Tuesday, May 12, 2009
My studio is still piles of boxes, but my two looms are up and in place. I set up my little one and put all its guts back in (harnesses, heddles, treadles, counterbalance beams) so that I can get back to some production weaving. I hope to figure out some more wall shelving solutions to get those boxes unpacked and create an efficient, comfortable workspace. So, amidst a bit of the chaos that is still my studio, I have started to create order out of silk and cotton. I am threading the loom for a handwoven shawl commissioned by Susan Furneaux, a textile artist based in St. John's NL. It's a bit of a collaboration actually. After designing and measuring out the warp and weft, I mailed her the cotton and silk. Susan, using her incredible mastery of natural dyeing, then dyed the fibres using logwood and indigo and sent them back to me. Rich, deep colours, unlike anything I have seen in my limited experience with natural dyes. This is what is being now beamed onto my loom in the picture above after the reeding and threading. I really enjoy doing commissions, and especially one that involves collaboration.
Last week, I used some of my grant money for my upcoming exhibition in PEI next fall to purchase a book of essays about craft and modernity. Called "Neo Craft", it was published to coincide with a conference held at NSCAD University in 2007. I am enjoying reading it immensely and I feel parts of my intellect springing to life and becoming engaged with my work and the broader scope of craft in contemporary visual and social culture. "The choice of craft is not anachronistic. It is a statement that we still live in a body rich in potential. In a sense, craft always tries to perform a metaphysical revision: the return of labour to equal status with thought." - Bruce Metcalf