I’ve been busy the last few days reaching out to potential interviewees for the book. At this point, I’ve conducted two interviews, and have eight more firmly scheduled. Four others are being scheduled, and six people haven’t yet responded. So I have quite a week ahead of me!
The fourteen people who have agreed to be interviewed span a broad range of crafts: three tapestry weavers, four people who work in metal (metalworking, wire art, metal clay), two dyers/surface designers, a woodworker, a quilter, a felter, Kaffe Fassett (who spans most of the fiber arts), and the executive producer of PBS’s Craft in America. All of these people are very well-known in their fields, and I’m very happy (and honored) that they’re willing to contribute an interview.
I’m continuing to reach out to people. The next step is going a little further afield, to polymer clay, glassworking, and ceramics. I also need to talk to some basket makers and fashion designers/sewing teachers. I want the interviews to span twenty crafts, so am doing a fair bit of research and networking to find and approach the right people.
I’ve also rewritten my interview questions with some help from my online writing group. The previous set were quite generic, like “Tell me about your creative process.” The current set focuses much more narrowly on specific projects: “Think about a project that was really difficult – where it just wouldn’t gel with your vision. What first made you realize something wasn’t right? What did you do to get the project back on track?” That makes it easier to get down to concrete details, which are the lifeblood of good writing. (It also makes it easier for the interviewee to answer!)
Between scheduling interviews, researching interviewees, and conducting interviews, I haven’t had time for much in the way of fiber work. But this weekend, Mike and I are going to try repairing the knitting machine motor. I’m also going to re-sley the warp to a more open sett, 72 ends per inch rather than 80, as I think an overly dense warp is contributing to my sticky-warp problems. (I counted the picks per inch with the help of a pick glass, and I have 80 ends per inch and 60 picks per inch. That means the warp is quite a bit denser than the weft.) That will balloon the width to nearly forty inches, which I’m not sure I can weave without a fly shuttle, but I guess there’s only one way to find out! It will take eight or nine hours to re-sley all 2800 threads, so I will definitely not be weaving until next week.
My other project last weekend, which I forgot to mention, was converting 15 pounds of quinces, 6 pounds of Concord grapes, and 15 pounds of pears into various jams, jellies, and marmalades. (Also juicing about 20 pounds of lemons.) I made Concord grape jelly, quince marmalade, quince-candied ginger jam, pear-rosemary jam, and pear-honey-sage jam. I was a bit dubious about the sage-pear combination (which was from The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook), but it turns out to be brilliant. I am seriously considering putting it into this year’s chocolates. I’ll test it in a few weeks when chocolate season opens.
The quince marmalade was beautiful – tiny shreds of quince floating in an intense, deep pink jelly. Here’s a pic of the few leftover bits after I was done canning most of it:
It was hard to capture the wonderful translucency – the marmalade is just beautiful.
And where were the cats during all this industriousness? Setting a good moral example through idleness. Here is Tigress, half-asleep in the throes of a fabulous head-rub (courtesy of Mike):
And here is Fritz, luxuuuuuuriously stretching out on the rug by the front door after sniffing some shoes:
Someday perhaps I’ll fall prey to their moral blandishments and learn to enjoy idleness as much as they do. But there are so many interesting things to explore in the world that I doubt that will happen anytime soon!