Today’s hand weavers are a rare and unusual bunch. We speak an ancient language. We have a secret handshake. We focus on skills as old as civilization; made obsolete by the industrial revolution. We know we are spun into the long line of all that ever was. We know our tread will leave a trail. We are pulled together by the love of cloth, and the creative possibility it possesses. Weavers accept that the human life span limits study options. Learning can commence anywhere along a 5000 year time line, and expand into things no one has thought of before. We don’t need to know it all, we just need to know more. With weaving, there’s always more.
It’s not really about cloth. Weavers rarely need to make cloth. We don’t need another scarf or place mat or dishtowel to make our life complete. We want possibility. We welcome inspiration and challenge. We peek in every door, and are brave enough to ask questions that make us feel foolish and simple-minded. It’s not unusual to gather fiber before having a plan for it’s use. There is no market, so we are unaffected by it’s pressure. We can’t charge enough, so we tend to give away. We weave our own choices, pressured only by ourselves. The drudgery of the chore falls away and through our hands, comes function with the purity of Art.
We are privileged by both time and space. The Guild of today doesn’t secret it’s knowledge away within bloodlines. 50 years ago, entrance to a Guild required an initiation with an audition of multiple finished pieces; presented to the few, to be scrutinized to the thread.
Today we gather as orphans in an ever expanding family that shares what we’ve figured with any who care to know. Few still share our secrets academically, so we are left to be the teachers. Without a originative teaching plan, we are free to study everything. It comes in through our hearts and eyes, rattles around our brains and is born through our fingers. When we touch others, we add our own unique imprint on the cloth that is Guild and the thread that connects human kind.