When you weave fabric on a loom, there are two distinct sets of yarns or threads that intersect at right angles to form the fabric or cloth. The longitudinal threads are call the warp and the lateral threads, the one's that fill in are called the weft.
Most cloth that is used to make garments today is made on large industrial weaving machines, but if you ever have the opportunity to watch someone make fabric on a wooden loom you will find that there is something mesmerizing and calming about it. It is almost magical the way the colorful thread come together to create beautiful cloth.
A few years ago, when I was in Hanoi I stumbled upon a master silk weaver's workroom in a forgotten alley. The space he worked in seemed ancient and a mysterious. His deft hands at work on the looms, created not only beautiful cloth, but a rhythmic song as the shuttle moved across the threads and the frames opened and closed. I was reminded today this stunning dance of colors when I sat down to write my weekly blog post.
We are 8 days into the new year and I already have so much on the calendar for 2012. I started to freak out a little on how I am going to keep it all together. Those of you who know me, know that life pours my glass pretty full. This year is no exception. First there is the combination of working full time and pursuing an art career part time. Sometimes the demands of my day job don't end at 5 pm or I find myself working on the other side of the world for weeks on end. Sometimes there are art deadlines that come up so fast that I end up working into the wee hours of the night or waking up before the dawn just to get things in on time. There is a balance, a dance that has to happen between the two parts of my occupational existence. Up until this point, I feel like I have been very successful at achieving a certain harmony there.
The success comes not just from balancing the two aspects of the "working me." It is deeply rooted in the fact that in the fundamental fabric of my life, I am a wife and a mother. My family life is like the warp threads on the loom. They keep me together and are my foundation. The work is the weft threads, the fillers that add color and texture to my life. Woven together the two are stronger and create something far greater than a single thread. But each thread, each aspect of my life is important.
So, here I am on this gorgeous day in Vermont, lining up all the threads that will come together for this next year. My calendar is chock full of outing and new adventures, moments of contemplation and discovery, art, work, family and love. New threads that have been added to my already rich tapestry are: Graduate school, at Vermont College of Fine Arts, which starts on January 27th, A new website to be kicked off in February, Artfest12 in Port Townsend, WA in March. A trip with Jackson to NYC in April.... That's just the beginning....
To help keep this all in order, I have started the necessary January cleaning of my work space. Primarily, because I could not see the top of the work table or find the rusty bits I had been looking for. Secondarily, I just took down a show and I need space to store all the artwork not currently on display. And then lastly, I have received some requests for people to do "studio visits." The endeavor to make it a viable space to receive patrons, gallery curators and fellow artists in has commenced. I joke with my husband about making the space "good enough" to be in "Where Women Create" magazine. His response is. It's were you create, so it's beautiful enough.
The fabric of my (not-so) lazy Sunday afternoon will be this: Jack and I will finish eating breakfast, take the dog on a long walk in the crisp clear light of this amazing January day and probably haul some wood. I will get to work back down in the basement, stoking the fire of the wood stove, painting backgrounds for new pieces and organizing my heart out. Occasionally, coming up stairs to make some pizza dough, start Sunday dinner and maybe a soup to eat later in the week.
Speaking of fabric... this is what's on my work table now. A new assemblage that's born out of barn board, old embroidery and a well worn quilt.
What threads are you weaving together today?