Friday, February 11, 2011

Threads of Rain and Grass

I'm finally weaving again!  I'm using fine wools in rich jewel tones.  These deep, beautiful colors I keep returning to remind me of my family's garden after a rain.  That's when the light brown tree trunks darken to a near-black, the grass is an unmatchable green, and all the flowers darken a little from the water, before they brighten in the sun.

The colors in the warp (the vertical threads that the weft - the horizontal threads - get woven into) blend from blues to purples to greens, with a touch of yellow as a highlight.

Bad news is, I'd forgotten just how long it takes to set up the loom!  Each strand of yarn goes first through the reed (essentially a really long comb) in front, which you can see in the picture above, and then through an individual heddle, which you can see in the picture below.  That's what the loom looks like when you're hunched over the back of it and pulling each individual strand through.  I have less than 200 of the 840 strands threaded through the loom so far!  Luckily, this is a rather meditative process, and I zone out to music.
I'll be keeping track of my progress - hopefully by next posting I will have the first bit of fabric woven!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Story Begins

    I am the vessel that carries the Otherworld into this world.  My creations were conceived in another time, another place, but born in this world as prophets.  Each piece carries the essence of an aspect of spirituality, without also carrying the established meaning of any specific religion.  The warm glow of fire in darkness, chanting and music, ritualistic motions, processions and journeys, script and symbols - detached from proselytizing, these things carry individual meaning to us all.
    My materials are intimately connected to the world that they are a part of.  Leather, stone, wood, bone, and linen are children of the earth, and are reminders of the grass beneath your feet, the bark under your hands.  Silk, glass, mirrors, and shimmer are children of the sky, and are reminders of the wind in your hair, the feeling of raindrops on your skin. 
    A costume is not complete until it is worn, a mask is not complete without the face concealed behind it.  Empty of the bearer, the costume is still and silent like a relic in a museum.  Someone once wore it, someone once knew its meaning, but its life is lived, its history condensed to a few short phrases tacked on the wall beside it.  Time does not leave anything untouched, and its passage is recorded in accumulation and decay.  Time binds us all together.