Saturday, 31 July 2010

voluntary obligations

i have to meet prince charlie. only for a minute or so, but still. i might end up with my picture in the paper. and i hate having my picture anyway.

cos i set the loom up at castlehill heritage centre, and that's what that's for. i wasn't sure originally, but when i got an invitation letter in a fancy envelope i kinda knew.

so that's that. i think the other people that'll be there are more important from a social point of view. Charlie ain't a decision maker, he ain't a politician or a businessman or a charity organiser. but there'll probably be a lot of them there. so it's probably worth me going. and i might as well shave, mightn't i?

i mean, i don't think i'll be coming back to live in caithness permanently in the future, so in the long run it might just be a waste of time, but on the other hand there's always that chance that i might have to fall down the route of being an anachronistic backward-looking kind of a guy that's just stuck making boring tourist crap that doesn't challenge his intellect at all because he's scottish and that defines his identity. but i'd rather not. a living's a living i know, but jeez, i'd rather not sacrifice myself like that. and, you never know, maybe the heritage people can be convinced to look to the future and not just view our society as a horrific moral abberation that needs to be wiped from the slate (the prominent view these days, it seems)

the thing is, there's a chain of events here:

1: i get offered this loom, cos it's been takin up space in this woman's shed for ages
2: i use the loom. that's all good, and you've seen the results
3: i move out and give away the loom. the only place i can think that'll take it is the heritage centre
4: i am now bound to be the heritage centre's weaver since i gave them the loom, and isn't giving someone a loom a dickish thing to do if you then charge them for your time?
5: Answer: it is, so here i am

i just make work for myself, i really do.

and as far as the anachronistic thing goes, i only mention that because i hear a lot of talk about natural-this and fairtrade-that and don't use any non-natural materials. and to people that want to tell me what materials i should and shouldn't weave* with i say: FUCK YOU! if you want to stand by those standards, then rip off that polyester shirt! throw your shoes in the bin! remove that warp knitted t-shirt and those industrially dyed socks! you say i can't be industrially relevant? that just because i choose to be a weaver i have to live in some fairy-taqle vision of the-way-things-were? NO WAY! i'll embrace industrialisation if it becomes available and economical to me. i'll expand into every market i ethically can do. and i'll use every technology i can responsibly use to make my designs and my fabrics stand out from the crowd.

i am not a romantic

i look to the future

and NOBODY shall tell me what i can and can't weave with.



* i do get people sometimes going on about how i should only use natural pish. to push a philosophical point - everything that exists is natural. suck on that

Monday, 12 July 2010

500 heddles

It's finally done.

I've made all the heddles i think i really need for the castletown loom, and i'm going to go in and warp it up on saturday. or maybe friday. friday might be better now i come to think of it.

anyway, i got some yarn for to put on the loom. a navy blue plain yarn, probably something like 28 worsted count i guess, and also a brown and white sorta flecky nep yarn. i think that's the right term, i really should know these things by heart now.

anyway, i'm going to warp it up at 20epi or so with blue predominating in a sort of tartan check. so, my rough calculations go like this:

500/20 = (5/2=2.5x10=25) 25"

or just over 2 feet. allowing for draw-in it could end up being exactly 2 feet wide, which is quite a nice width for a scarf. so i guess i'll make a 5 metre warp with that and get 4 scarves out of it if all goes well

anyway, that's that. making 500 heddles is no joke.