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womans work??

August 19, 2013

all in a days work

IMG_2433the dyed silk hankies

spinning 188

my “Journey Wheel” attracts the most attention

events 481it’s signed and dated, I’ve had it since 1980 and never seen another here on the West coast

I do not consider my weaving, spinning, dyeing, teaching

maintaining a studio, bookkeeping etc. as a hobby to keep me busy, entertained and “out of trouble”

events 465events 468

“Fibrations” is a wonderful opportunity to engage with the public

events 473to buy, sell and share information

events 469events 471

thanks to the people who gave permission to show their photos

and everyone who dropped by to say hello

 to those who came to meet me and say they enjoy my blog

to Noriko-san from Osaka who was interested in the Japanese Textile Workshops

to Liz from Nanaimo who wanted me to say “hi” to Bryan, (hi Bryan)

thank you

BUT….I am always insulted when someone condescendingly says “isn’t it nice, you have something to do”

I’ve spent a considerable amount of time (40 years), energy and money studying, perfecting and promoting textiles and the fibre arts/techniques

and shocked when people ask “what are you weaving?” (on my spinning wheel)

” what sheep does silk come from?”

“why do your things cost so much?”

and NO, I don’t teach for free!

I would love to hear from people- around the world – what questions are you asked?

what is the level of interest/knowledge in textiles where you live?

26 Comments leave one →
  1. August 22, 2013 7:13 am

    I think perhaps some of the general ignorance is because the schools cut back on wood shop, art, and home ec classes over the years, and people no longer have the chance to create with their hands, and so are in the dark about the whole process, and that time spent on something is never a waste.


    • August 22, 2013 7:58 am

      Anastasia – due to mass production there is no longer a need to hand-make or repair the things we use on a daily basis. and there is a definite stigma attached to “homemade”.


      • August 23, 2013 1:33 pm

        yes, this is a part of it as well. but, i always seem to have to “fix” things i buy so they fit better or have more interest. which leads to a major complaint i have about clothes and tailoring, and the lack of hems and seam allowances… the stigma is definitely there as well, perhaps because people confuse poorly made with handmade; “you couldn’t have made that yarn, there’s no bumps and straggly bits!”.


      • August 23, 2013 2:27 pm

        Anastasia – I think people equate homemade with being poor and brand names tell the world you can afford them (which isn’t always true!) I really object to over paying for something and then being a billboard to advertise the maker at my expense.


  2. August 21, 2013 11:34 am

    I was thinking more about this post after attending the theatre festival here on Gabriola, where they had an “artisan market” on the side to add to the fun. The local spinners and weavers were there, and I don’t think met any of their goals. They were focused on “saleable” items – small things that didn’t cost a lot. When people are looking at things for sale, they start to think in economic terms of labout, cost of materials etc. and really, I don’t think that’s what it’s about. If it were up to me the focus would be on the exquisite, unique, amazing things we can make by hand, and take the market right out of it.

    But maybe that’s just me being idealistic. I can still remember how soft and light was a beautiful handwoven blanket I touched at the Kingston Weavers and Spinners Show and Sale back in 1991 – it set me on the path through the fabulous land of fiber arts.


    • August 21, 2013 5:20 pm

      Heather – I take a variety of things but mainly silk scarves ($120). then small zipper bags made from handwoven fabric with linings hand-stitched so the closure is neat ($15) one person wants to come and choose the fabrics because the lining pattern didn’t suit the friend she intended to give it to. also, the flowers woven on a 4″ loom (3 woven squares)from hand-spun, beaded in the center with a brooch pin on the back ($10) although one person bought one she didn’t like the pin and thought I should buy them from a jeweler. I only make the small things so people can feel happy to buy something if they don’t have a lot to spend. Didn’t sell a single scarf but the person who won mine in the toonie raffle was delighted and both phoned and emailed to thank me. I think I give up!!


  3. August 20, 2013 8:13 am

    Looks like you were having a nice time. And the dyed hankies really turned out nice! As a vegan for 12 years I still get the question, “Where do you get your protein?” I know you don’t have to eat meat and dairy to get protein, but most people really don’t know that. Things that are so obvious to us fiber artists are also not very well known.


    • August 20, 2013 8:26 am

      Kirstin – I am appalled at the ignorance in both our countries where all of us should be well educated. what hope is there for the world? like Velma, it makes me MAD but also depressed and very sad.


  4. August 20, 2013 5:30 am

    I’m new to your blog but I’ll be back! Looks fascinating!


  5. August 20, 2013 5:05 am

    it’s those awful questions…and utter ignorance and indifference to the maker’s hand that makes me MAD. the only time a fair situation has been ok for me has been when it’s amongst those who GET IT, like at the portland (maine) book arts fair last spring.


    • August 20, 2013 7:56 am

      Velma – I’ve done this for years because I’ve always hoped it would enlighten at least one person. don’t think I have many more years left in me!


      • August 24, 2013 7:31 am

        you ARE a good human, better than me because i just don’t do it (and you should hear people ask me to! they still do)


      • August 24, 2013 7:54 am

        Velma – think I’ve become a crazy, crabby old lady!


  6. lagriccia permalink
    August 19, 2013 11:48 pm

    Yes, you should have a FAQ panel besides your wonderfully woven items and incredible spun yarn! It is no wonder to me what you are saying, in Italy there is abysmal ignorance as far as textiles are concerned and what is left of textile art is slowly dyeing.


    • August 20, 2013 7:58 am

      Blandina – all the fabulous fashions you show – made from textiles, and your incredible museums. maybe we will all end up wearing animal skins again!!


  7. marlene toerien permalink
    August 19, 2013 10:21 pm

    Hi I have heard all the remarks especially do you weave your cushions on the spinning wheel, after explainging the whole process of preparing my yarn from the fleece to the loom! Also the one from mostly the engineer community, isn’t there a way to do it faster!


  8. August 19, 2013 7:55 pm

    Then there’s “My grandmother used to do that”
    “how long did it take you?” (exactly timed as well)
    “how long did it take you to make that and how many can you make in an hour?” (that’s from men usually)
    “how much does your loom cost?”
    “where do you get your string from?”

    And my favourite (from my mother in law) how that cute stitching thing you do going? (after being married to her son for 30 years….

    Grin and bear it… Susan


    • August 19, 2013 8:25 pm

      Susan – Deb
      I love the stories. somehow they make me feel better, think we have all heard them. Maybe I should collect everyone’s favorite and have them published. under the title “it has been asked before” , we could hand it out at events! I’ll keep grinning.


  9. August 19, 2013 7:32 pm

    We are in the middle of redneck country with very little interest in textiles. I was once beading a piece while my daughter was in ballet class and the standard suburbanite next to me informed me that it looked “tedious”……after that I made sure I wore my ipod to tune out this sort of input. Funny, though, I have quite lengthy discussions with my mailman about beading and dyeing.

    Fibrations looks fabulous. Some year I will have to alter a BC trip to be able to attend it.


  10. August 19, 2013 4:09 pm

    I just read a book by Margaret Drabble, about jigsaw puzzles, and she was so insulting about the fibre arts, considering them the most menial of “time-killers”. The comment I get the most, from people trying to be nice, I think (I hope), is “That must have taken a lot of time.” Most people don’t have slightest clue about textiles. I know more about golf or baseball than they know about how their clothes are made, which is appalling, considering I have actively tried to avoid filling up my brain with truly useless information about sports.


    • August 19, 2013 4:36 pm

      Heather – where did Margaret Drabble place jigsaw puzzles on the scale of “time-killers?? I had one woman who just pawed through all my silk scarves asking totally unrelated questions – I wondered if she was “high” although she didn’t look the type. In the end I told her I was happy to help her if she wanted to buy something otherwise would she please not handle the silk. Yikes!


  11. August 19, 2013 3:16 pm

    I get the same kind of comments. Sometimes I think it is because I am an older woman (57) and people think this is how I am amusing myself in my retirement years. little do they know I am working just as hard as when I had a job and my kids were around.


  12. August 19, 2013 3:07 pm

    It was a fun day, and the rain held off – yay! I love to see the number of people who like to make things out of fibres, and the people who are interested in people making things out of fibre…


    • August 19, 2013 4:02 pm

      Kjerstin – fibrations is gaining momentum and it really is wonderful. a big “thanks” to Stephanie and Ryan


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