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Welcome to Musings – The Loom Room Blog

10 January, 2016

The Power of Connections

I feel very privileged to be living in an era where being an artist does not mean struggling on your own, trying to justify what you do and why you do it against more ‘worthy’ occupations.  I know – most of us work on our own, and yes, we do end up trying to explain, and on occasion trying to justify, what it is that we do, and its validity.  But in the world that has access to the internet and social media, we are no longer emotionally or professionally on our own any more.  There is so much information online, some brilliant, some good, some mediocre and some downright wrong!  But we can reach out, through blogs, through online forums, through social media.

And when we connect with others, we sometimes get criticism, we often realise just how much we have yet to learn about our chosen medium/media, but more often than not, we get support, encouragement, validation, understanding.

I’ve spoken before about getting those ‘aha’ moments, and how wonderful they are.  But I had never before read an account of how these moments happen.  To me, I knew that the connections were made between specific techniques/problems/topics and my more general region and that there is not really much that is new but the individual voice and ‘genius’ comes from connections that are made between things that might not have been connected before, or thought about in that specific way before.  I also knew that many of my ideas come from quiet moments – the middle of the night, just before falling asleep (and thus preventing sleep!!) or immediately on waking, in the shower, walking the dog – and had assumed that my subconscious had been working on things whilst I was actively or passively engaged elsewhere.

Then I read a newsletter from somewhere – possibly Sam and Joe at TextileArtist.org (more of them later) – and the author had written of a fabulous little book called A Technique for Producing Ideas by James Webb Young, published in the 1940s.  I searched on Amazon and bought this little tome.  It arrived and this morning, whilst drinking my mid-morning coffee, I read it from cover to cover.  Don’t worry – this is not impressive!!  It is a short book – 48 pages cover to cover.  But it expressed exactly what happens in the creative process in such a lucid and succinct way.

This leads me on to my main point in this blog post.  The world is now a much smaller place thanks to the internet.  We can connect to each other like never before.  The guys at TextileArtist.org are part of this amazing chain of connections and they publish really good material.  If you haven’t come across them yet, please do click on a link in this blog and go and visit their site.  Their story alone is one of connections and curiosity.  Watch the videos that they are currently putting on their site – there is a time limit on them (good publicity ploy!) so go and check it out before the videos disappear.

The only danger is that we can get so easily side-tracked with all this social media  - so many people to connect with, so many wonderful textiles to look at and admire.  But connectivity-wise, we have never had it so good!!

27 November, 2011

Subconscious Thinking

This morning I awoke from a dream where I was being greeted by Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada at a World Shibori Network gathering, and lay there for a minute a little bemused by my dream.  Whilst I was processing it, sudden ideas flashed into my mind about how I could approach an upcoming assignment that I am doing for my masters degree.  Then another idea popped into my mind about how I could use weave structures other than plain weave for my planned pieces, and then another idea about how I could adapt my loom to do what I want to do with another piece.

Ten minutes in bed and a host of ideas to set me up for the week!  That’s what Sunday mornings are for!! ;^))

This week has been a painful one physically for me.  Over the last two weeks, I have done things to give my back little twinges, and I have not paid attention to my body and stretched out my muscles.  Last weekend, I compounded the effects by loading and unloading my car, and driving 6 hours in one day, then followed the next day by leaf removal on the lawn.  On Monday, my back was grumbling at me, on Tuesday I had to visit the osteopath, then on Wednesday was flat out on my back on the study floor because I had sat at the computer for too long on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning!!

I know it’s my own fault, and I have vowed to look after my body better.  Once my back has settled down, I am purchasing a Yoga DVD and will make a Yoga session part of my morning ritual, like my morning visualisation exercise.  This is not a vain New Year’s resolution.  My body needs this or I shall be suffering many more bouts of painful, debilitating back pain and weeks without being able to weave….

However, I did have an ‘aha’ moment this morning.  Whilst I am unable to weave on my AVL (which has a warp sitting there just waiting to be started!!), I can at least start work on some miniatures on a miniature loom.  Over the Christmas holidays, I usually find myself fired up and full of ideas for weaving, but have to put the lid on them as we have company and it would be so rude to leave them all to it whilst I slope off to weave.  But this year, and whilst my back is still not 100%, I am going to use my little 8S loom to weave indoors.  I can be sociable(ish) and still weave!!

This will be the first time I have broken my own rule of not bringing looms into the house.  I did wonder whether there would be objections from my DH (after all, he does know what I’m like when I’m weaving!!), but he was delighted.  Even if I don’t hear a word that people say to me because I’m in weaving-land, at least I will be in the room with them in body – and they can always nudge me to get a response!!

So now today’s task is to set up a small warp for my small loom and plan the first of my miniatures!!  Then watch how quickly my back sorts itself out!!

Happy weaving!