Saturday, December 5, 2015

old skills

i was trained 
in the long ago and far away 1970's
as a fiberartist.
i could design a cloth wall piece and dress a loom,
weave and finish it.
i could dye with chemistries called procion and acid.
i could read and think about ART and art and CRAFT and craft.
i learned to make paper, too, 
and to work with clay and metal a little bit.
draw and paint some.
i left academia and
i learned next 
to spin and then to raise sheep and goats and rabbits and plants
for fiber which i then spun
sometimes dyed
or made paper with.
it is truly all connected by a thread.
stitching me to my mom
who taught me to sew with re-purposed cotton hem threads on kleenex.
i was weaving away on this recent folio, 
made of lokta shifu, a lovely 3 x 6, 4-selvedge cloth
using another stump loom, 
remembering my past, when therese sent me lovely bits of color.
around the folio fold mark another thing began to happen.
the cloth wanted a few stripes
(remember this cloth will be 3h x 6w equalling 3 x 3 inch folio size).
in today's mail came FIBER ART now
a visual scream (please please get another layout person)
inside was a pantheon of rich fiber art.
including my buffalo state college teacher, nancy belfer.

a good many months ago i warped up my smallest floor loom
with delicious cotton intended for shifu.
maybe it's time to weave a long cloth.
i can imagine
mrs. belfer looking
over my warp 
and making some little criticism, or,
if i'm lucky,
a word of praise.
in any case,
this journey with paper and books 
is exactly what i should be doing.
and this funny folio seems to be sprouting
some slits and wraps
reminiscent of my first experimental learning tapestries
from the 70's.
(i know someone will notice the needle: i did carve the bone one
from a found whitetail deer leg bone)


  1. Fascinating Velma. I did notice that beautiful bone needle, so clever.

  2. Yes that bone needle caught my eye too. Lovely weaving

  3. such beautiful weaving & that bone needle is a treasure thank you for sharing the threads that bind your life's work

  4. penny, it's a bit big, but totally workable for this.
    trace, i knew it!
    mo, very welcome. the needle, well, maybe i should bring a few with me to oz!

  5. will you have time to visit Sydney? would love to meet you in real life!

  6. I am constantly inspired and awed by people like you with true craft knowledge, and such a wide variety of skills all related and all so useful.

  7. mo, i would LOVE to, not sure i can though...
    michelle, but it's the r=training and the genes (my mom's birth name was weaver). i may be a lover of matter, which sounds decidedly weird.

  8. love the words, love the shifu and the bone needle is to dye for. It is enlightening to follow the path back to where we started and remember... all that weaving, where is it now?

  9. If you are bringing some with you, put my name on one of them, pleease

  10. Hi V - beautiful images and work - it must be very meditative to do the weaving - quiet and repetitive. I too like that needle - so beautifully worn. Go well. B

  11. i carved myself a needle like that a couple of years ago...but have a strong suspicion that one of the cats has run off with it! they do feel very good to hold in the hand.

  12. there's so much in this post speaking to me.
    how i would ♥♥ to weave lokta shifu!

  13. trace, i will try to bring a few along. they feel nice!
    barry, thank you, though i've just really started to use it. it picks up the shadow of your hands.
    india, yes, our pets do like our stuff!
    neki, abandon your technological wonder loom for a stump and a few nails?! well, you must give it a try some day!

  14. Looks like this warp is telling you what it wants to be.

  15. beautiful weaving, amazing needle, I want one. We don't find many old bones round here.

  16. alice, and i listened. never knew what a control freak i am!
    debbie, thanks...i will see if i can make up a few...

  17. how satisfying to get a window into the stump loom as the weaving moves along! this whole post reminds me of how we're all important parts of the story and world: the students, the teachers, everyone in between, young and old and so on. the indigo, exactly right on!

  18. aimee, therese's indigo came at the right time, also, her gift!


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