Thursday, October 6, 2011


Yesterday, I drove to Asheville, NC from Knoxville,TN and back. For those of you who are not from around these parts, the highway from here to there is one of the prettiest stretches of interstate in the eastern United States. The route goes across the Appalachian Mountains - much of it through National Forests. The road is twisty, turny with beautiful views of the mountains.

The trees in the mountains were turning beautiful reds and golden yellows - yes we have had some cool days recently - but why are they turning so early - wait it isn't early - we are well into October - how did that happen - SURPRISE!


I have several artist friends, jewelry makers and painters, who have talked about the internal conflict they experience between creating the art that they want to do and creating what a client wants or what they think will sell. Their hearts or souls lead them in different directions than what they think they can market. I have heard them talk about talk about selling out or even "whoring" their artistic skills.

As I have said here before, I am a new weaver - so my creative juices are just beginning to flow. I am just beginning to think - what if I tried this - I wonder how that would work and so on. For the most part my work to date has been pretty simple and classic. Also I am a recreational weaver not a production weaver, so I haven't had to dampen by spirit to make things that would sell.

Warp for special order rug
But, I did feel a twinge of that internal conflict when I was asked to weave a special order rug for a customer at the center. I wound a warp in the colors she requested. First, I wove several simple solid rugs on the warp - I thought they looked pretty good. Then it was time to weave the special order. The customer was pretty specific about what she wanted - she wanted these colors but not too much of this and none of that. Carol and I searched our stash and found some things that we thought would work. It is a huge mish-mash of fabrics. I realized I had little enthusiasm to weave what she was asking for; it was the customers creativity - - not mine.

Playing with strips

In spite of the lack of enthusiasm ... onward I trudged. Before I sewed strips together, I did a trial and threw some in just to see how they looked together and with the warp. I liked some and did not like the others. I pulled the reject strips out of the pile of fabric, put the rest in "random order," sewed them together and started weaving. Guess what - I think the rug I am weaving is beautiful. SURPRISE!

More strips
Life is full of surprise moments - we need to keep our eyes open for them, embrace the good ones and learn from the not so good ones. Wishing you good surprises this week.

Be well,

(where photos end up on the page is a not so good surprise - maybe I will learn from that next week - until then...)


LA said...

I have to admit that this is all new for me, too. I usually make one or two of an item...then I'm ready to move on to something else. Making a DOZEN of something is something I'm getting used to slowly.

Laura said...

I no longer take such a specific request - I tell the person that I will make something and they can decide if they like it or not. That way it is still my creativity - just that I took inspiration from another source. And no, I don't consider what I do demeaning in any way. I am creating what I want and letting the buying public decide if they like it well enough to purchase.

Tina J said...

Sometimes it is fun and sometimes it isn't! I am glad it is going well for you this time.

Bonnie said...

It will be a beautiful rug. You are creating it just using her color choices.

Maggie said...

Blogger makes posting photos an adventure, especially when they change the rules every few months.

Remember the adage, do what you love and the money will follow. You'd better really, really love it, though, says the home baker who became a pastry chef!