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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A happy landing

I’ve been weaving for the last year or so, using up the dwindling supply of cottons we purchased fifteen or twenty years ago.  My search for new thread for weaving was futile. F.U.T.I.L.E.  In the old days we wove with mill ends from good factories. The thread available now is imported and expensive. If it were good thread I would consider using it, and raising my prices. But, everything I found resembled twine, prickly and scratchy as all get out.

The last two warps I put on were wonderful. An all white warp of 12/2; exquisite hand. Ran through my fingers like butter. The last warp was the last of the white, with red, orange and yellow stripes. It actually was sad to weave it; everything I put on the loom would be the last and would be gone before the year was out.

Then came to decision to sell the house, and when the contract was signed, the packing began. We had an auctioneer come through to take things. The loom did not register with him, and the sewing equipment was of no interest. “No one does this anymore!”

The Cleveland Institute of Art downsized its textile program a couple of years ago, and two young women, in collaboration with CIA, put all the looms and equipment back together in a warehouse on Cleveland’s east side. It is the Praxis Fiber Workshop; its director is Jessica Pinsky. Stop right now and explore the link. This is a wonderful undertaking. I wish there were a good photo of a third of a football field filled with three long rows of world class looms. Mind boggling!


Of course Jessica would be delighted to take my studio off my hands. So, one fine day the moving company I hired to do the job showed up, loaded it up (“One, two three, lift!”) and we took it to Cleveland.


A box or two of miscellaneous essentials.


The Siruba industrial serger. It weighs two or three hundred pounds. The movers "One, two three," lifted it and took it away.


Helyn!


Boxes of soft, soft cotton.


The last warp. It went to Cleveland just like this. I could not bring myself to throw another shuttle.


The yoga skirts from the last warp. Behind them, the white shirts from the next to last warp. 
My July sales sheet shows them gone. That's a good thing.

34 comments:

  1. So you're completely out of the weaving business?

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  2. I guess it is a dyeing art. Sad you are retiring (I think). Mores the time for your lovely gardens.

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  3. I don't know what to say Joanne. Many changes occurring in your life. It must be time so enjoy it.

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  4. This is so hard to wrap my mind around. But I understand. I'll be there soon with quilting.

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  5. This is so hard to wrap my mind around. But I understand. I'll be there soon with quilting.

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  6. I am happy that you found a good home for your equipment and supplies. No loose ends, so to speak.

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  7. Ah! This kind of made me sad to read this. But if you're happy, then I'm happy!!

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  8. I wondered if you were finding time for your weaving. You are always so busy.

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  9. Sad, your weaving shouldn't end that way. At least the parts are going to a good home. This getting older can really be painful at times.

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  10. I consider it an honor that I have the forever shawl that I won that you wove! I bet it was bittersweet to say goodbye to that part of your life. So many wonderful memories and hard work and beautiful products you made! I'm sure though they went to a good home.

    betty

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  11. I can only be happy for you. And cherish my teatowels even more.

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  12. You are very brave (and sensible) to move on to other interests when the time dictates.

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  13. You have a wonderful way to show that sad things have also positiv points, sometimes.

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  14. The feeling of freedom is indescribable is it not. When we sold the farm and all its 80 years of accumulated engineering paraphernalia three years ago the feeling was not of sadness but of new lives for all concerned, even though all were either 70 plus or nearly 70 plus.

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  15. We will miss your wonderful, woven creations though I'm sure you do feel "free" now that all the equipment, threads and so on are gone. In this year 2016, my mantra is "rest" and I for the life of me can't figure out how I did all the things I was doing before I took this time out.

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    1. By the way, I too will cherish the tea towels you wove for me even more now. xx

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  16. Hari OM
    ...and you know I feel truly privileged to be the proud owner of not one, not two, but three 'Joannes'... did as instructed and gave that link a good going over - what a magical little place!!! YAM xx

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  17. But a sad day for you in many ways I am sure Joanne.

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  18. So sad to read you've given up your weaving, but understandable when you can't find good quality cotton anymore.
    I'm sure you have something else in mind to fill the time.

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    1. Like the others above me, I also still love using the teatowels you wove for me.

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  19. You were ready to let go and did it so well. Selling the house associated with the weaving was a smart move. A new start...best wishes!

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  20. I did stop and view the link for Praxis Fiber Workshop and was heartened that they will use the old ways to keep this fine craft going, and that they took your equipment. Good to know others will be using it to learn and create beautiful things. Your strength of character and innate pragmatism shines through in everything you do.

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  21. how are you handling all that loss, I hope new and wonderful things are on their way for you.

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    1. The want of decent fiber convinced me about the weaving. Thread is no longer spun; it's extruded. I'm wearing a tee right now that is cotton and lycra. Spun cotton comes from third world countries and is not nice stuff. One of the gallery sales people could not believe I would quit. I had her feel a shirt woven from an American spinning mill's cotton that I bought long ago and a shirt using just a little bit of third world cotton to "stretch" the warp. The old is soft and friendly, the new is stiff and harsh. And I still paid $17 a pound for it. My old price point was two or three dollars a pound. I was able to buy out the stashes of a couple of weavers, who were quitting because the American cotton mills were gone. But I've woven that up now. It's a shame, but it's the way it is.

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  22. well, I suppose you are happy enough with the decision but I weep. I kept procrastinating and now will never have one of your garments. it's a sad state over all, especially that soft spun cotton has gone the way of extinction.

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  23. I passed the old Yarn Barn near Canton today, and I always think of you when I see that building. The sign there now identifies it as Atlanta Piano Restoration.

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    1. We bought yarn there the first several years we wove, until we discovered brokers. There is a Yarn Barn in Kansas, and they have thrown in the towel, literally, and deal mostly in chenille and novelty yarns.

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  24. Such big changes. But sounds like you are good with them. Leaves room for new adventures. Right?

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  25. I'm sorry I haven't visited you lately. I've been editing and wasn't aware of your decision to sell the house. I'm so glad I purchased a scarf you wove to give to my daughter for Christmas a couple of years ago. It was so soft and beautiful. I'm sure she's worn it a lot.

    Love,
    Janie

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  26. the very very little I know about weaving I learned here on your blog. throwing a shuttle is becoming a lost art. Great that you found a place for the stuff to go and be honored.

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  27. Crikey, but you are so pragmatic, Joanne! I'd be crying/swearing and take a year to get over it. Kudos to you, and kudos to you, and more kudos to you for being a practical person full of common sense - a great role model for your granddaughters.

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  28. Braveheart -- I feel your pain to let something go that you have done for years and is now no longer. Did something similar years ago. But you have new horizons on your plate and it will be wonderful. Don't look back -- keep your forward movement.

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