Voice in Tapestry

Today, I began weaving the background for The Eye of the Beholder. Now, the decisions aren’t about color blending but about shape and technique.

Some people weave using blocks of solid color and do their blending on the warps. I don’t, or seldom do. Instead, I blend the colors on the bobbin. So, if I’m weaving with a six-strand weft, the first question for me is the effect I want to create and are the selected colors the right ones to do it with. Sometimes, the colors look right, sometimes they don’t. When they don’t and I’m being stubborn, I lay down the weft and grow increasingly dissatisfied, with the result that the thing is unwoven. It’s as though the tapestry has voice and gives directions about how it wants to be done. It’s easier to listen than to go my own way. In the end, if I listen, the tapestry as woven is the tapestry I want. If it’s not, then it must be unwoven and redone until it reflects its own voice.

That’s an interesting concept. Voice in tapestry, I mean. Voice, IMO, is part of the creative act. The artist has voice, and so does the art and the implements used to create it. Both voices must be in harmony for the work to be as it is meant to be, for the work to realize the creative vision that brought it into being. So, the act of creating art must include the conscious act of listening to what the the thing being created and the tools used to create it all have to say. To ignore voice is to have discordance because it is a betrayal of the artistic vision. (I say this with reference to man as artist and not to God because the clay can’t tell God, the Potter of all creation, what to do, but it can tell the human potter what it wants to be, through voice.)

If, as you weave, you have that nagging sense of discordance, listen to voice and reconcile the ones that you hear. It will save you lots of unweaving.