Lost Arts studio

A lot of the fiber arts I enjoy are things like tatting, netmaking, chair caning, and even weaving, where people will come up to me when I demonstrate and solemnly tell me, "That's a lost art."

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Location: SW Outer Nowhere, Michigan, United States

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a chicken. (With apologies to Peter Steiner.)

15 January 2006

A Good Day of Mostly Netting

We had some sun again, but the temperatures were not as nice for working outdoors. (High of 35 degrees F instead of 55.) So I mostly worked on the rainbow net. I have a fair amount of thread left. The limiting factor might turn out to be the tail I am using to make the drop-down knot, instead of the thread on my netting shuttle.

I stuffed a piece of charcoal fabric into the net to set off the bright color and stretch out the meshes. I've been tying it to one of the crossbars of my loom while I work on it. Those three slanting bars in the upper left corner of the picture are three of the treadles of my floor loom.

I don't know what causes a "WIP", a work-in-progress, to morph into a "UFO", an unfinished object. What makes a project stall out? How come some things I can have sitting for months, not do a stitch on them, and still feel like they are active projects, and others (even though I do a row or two, or a shot or two of weft to keep them "alive") don't draw me in at all?

And then what makes a project like this, that I started months ago, suddenly demand my attention, and become just as interesting as when I first started it?

I'm sure I don't know. But whatever it is, it's not that mythical "patience" that I am often accused of having when I demo, say, tatting. The phrase is "I would never have the patience!" It never exactly sounds like a compliment.

We always try to explain that it doesn't take patience. Things you love to do don't take patience. Cleaning the toilet takes patience. Initiating a session of picking up the Legos takes patience. Listening to the beloved spouse run on about one of his beloved games takes patience.

Netting, weaving, caning a chair, or tatting take time. They don't take patience. Usually the only impatience I feel is for the first twelve seconds when I sit down and think, "I'll just work a round or two." The next thing I feel is amazement that I've been working for forty-five minutes, and my foot is numb from being sat on! Or I get one of those "Mom! How long are you going to be in there? When are you going to make us some lunch?" recalls to the world. When I'm working, I'm not thinking how patient I'm being. My hands are busy, my mind is drifting. It's like moving meditation.



Blogger Rita said...

So true about handwork and patience. I keep telling people I meet in doctor's offices (or other places where I have to wait) that the netting I am doing actually gives me patience to sit without complaining. At least I am doing something and will have put the time to good use.

Some of my most productive thinking time is done while my hands are busy. Somehow my mind just floats along.

9:39 AM  

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