It is a whole new world…
I’m not even sure where to begin this blog, I’ve wanted to write something for a couple of days. I will not write on current events, politically or otherwise, I swore I would never make this blog about anything other than my life as a fiber artist. And I’m sticking too that. Though, I’m currently playing around with a body of art work and themes of the current political climate are creeping into the titles and the shapes of the pieces. I will blog on that at another date, kind of cool stuff, but what I want to talk about here is the ending of an era.
Like the 1970’s era.
The 1970’s were probably the most defining decade of my life. Yes the 80’s were all about my career, and the 90’s were all about raising children, etc, but the 70’s were a time of change, great change for me, I grew up, finished High School, went to college and studied art, weaving and fiber. I met my future husband and we married in 1978. I met my fiber professor and she stayed on as a friend and mentor until her death a few weeks ago. I made a lifelong friend of the Swedish Exchange student who lived with us in my senior year of HS, allowing me to travel many times to Europe to meet up with her and her family. She died three weeks after my husband last June. But the path of my future as a handweaver, educator, in fact my entire career started with the acquisition of my very first loom, a Tools of the Trade, 45″ 8 shaft with a double sectional back beam, in 1978 with a small inheritance from a deceased grandmother. $1000 went a long way back then.
That loom took me through my entire career first as a production weaver for someone else, and then ten years of production weaving, selling my work in craft fairs. That loom saw many many yards of fabric roll onto the cloth beam.
I acquired six other Tools of the Trade looms, and I seem to be the go to person whenever someone in the world Googles a question about the loom. And truth be told, that loom was way more loom than I need right now. I never weave 45″ across anymore, and it is a big, heavy, solid rock maple loom and my joints are getting a bit old and weary. I made noises once of finding another home for it, and my daughter threw a fit, insisting that would be her loom when I die.
Fast forward to last Sunday. My daughter got a new job at a vet hospital an hour west of here, and though she loved the job, she found the commute tiring. Especially with the winter weather. If it rains here in January, it is usually snowing there. And we have had a lot of rain this month. So she put out a call to the members of one of our weaving guilds, asking if anyone knew of a place to rent, only requirements besides cheap, were she wanted to bring a loom and a puppy. I won’t comment on the puppy, but last Sunday, I took apart my beloved loom, carefully preserving the warp on it, don’t ask how I managed that, and hauled that 500 pound monster down the stairs with a lot of help, into the back of a truck, and up the flight of stairs in her new digs over the garage of the home of a weaver of course. I called a guild member who lived close and also owns a Tools of the Trade loom, and she came over and together we reconstructed my loom, now my daughter’s loom, in her new apartment, and when I drove home that night, I realized that all of the things that defined my course in life from the 1970’s had gone on to new places, and my studio and my life are feeling a little empty.
I will be really honest here and share that there were a few tears when I went in the studio Monday morning. I have lost a lot this year. I have lost everything that defined me and my future from the 1970’s. They were good years. But all of those people and that solid rock maple loom built a foundation that has stayed with me for four decades and will continue to influence me until I move on from this life. It is all good. Really. And it didn’t take long to spread out and fill the space in a meaningful way. My fear is she will move back and where will I put that monster.
I took advantage of the additional space and started weeding through my bobbin lace pillows and materials, also refugees from the 1970’s. I have not only my collection, but that of my mother in law’s, who has been dead for 10 years. I donated a car load to the local lace making guild tonight. It felt really good.
I have spent the last six months beginning the process of redefining who I am moving forward, and passing this equipment on to a new eager generation means a lot. Of course I miss my daughter already, but I know she is where she needs to be and I will be fine. She comes home briefly tomorrow night to pick up her new puppy from a local breeder/friend. Don’t ask…
I’ve lots more to tell, but I’ll end tonight, because I’ve had trouble all day with my domain/blogsite, webstore and website, and it has been a very frustrating day with technology. I want to make sure this loads and you dear readers can actually access it.