Working Small, Making Samples

You may have noticed the new image on my home page, and you may have seen me blog about these before. It’s been awhile, but these little pieces remain among my favorites. Originally samples from my very first weaving class (literally, the very first day), I sewed them together and sold them as wall hangings in 2010. So yes, old work, but looking at them now I remain pleasantly surprised at how well they fit into my larger body of work and how they are helping me move forward in new directions.

What I love about them is that they were created in a frenzy of fear and nervousness, of desperately wanting to master weaving in those first six hours and into the week after using only yarns that were immediately available and structures that I had not yet familiarized myself with. The fact of the matter is, of course, I had no idea what I was doing. They are accidents, guesses, frantic swings.

And of course, they are small, barely six inches wide; oh so precious.

I was often asked in school why my work was so small. I had no particular reason, other than that the work just knew when it was done. The width, of course, was predetermined, but it was simply a comfortable space, like writing paper at a desk. Like the Letterbox Stories*, which I was working on simultaneously with my weaving.  Because of this, I also know I am drawn to the instinct that comes from sampling, which also means working quickly, with little editing, with trusting the colors, the structure, and your gut. Maybe it comes from having so many ideas you have to work small, to get it all out. The pleasure of beginning new projects, new paths.

Many people don’t consider samples finished works, but it’s all work, . I’m more proud of many more sentences I’ve ever written than whole stories. If that’s the best work I make my whole life, I think that’d be just fine.

*More thoughts on writing and writing quickly

More Samples:

Haystack 2011

February 13, 2012
Posted in:
Samples, Weaving

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