Thursday, April 2, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

A few months ago I found myself engaged in an email conversation with a composer who is now learning how to weave. This started me thinking about the process of creating .

I have begun to think in terms of two ways of bringing an idea into form.


One way is to collect a lot of different ideas. Ideas that may well have very little if any relationship to each other. This seems to be my way.

I collect ideas that come to me in the middle of the night. Ideas that come to me in the middle of a concert, ideas that have nothing to do with the music I am hearing. Ideas that come to me when a painting moves me. Ideas that come to me when I am planting a tree or a flower.

Similarly, I collect pictures that I like. I put pictures from magazines and catalogs that appeal to me in a large sketch book, sometimes making comments about what I found appealing. I make notes of pictures from books I own that I like. I collect images from the internet and keep them in folders in My Pictures.

What I then have is an array of possibilities. As I begin putting a warp on the loom, and work on the finishing of the warp just removed, I sometimes start looking at this array of possibilities. More often than not, I do not. In the process of the weaving of the warp I have just removed to finish, I have discovered the next project.


Another way is to allow oneself to be seized in the moment by the idea that comes. To analyze it, research it, make notes about it, collect information, make sketches, and to continue this process until a veritable folder or notebook is created that can be filed away, to be pulled out at a later date. The notebook then contains enough material to begin the detailed work of creating the intended object. This is not my way.

Or is it?

By the time I have the warp of my current project woven, I already have a small folder with both information and ideas about my next project. I will have done research and made some tentative decisions about it. So the weaving I am in the process of doing is at the same time my inspiration for my next weaving. It contains the ideas for my next weaving.


Why, then, keep collecting all these nuggets that I rarely look at? Well, I do look at them, but primarily for color ideas. But other idea nuggets get collected as well. Some of those nuggets get stuck into my brain and have an impact on what it is about my current weaving that is going to inspire my next weaving.

One of these nuggets I have is about double-weave, for example. Double-weave and crackle. One side crackle, the other side plain weave or twill. Both sides crackle, reversible. Both sides crackle, different colors on each side. Both sides crackle, but different block designs. Whether or not to stitch the layers. Interchanging the layers. Yes, thoughts about this grow increasingly intense. The point when it becomes more painful not to take up this particular gauntlet than to take it up is the point when I will begin serious work.


Now for the award. This is an award that Leigh has gifted me with and I am very honored indeed. For this is an award having nothing to do with weaving but with creating community:

"This blog invests and believes in the PROXIMITY-nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers!

I am passing it on to some other community-creating weavers:

Nigel, Kaz, Cally, Lynette, Laura, Janet

Related Post:
Multi-Pocket Folders
Organizing Projects: Part One
Why I Weave as I Do
Weaving as Exploration

Ways of Creating and an Award” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 2, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina


Leigh said...

I'd like to be a #1, but I think I'm actually #2. Except I rarely do it with a notebook, often I do it in my head while I'm at the loom. I often end up with a series of experiments, all based on "what if."

I am trying to do better at recording. The CWTW kind of forced me to keep a record, because one write-up on our studies is part of the requirements.

Kaz said...

Wow Peg
I am very impressed with this award because it goes beyond weaving into extending community. I sincerely hope that I can provide even just a little of this via by blogging. Thank you so much. Kaz

Peg in South Carolina said...

Hi Leigh, I think that writing the stuff up, even if you never ever refer to it again, imprints on the memory and hence is useful in quite a different way from referring back to what you have written for things like sett and size. It becomes a part of you that can be used without your even realizing it because it adds to your experience. Am I making sense? (grin!) And yes, while I am at the loom, it is hard for me actually to write down all the "what if's". And if i do, I often find when i go to type them up, or when I need to refer back to them, I've made mistakes and can't quite see or understand what was what. This is happening to me right now in my crackle designing for this next scarf. I can't quite figure out exactly what I did in the sample I am using, despite extensive notes.........sob! So I am forced to think......more sobs......... Indeed, I am putting it off because it is going to be hard work (grin!)

Peg in South Carolina said...

Kaz, you are very welcome.

Dorothy said...

You've got me thinking again. How many ideas escape because I didn't note them down, I wonder?

I now have the idea that keeping a sketch book might help keep my life in balance, it's something I haven't done for years. But I remember what it is like to look through sketches etc and find something to develop. I remember now that it helps with maintaining focus on what one is trying to do.

Peg in South Carolina said...

Dorothy, my feeling is that if an idea is really important (to you), it will return. Blogging definitely helps me maintain my focus, as does making all these notes about a project.