Tuesday, October 14, 2008

St. Marks Altar Cloth Completed

On September 21, the altar cloth was put into use. (Actually click here for a summary of the project which was started by The Rev. Ralph Carskadden and Ev Tuller back in the summer.) There was a wonderful service where the altar was dressed. I didn't bring a camera. These pictures were given to me by Gabrielle Fine. At this point I have to say that I am not an Episcopalian. In fact, I am not even a Christian, so I may not have my terms right.

The panels were woven so this can be the front at certain times of year and the green at other times.

These are the two sides (above and below)

I recently saw this blog post by Meg. She posed the question For Whom Do I Weave? I posted an answer that weaving for me is an external expression of an internal process, and she asked for clarification. I think this is such an interesting question and that the St. Marks Altar Cloth is a perfect example of an external expression of an internal process. I believe this is why I was drawn to be a part of the project.

I used to think the very best part of weaving was “having woven”. The planning, preparation and process were merely annoyances I had to put up with on the way to cloth. Finally there came a day when the planning part took on a life of its own and became an exciting mental exercise (whether or not I ever wove the piece).

Later, I started to love winding warps and dressing the loom. Touching and counting each thread became a tactile dance, and creating order from chaos an end in itself. But every time I would sit down to begin a new weaving, I would say to myself “This is going to take forever---the rest of my life.” With great reluctance, I would throw the first shuttle. Since most of my weaving is warp dominated, weaving in the weft was simply a way to hold the warp together. Every now and then, I’d weave a plaid, but the weft continued to be a chore until I began to realize it is journey rather than the destination.The process itself is a form of meditation, and throwing the shuttle a spiritual act..

Weaving on commission (or co-creating as I like to call it) is a challenge to bring forth cloth that will resonate with a specific person. I weave each shot with focused intention, thinking about the desires and highest good of the recipient.. Who knows if this makes a difference in the look of the weaving, but it has changed the way I feel about weaving. The weft has become more important, the music that goes with the dance.

Perhaps the real question is: Why Do I Weave?


Meg said...

Thanks for the explanation, Bonnie. Now my turn to think.

Peg in South Carolina said...

Lovely altar cloth. And I liked your essay as well. I especially liked learning, not just where you are now, but what went before---that path, as it were. Thank you!

Laritza said...

Absolutely beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful indeed, and perfect for that altar. I have never been inside St Mark's though I have friends who worship there.

甘み said...

amazing. I also want to weave such a combination colors. you can feel the season.