playing on my fancy loom while the world is falling apart? How can I continue churn out "stuff" when there is much too much stuff in this part of the world? How do I give back? How do I emphasize the importance of creation amid an atmosphere of destruction? How do I contribute in giving weaving to the next generation?

I will mark 50 years of weaving in 2010. Perhaps I will have the answers to these questions by then. It is only by asking the questions can I hope to solve "The Problem"

2 comments:

Martin and Jessica said...

Bonnie,

Asking the questions is almost as important as finding the answers! I'm a new weaver--I just past the one year mark--and I find the questions are an important part of what I do. Why am I doing this? What purpose will it serve?...

I missed your posts while you were gone teaching! I enjoy seeing your weaving progress now that you're back!
--Jessica M.

Bonnie said...

Thanks! I plan to talk more about asking the questions. I realize now my design school experience really taught me the questions to ask, and I am gratified to be able to share this. You have answered a question for me with your comment: "What purpose will it serve?"

I plan to be close to my computer all of May and June. I have a big trip in July, but I plan to find a way to post while I am traveling (without a laptop).