|Sarah Swett, Dinner Dazzle (detail)|
I learned not to hold the way you do things too closely. Opening fists clenched tightly around "the way I do it" opened me up for immediate experimentation and, I quickly found, fun. It wasn't really hard to let go. No one could resist entering Sarah's world of imagination... and I'm not much of a closed fist kind of person anyway.
The truth is, there are a million things about tapestry. There are so many ways to go over and under a set of warp threads. So many things we debate--warp, weft, looms, finishing, starting, selvedge technique, tension, image.
Just over and under. Really.
This is some of what Sarah said. But mostly she lives by example.
I want to know what is going to happen and I don't... until I weave it.
Set things up so it is impossible not to do what you really want to be doing.
Try to be really clear.
Start the day as you mean to go on.
Dragonflies are handy that way...
There is too much information in a photograph.
Jack Lenor Larsen's "unfortunate fringe" might be just the thing.
Try it. (She didn't say that one. But she might have. I think it is what she meant by the whole workshop.)
|Sarah Swett, Cucumber Sandwiches, 14 x 12 inches, hand-woven tapestry, wool, natural dyes|
|Sarah Swett, Scribbles, 14 x 18 inches, hand-woven tapestry, wool, natural dye|
|Sarah Swett, margin notes|
|Cheryl Nachtrieb (Recycled Lamb owner), Sarah Swett (tapestry artist, educator), Barb Brophy (ATA Education Board Chair), Rebecca Mezoff (resident goof)|
|Rebecca Mezoff, workshop sampler|
And yes, as shocking as it is to some of us, she wet finishes them. That means they are washed. In water. Given a bath. Wet. And spun in the washer.
Whew. I'm still trying to open the fists clenched against the weft finishing ...
You can find Sarah's virtual world on her website here: http://www.afieldguidetoneedlework.com/
Now go weave something.