As I sit here in the San Antonio airport waiting for yet another flight to Dallas, I’ve been reflecting on my past life as a weaver. In just two and a half years, I’ve gone from learning the very basics to designing some fairly complicated drafts. In fact, at the CNCH workshop, I had by far the most complex and ambitious project in the class. This surprised me; it was my first class with other weavers, so up until now my yardstick has mostly been what I’ve seen online. Which tends to be the work of some very experienced weavers. So my ambitions, and my sense of my weaving ability, have been shaped by a peer group of weavers who have been weaving for 30+ years. In that crowd, I’m definitely still a beginner.
However, looking back on it, I’ve certainly learned the basics of weaving: my selvedges are straight, my beat, while still improving, is fairly even. I know how to put on a warp, how to hemstitch, and how to twist fringe. And I am developing a sense for design.
Sharon Alderman, in our workshop at CNCH, suggested that if I was looking to broaden my weaving experience, that I consider going for the HGA’s Certificate of Excellence in weaving. This surprised me. I had assumed that the COE was a master-level certification, and that I would need at least several more years of experience before I could start working on a COE. But Sharon said that, weaving-wise, length of time weaving counts for relatively little. Someone can spend 40 years weaving from recipes, or weaving one or two projects a year, and still have less experience than someone who has spent a few years studying intensively. And that she didn’t see any reason I couldn’t start working on the COE, despite my “youth” in weaving.
This was food for thought. I hadn’t realized my weaving was that good. While I haven’t spent much time weaving, I have been studying pretty intensively, so between that and my reflections, I think (all things considered) that it’s time to take my novice hat off and replace it with the cap of “moderately experienced weaver”.
I feel like I should throw a graduation party! But I think I will celebrate instead either by going for the COE, or the Canadian guild certification that Laura Fry recommended. Now that I have the basics down, it’s time to broaden my education and get exposure to different weave structures, and either of those courses will do that. And, of course, a certification won’t hurt, if I should ever decide to go into teaching. Unlikely, but you never know.