Just a quick note to mention that a weaving buddy of mine, Blossom Merz, is starting a crafts monastery in Wolf Creek, Oregon, and is trying to raise funds via Kickstarter. From his Kickstarter page:
About this project
For the past several years, I have been establishing my hand-crafted weaving business, Weaving Monk, as a statement of my artistic and community ideals, as my way of making a living. The business now needs me to get my new designs into the world. It’s time for new lines of clothing. Who am I to tell it “no”?
The journey so far
After leaving my weaving apprenticeship to strike out on my own in December 2010, not knowing whether my time at the loom was going to provide for me, I have found that people appreciate garments inspired by nature and made with heart. For me, the work I do is my meditation and my spiritual communion. Guiding into place thousands of threads, winding bobbins on the porch where I can hear the birds, finding myself still in awe of a length of finished cloth – these are all ways that I feel connected to spirit. And more than just individual satisfaction, I’ve long viewed my weaving as simply a piece of the community I want to foster. My work has been aimed at supporting other crafters, becoming integrated into the place I live, and creating a community of people who support each others’ lives and work – a craft monastery I’ve dreamt of for so long.
Weaving Monk is now at a place where it can begin supporting its own expansion, and further my broader goals. I am working with a committed group of people who are focused on building an intentional community that embodies the ideals of heart space, connection to the land, beauty, and justice. We are making our home here in southern Oregon, and my weaving is ready to be a building block of this community.
I have more work to do than I have time in the day. With some additional funds, I plan over the next six months to expand my activities and get some help. Some of my goals for the money are: to move my studio space to the town of Wolf Creek and open a retail space there; obtain more equipment and supplies; take my clothing out to more retailers, festivals and fairs; and to bring in my friends and partners in the intentional community to help with the work and provide us all with an income. An infusion of funds right now will help me sail smoothly over the rocky waters of expansion.
The Cloth Itself
This is all support for expanding the variety of cloth and the designs of the garments I make. I can’t tell you all how I’ve anticipated getting my new cloth off the drawing board and into everyone’s hands. For a long time now, I’ve been limited in my production by lack of space and equipment, and having to do everything myself. With my plans in motion to change the situation, I can focus on creating a whole panoply of colors and patterns, and experiment with new garments. Eventually, expanding my creative life is going to make room for supporting the creative lives of others in my community group, and allow us to focus on our individual passions. Sure, it’s a while down the road, but I’m excited to start now.
“The reason I’ve called you all here today…”
This is where you come in. Together, we’re going to raise between $5 and $10,000 to bring all these plans to fruition. And it starts with your contributions, and the products of my weaving you’ll get as a reward for your help.
A piece of hand-made cloth is a rare thing in the age of industrial production. When you get one of my garments, you can intimately tell that human hands guided the whole process. I weave, in part, because I want to remind people of the tactile pleasure of an artifact that didn’t come off the factory line. So I ask for your help in funding my new clothing lines, and then I get the sincere pleasure of knowing that into your arms comes an object that everyone should be able to experience. You, of course, get to keep your woven reward for years and years.
There is nothing that happens in this world independently. My work needs a whole web of community support, and I know that my work will eventually be of help to others. I can’t wait to continue this work. Thank you all!
-From Wolf Creek Sanctuary, Wolf Creek, Oregon
I hope you’ll join me in sponsoring Blossom – he’s got a great vision, a good solid business plan, and is ready to go!
And, you get beautiful handwoven scarves/shawls/ruanas/iPod pouches. What’s not to like?
You can read more about Blossom (including his blog about his weaving business, and more info about the handwoven goods he’s selling) here: http://www.blossommerz.com
I’ve sponsored Blossom, and I hope you will too!