Monday, September 21, 2009

Lectures, Mine and Others

I am going to Kent, Ohio this week to give a talk on woven figured textiles (drawloom and jacquard production) at the Kent State University Museum. The poster above has all the information of date, time, place--and if you are in the area, please come hear the talk. It is free and open to the public. There are several exhibitions of work on view too that I look forward to seeing, as well as seeing the work of the students of Janice Lessman-Moss. It is always good to see Janice, so I know it will be a great trip.

Takako Ueki, owner of Habu Textiles, talking to the VT Weavers Guild

Saturday morning I heard a wonderful talk by Takako Ueki, owner of Habu Textiles, at the meeting of the Vermont Weavers Guild. Takako sells the most amazing yarn and is a wealth of information about the materials she sells. She is a natural storyteller, and each time she picked up another skein, she would take us on another fascinating journey. I realized that so many of the processes she was describing have been embedded in cultures for generations--knowledge handed down from parent to child--identified with families and villages. Sadly much of this knowledge--making bamboo dents, splitting ramie into fine almost invisible thread, making double sided gold paper yarn--is being lost to the current generation who has found more lucrative professions. As I listened I wanted to try everything--but of course the skills of the masters she was describing come from dedication to one thing--the person who could make the incredible ramie did not know how to make the woven ikat weft. I don't have time to master any of these skills, nor do I have the discipline to focus on one thing. Trying to become a better weaver is enough for me. Still, it was a wonderful morning listening to her stories, and dreaming about places where people have valued special yarn and the cloth made from it. Each time Takako would hold up a roll of plain weave--incredible plain weave--I would take in a deep breathe and sigh in appreciation.

Six residents of Randolph area reading memoirs

Idora Tucker reading from her memoir as her daughter, Sara Tucker, looks on

Last week six residents of this area who have been meeting weekly at the Senior Center gave a reading from their memoirs. My neighbors, Sara Tucker and her mother, Idora Tucker, are both my friends, and they invited me to attend the reading. When the original organizer stepped out of the picture, Sara, a writer by profession, stepped in to help guide and encourage the others. She is very proud of their writing, as she should be. They did a beautiful job of interspersing their stories, doing three rounds where they each read sections of their stories. I definitely wanted to hear more, and it gave me a deeper appreciation for the people in this community.

Mark starting to paint the house

We are having a new roof put on our house, and while there is some staging on the roof, Mark has started to paint the house. Though we have been discussing potential colors for months, suddenly we needed to make a decision. Choosing color is so hard--especially from a 1 inch x 1 inch color chip that is representing an entire building. We bought some blue green paint but before it even got on the wall we both got cold feet. In my mind the entire house looked like an overly sweet decorated cake. Then we decided on gray, with dark gray trim--and bought those paints. Then we bought a small sample size of green, very similar to the current color. I am not sure how it will end up, and the main part of the house won't get painted until next spring, but we will see.

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