The last few days have been rather harried – I am juggling three projects at work, in various states of crisis, and worse, have been out of the office at a training class for two days (and will be out for one more), while trying desperately to stay on top of the mounting Â crises. Â I’m also recovering from a cold, and laboring under deadline for a HandwovenÂ article, so my little spare time has been spent weaving samples for said article.
Weaving the samples has been more daunting than I expected. Â I mean, three little mug rugs, how hard can that be? Â But the difficulty is that these mug rugs need to be perfect. Â They’re teaching samples, and will be photographed up close, so any imperfections will certainly show. Â Two of my three weaves are also hard to mend afterwards, so the actual weaving has to be up to snuff. Â Which, at least for me, has meant lots of weaving, un-weaving, and reweaving. Â Also at least two or three of each type of sample, after discovering imperfections in the first one or two. Â And hair-pulling, which is not helping Â my state of mind vis-a-vis work crises, either.
This is, however, helping me understand why some weavers don’t weave.
I’m not a perfectionist. Â I realize this may sound a bit strange to those of you who have watched me obsessively sampling, measuring, weaving, re-measuring, and re-sampling (rinse and repeat!), but I’m really not. Â I regard everything as a sample and a learning experience, practically up until the last picks or stitches are put in. Â I am cavalier about my mistakes, generally speaking, and prefer to cut around them or camouflage them or just weave something busy enough that they won’t show. Â (Aiming for the spectacular doesn’t hurt either; if the overall piece is impressive enough, no one’s going to notice the small flaws in the back.) Â I am many things, but a detail-oriented, impeccable technician is just not one of them.
I think that actually makes me stronger as an artist and as an innovator. Â Because I am not a perfectionist, I don’t obsess over my mistakes. Â I note them, correct them where possible, and move on.
But I have met weavers who feel that if every thread is not perfect, they’ve failed. Â That has always struck me as counterproductive – talk about fear-inducing! – but I’m also starting to realize that it’s frustrating!Â Weaving and re-weaving a simple little 5″x5″ square over and over again is driving me crazy – I can’t imagine trying for perfection in a larger piece! Â I’ll be thrilled when this weaving is done and I can go back to my regular, exploratory style.
On a totally different front, I’ve ordered some fruitcake components, and plan to bake a big batch (9 big and 9 small) of fruitcakes this weekend. Â Hopefully messing around with all those wonderful home-candied citrus peels, candied Bing cherries, dried fruits, and other delicacies will provide some distraction from the craziness.