I like to think that each piece I weave has its own set of rules to follow and its own set of challenges to overcome. But the kinds of rules I set for the piece, and the kinds of challenges I’ll face, are related to the kind of weaving I’m working on. So I thought it would be an interesting idea to look at what I call “style thinking”. At least it’s interesting for me…
When I am deciding on what I am planning to weave, I tend to make our decisions based on yarns and considering whatever time constraints I might be operating under. Which is to say that the yarns that we have available, with their stimulating colors and textures, are a big, often unconscious, part of thinking about design. Time constraints are a much more conscious issue. We have an annual “drop dead” deadline of Spanish Market, which is at the end of July and dominates our weaving schedule more than other time considerations. We need to have things done in time for Market. But the amount of time I have to focus on my work at the loom varies a lot with the seasons and our other commitments in life. I have to think about these things before I launch into something that I won’t have time to finish.
For each style there are different ways to think about the following things:
- design placement
- color use
- repetition and rhythm
- kinds of mistakes,
- level of detail
- sticking with tradition and knowing where, when, and why to depart from tradition
- where are the challenges?
- where am I likely to get bored or worn out?
I’ll be addressing this in in a series of future posts, organized in order of the length of time it takes to get through a piece, from the quickest to the most complex and slow projects. If you want to learn more about the history of the style you can take a look at earlier blog entries about that, or you can see the same material on our website, http://www.chimayoweavers.com. The length of time it takes to get through a piece depends, more than anything on how much tapestry you wind up doing, and how complex it is. It also takes much longer to weave things that require a lot of thought. So complexity can be more than just moving a lot of spools, it can also mean trying out whole new, unfamiliar thought processes. Trying out new ways of thinking is probably my favorite part of weaving.