The idea to teach a workshop came to me one morning as I was working on a weaving for an old friend of mine. It had been a few months since I’d given myself complete freedom to create a piece with no expectations. I tend to resist hard and fast rules when it comes to art-making in general, but as a working artist, there are certain boundaries you must create for yourself to work within. At the very least, you must imagine your customers and what might appeal to them. Once in a while though, it is really important to allow yourself to be alone and free with your work- to let the audience, and the boundaries melt away. I always take it as an opportunity to practice this state of creativity when making a gift for someone. I use what I imagine to be that person’s preferences as my starting point, and then I just let go.
The morning I started Hilary’s weaving, I gathered her colors and textures into a messy pile - warm, bold, and wooly - and began my journey. Weaving has a rhythm; under and over again and again. If you let yourself, you can take advantage of the repetition to zone out. There is a part of your creative mind that stays grounded to make small choices like which color to use next, while the rest of you is transported to another realm where time and space is lost. This balance is rare and exquisite. It is in that balanced state of being that I am able to experience the present moment with ease. Even as a child I was able to reach that state of being through art. I consider myself blessed to have access to it.
While working on Hilary’s weaving, it occurred to me for the first time that this was a gift. It also occurred to me that I may be able to share my process with others. I have yet to find out if teaching someone how to weave could also potentially lead them to state of “flow”. This Saturday I will be providing the tools and the advice to inspire what I hope will become meaningful internal journeys for my students. At the very least, they will come away knowing how to weave.