I struggle with the warp. It gets tangled. I loathe the math. The endless knots. The noisy spindles. A loom requires a delicate touch that I have yet to master. Someday.
Unlike measuring the warp, I find building the weft is pure joy. It’s an easy motion of back and forth. The shuttle moves quickly between the rows. You can “throw the shuttle.” Meditative. Deliberate. The ups and downs of tying the warp is necessary, I know. The warp will eventually support the weft. They’ll eventually need one another. You can’t prefer one over the other. Weaving on a loom requires a delicate touch that I have yet to master. Someday.
The different fibers, the loom as machine, the creation of fabric is all so satisfying. So interesting. So appealing.
Here’s the thing.
I really have nothing to say (a memoir) but I want to write about weaving. Eventually–wait for it—I’ll weave the following ideas together.
1] My friends @ordinarysublime and @nooksackknitter participated in this amazing project! Humble brag that I know two of the 51 artists. From the looks of this review it’s a pretty stunning show. My favorite words are in bold.
From The LA Times: For Ellen Lesperance and Helen Mirra, the message is woven into the art
The works of Ellen Lesperance and Helen Mirra on view at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena lay out a quietly powerful network of ideas around work, bodily presence and activism.
The show opens with a collaborative project initiated by Mirra in which she asked 51 weavers each to create a textile according to her specifications. Each piece is roughly square, made from undyed yarn, in dimensions that match the length of the weaver’s arm. Each has seven stripes, whose width is determined by that of the weaver’s hand. The works are little self-portraits, recording the measurements of the hands and arms that made them.
The pieces highlight how physical labor is measured and embedded in the warp and weft of weaving, which is essentially a grid. This typically impassive structure here serves as a meeting point where the impulse to reduce everything to numbers meets the irreducible physicality of the body.
2] I wrote about weaving on December 10, 2015. Here’s the post:
In a search for an image to explain the warp and weft in fabric, a simple image appears from wikipedia:
An artist named Kumi Yamashita also appears in the same search (source). She removes part of the warp and the weft in fabric to create something new.
She describes her delicate and precise art:
Sometimes there is something beautiful about things falling apart. Undoing one thing while simultaneously creating another.
3] Walter Benjamin: Work on good prose has three steps: a musical stage when it is composed, an architectonic one when it is built, and a textile one when it is woven.
Until then, here are the frayed fibers/words that I have yet to tie together.