slow making

Faceplanting Chickens and Plaited Twill

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I’m really looking forward to spring and summer this year. Not just because of the warmer weather, but because I just got some baby chicks! Dad came up and helped me build a chicken coop, so the four girls will be able to move into their own swanky little house when they’re old enough.

The first couple days, I found myself worrying a lot about them. I’ve never had chickens before, and I kept getting stressed out because I don’t know anything about them except what I’ve read in books. But the books didn’t say that they all will periodically faceplant and look totally dead while they power nap. Or that there’d be a jail break on day 2 and I’d have to find my trouble-making Americauna chick (luckily she didn’t get very far).

It’s been an exercise in letting go. Letting go of my worry and anxiety, and – the big one – letting go of control. It’s applicable to my art practice, too. It’s so easy to get used to doing things a certain way and then get stuck in a rut. Ruts are all about control. You know what to do and how to do it. You’re comfortable and in control. But you can learn a lot from shaking things up, so I’m taking the lesson to heart.

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I tried out a new weave that’s pretty complicated, in colors I don’t use very often. It’s called a plaited twill, and I absolutely love it! I’m loving the spring green and ecru color combination, and the aqua feels so fresh. And of course, I always love a good red :) These table runners are available in my shop!

I’ve also been having a bit of a neutral moment. I’ve done a scarf in neutral stripes and an infinity scarf in a beige and black lace weave. I love the subtlety of the neutrals, so I’ll definitely be doing more!

Let's Hear it for the Slow Process

I’ve started taking some short videos showing how I weave and the process that goes into it, especially all the prep work. I’ve also done a couple videos of the shellac process on my paintings. I post them on Instagram, and I’ve also started posting them on YouTube. I just got that all set up, so subscribe to my channel if you want updates.

At first, I was really nervous about doing videos and I procrastinated for a long time. Like, a year. I had read a lot of established weavers who were really into “efficiency”, and they said that if you weren’t efficient, you were NOT A REAL WEAVER and you’d never really be good. Some of their posts were really harsh and got into my head. I was so worried I’d post some videos and all the comments would be about how I’m doing everything wrong. I’m self-taught, which compounds my insecurity! But so far, everyone has been really kind, so obviously my fears were all in my head (duh).

But I realized something while I was working recently. I enjoy doing things at a comfortable pace that a lot of people would call slow. I want to take my time. When I try to get faster and experiment with all those “efficient” ways of doing things, I make more mistakes. I start to get stressed out about speed instead of just relaxing and being happy that I’m doing what I love.

So I’m saying it, loud and proud: I like taking my time. I like going slowly. I like doing it right the first time and taking an extra minute to double check my work at every stage. I enjoy my slow process, even if it’s a little less efficient.

Gallery Happenings

I have some exciting news! I was accepted into the Ashland Art Works gallery in Ashland, Oregon, to show my weaving. (I’m totally superstitious, so I didn’t want to say anything until it really started.) This is my first month, and we were open for the First Fridays Art Walk. Even though it was raining, a lot of people came out, and I even sold a few things! It’s a great start to what I hope will be a long relationship with the gallery.

One of Ashland Art Works' gorgeous galleries

One of Ashland Art Works' gorgeous galleries

If you’re in Southern Oregon, drop by and check it out! There are about 15 artists, including painters, woodworkers, sculptors, jewelry makers, and fiber artists. Their work is so beautiful, and I’m honored to be in their company.

New Work

I had some new weaving all done, but it went into the gallery! I’m working on some new tea towels and scarves for the web shop, and soon I’ll have some bags, tassels and bookmarks as well. In terms of paintings, I’ve been working on some new things but nothing is quite finished yet. I like to let paintings sit for a little while so I can be sure they’re really done – sometimes, after looking at one for a week or two, I decide it needs a little something more.

In the meantime, I still have a lot of weaving and paintings for sale online, so check the website if you need anything. Feel free to reply to this email with any specific requests :)