Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Carter Smith and Road Blocks

How many of us have had the experience of weaving something or knitting something we thought a total flop but years later accidentally coming upon it we thought it quite wonderful? I certainly know that I have occasionally experienced this.

Apparently the great figures in textile arts are not immune to this experience.

In the January/February 2008 issue of Fiberarts, there is a very good interview with Carter Smith. Carter Smith is not a weaver, but he is an innovative dyer and creator of amazing pieces to clothe the body. Check out his home page to see some of these pieces.

In this issue of Fiberarts, he talks about his two-year break from dyeing. The break began when he believed that he had gone as far as he could go in his fiber art.

But he did return to it. He explains how he had accidentally seen one of his old pieces and responded positively to it, much as we have found ourselves occasionally responding to an old piece.

He returned to dyeing with new energy and with no concerns for making money. Instead, he proceeded with questions like this: "How do I follow this energy? how do I follow this path? What's the next question?" (p. 45.)

This is only the beginning. He has much more to say, including comments on finding one's own style and dealing with difficulties of having limited studio time. I recommend getting a copy of this issue and reading the whole thing.

Related Post: Style and Originality

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