I mean 'overwhelmed' in the best possible way. I've been trying to mentally catch up with everything I've experienced in the last week or so, and I don't know if it's even possible. Textile inspiration coming on strong, combined with nice weather and plenty of natural beauty.... I mean, is this for real?
All of these photos were taken in the last 8 days, so I'm feeling very rich. And insufficient. But I'll try to at least share some of the bounty here.
Last Monday was the Maiwa Loft. My weaving guild had a special behind-the-scenes visit with Charlotte Kwon, who gave us hours of her time and enthusiasm amidst the boundless wonder of the Maiwa collection. As the table filled with layers of textiles, we heard decades' worth of stories from India.
Every piece we saw is of the most exquisite quality, the pinnacle of multiple skills, each more mind-bending than the last. Charlotte has made a life's work of seeking out and promoting the best textile skills, in their traditional family context. Maiwa supports artisans in keeping their skill and knowledge honed and growing, not designing and ordering so much as commissioning the weavers and dyers to do what they do best. The magnificence of the work uplifts the makers, the viewers, and the market in general. There is so much optimism here!
And then there was the Sarah Swett opening, at the La Conner Quilt and Textile (or Fiber Art) Museum. I'd been paying close attention to Sarah's recent work because she's doing this, and posting pictures like this. Backstrap loom. Plainweave. Be still my heart.
The La Conner show doesn't have that new work, but I definitely wanted to meet Sarah, and the entire Rough Copy series is hanging there, only an hour or two away. So a mere two days after Maiwa, I was in a room with these...
Just to absorb the impact of typewritten text on scraps of paper as door-sized woven tapestries was mind-boggling. But then Sarah was also there, crackling with energy, explaining details in a guileless manner. I could listen to her all night.
Other pieces showed the breadth of her work, reaching back into her archive of color and story. Being able to touch this book was a great experience - so supple and wooly!
I may have to go back and visit the show, alone and quiet, so I can spend some more time looking up close. I definitely need more time to get my mind around all this wonder.
Meanwhile, it feels right to carry on with my cotton. Just doing this one thing, and working toward doing it better...