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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Day at Linda's

My friend Linda is a weaver.  Still.  I’m a retired weaver.  Now that I generally get to do whatever I want, I go to her studio as often as I can and do some of those nasty scut jobs that need doing, nevertheless.

She and I go back maybe thirty years now.  Back when we each were changing careers, trying a new field.  We met at a show, and we’ve been through a lot together since then.  Just becoming friends, for starters.  Then her husband died, unexpectedly.  Then my daughter went through an awful divorce.  Then her breast cancer.  Then my stroke.  On her birthday, no less.  I wore the lucky dress to her cancer appointments and procedures; she drove all night from Indianapolis for the stroke.  That’s just how it is.
When I first retired I helped her at some of her shows.  It’s tough to get show biz out of the old blood stream when you are addicted to such a tough way of making a living.  Load the van.  Drive several  many hours.  Arrive.  Off load hundreds of pounds of stuff.  Build the tent.  Build the booth.  Stock the booth.  Put on your best show face and take care of customers for two or three days.  Pack up the stock.  Pack up the booth.  Take down and pack up the tent.  Load it all into the van, after you get your load out pass to drive in.  Drive home.  Make new stuff.  Load the van……… was tough for me to come down from the high; thankfully I had Linda to hang with for a couple of years.

She and I are like oil and water.  Night and day.  But like yin and yang, too.  I get up in the morning.  She doesn’t.  I eat regular meals.  She picks.  I’m organized.  She’s chaos.  That’s why it workes out so well.  She’ll tell you that when we drove to shows together my last words out the motel room door were “I’ll be in the van, but don’t hurry.”  To my credit, I always got her to the show on time.
Here’s Linda and Joanne in two pictures.  We had to jury for shows.  An interminable application. Three or four slides.  One of the booth.  It’s all on line now, and much worse, I hear.  Anyway, sometimes a picture of “the artist at work” was required.  What the fuck.  This truly is insulting.  However, we need to be juried in, so………..

Joanne giving them a busy weaver shot.

Linda—they want to know what the fuck we do……..

So, I went to Linda’s studio today and sewed denim.  All day.  One strip to another.  Some of the strips were the entire length of a jeans leg.  Be still my heart.  Makes the job so much faster.  I turned ten pounds of denim strips on my right into ten pounds of shuttle ready weft on my left.  Well, Linda needs to clip, the rest of the scut job, but those ole jeans will be mighty expensive rugs next week, and someone will be thrilled to buy them.
And we chatted while Linda dressed a loom and I got a cucumber and tomato sammy for lunch…the jury’s in, it was a good day.

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