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


humblebumble said...

i'm on one the day. and i still can;t get photos out of my new/old camera

Geodyne said...

Bravo Andrew. You're not a museum piece, you're a weaver. That's not incompatible with exploring the new.

Meg in Nelson said...

So, you gave them the loom, but they want to charge you for the use? I would have thought it's in THEIR interest to have someone weaving on the loom, anyway.

I've been to a "museum" of sorts somewhere in the Highlands in '90 and '03 (the same place) where among other things they had a loom, but not set up properly because nobody knew how to. So I say, even over there, people who know how to use looms are valuable for the knowledge.

(Thought it'd be a funny if you pretended you're a museum piece, maybe a wax doll, and walked really stiffly when PC came for a photo shoot.)

humblebumble said...

meg: i think you misunderstood me. i gave them the loom, so now it's taking up space there. and there's no point in it being there if it's not warped up and getting used. and i don't expect anyone else who hjas only a marginal interest in weaving to learn to warp it.

all it is is that i've had to spend time going in there and warping it up. once that's done obviously, any sod can weave with it.

it's just one of those thing, y'know? i had to get rid of it, and i had nowhere to store it, so i gave it to them, cos they're the only folks that would take it.

as you know, it's only warping up (and the tie-up to some extent) that's difficult. i remember once hearing an old song about some lassie that goes into town to make a warp for her mother and has a bloody awful time of it, nothing goes right, but a kind weaver helps her out, and this being a folk song they obviously end up behind a stook doing as nature intended. apparently there were folks who did nought else but set up other people's looms. makes a lot of sense to me

Meg in Nelson said...

I don't mind setting up looms lately - I used to HATE it, but I don't mind. Though only because there is the weaving at the end of it. Or not, as I leave my loom after I've threaded and sleyed it... I don't know about doing it for a living, especially because I couldn't service the young lass afterwards... Except maybe swap recipes...