Sunday, May 13, 2007

Solving "The Problem"

Make friends with the lessons, limitations, boundaries, and structure.

When there is a fence around the school yard, the children play up against the fence. When there is no fence, the children play close to the door.

I can't remember where I heard those words, but I find them affirming and applicable to weaving. If someone came to me and said, "I want you to weave me something. I don't care what it is, just something you feel like making. I am in no hurry, whenever you get around to it. I want to pay you, so whatever you want to charge me is fine. As for the color, I'm happy with whatever you decide", do you think I will ever make that weaving? But if someone came to me and said, " I want a scarf 9" wide by 74" long. I am allergic to wool, and my favorite color is blue. I need it to wear on my trip in 3 weeks, and my budget is $150." This series of boundaries is "The Problem". Solving The Problem is creative.

Whenever I find myself having a bit of a creative block, it is usually a sign that I haven't built a good enough fence. There is a bit of a knack to thinking in terms of solving problems and to be constantly creating problems to solve.


Valerie said...

Just the words I needed to hear, Bonnie. Thank you for the great analogy!

PS...I love your work!

Anonymous said...

Good advice for any art form. And nice metaphor. Thanks!


Unknown said...

When I was in architecture school they showed us a film about where people congregate and how they use space--typically it was around some sort of boundary or on the steps or near the doorway.

I think there's also a quote about art happens at the edges. I've often referred to that and related it to illuminated manuscripts with all of the detail around the edges. Likewise with architecture, the cool stuff happens when the juncture of two planes occurs--floor and ceilings get a baseboard, ceiling and wall get crown molding, wall and door get molding, etc.

So what do you think happens at the edges of weaving? Hem finishes, fringe, beading... but usually it's the thing itself, right... the fabric that we care about. Although it does explain the obsession with selvedges we all seem to have...

ChristyEverywhere said...

Wow, Bonnie, this one about knocked my socks off. Working with the kids that I do, trying to help the parents understand the power of structure and really have a beautiful point here. Caught me totally off guard at 7:26AM:) Thanks for the reminder. I'll take it into my day with me today.