Monday, October 19, 2009

Looming Lempi

Deep Diving scarf, plain weave & Rosepath, linen, cotton, silk mixed wefts on Swedish cotton warp.

Creativity, inspiration, borrowing, copying. Where do the ideas come from? For me, they spring from many sources. Some that I'm aware of, and others that I'm not. I'm someone who believes she knows her own mind, but come to find out, I'm too close to the forest to see the trees.

I'm old enough to know there's nothing new under the sun, everything we can do has been done by someone before us. But not quite the way we will make it. That's the way imagination works. It spills, and moves from person to person. Ideas are meant to travel. I've met artists, weavers, who try never to look at anyone else's work, so they'll be sure never to be guilty of being influenced. It might be their method to work that way, but what kind of artist stops looking at anything? I try to see everything, everywhere, all the time. The effect can only be beneficial, and, frankly, I need all the help I can get.

My ideas come through my window, from other artists and painters, from pictures on Flickr and artist's blogs, and some, spookily, seem to come over my shoulder while I'm weaving at the loom. I think it may be a Finnish grandmother suggesting, "Yes, now pick up the unbleached linen...." The biggest enemy to my creativity is self censorship. When I see how far and wide other artists go, I wonder, Why do I stop myself? I'm actually not doing anything alarming, or earth shakingly over-the-edge. It's only a scarf, and mine is a scarf with crooked edges, and bright moments.

Congratulations, Sofia Arnold!


Meg said...

Well said! And what a lot of work! Congratulations; this piece must be so satisfying as a maker.

Fran said...

Susan: I have been following your blog for awhile now; it is one of my two favorites, as i think your taste in objects is unerringly good, Also, your weaving is ahead of my skills enough to be challenging, but not discouraging. Having said that (& after reading your last post---ahem), wondering if you could share with me tips and instructions for your wooly rya bag?? I love it.
There is a group of grandmas here in Calgary that raise money to send to the African grandmas that have to raise their Aides-orphaned grandchildren. They make purses and baby items. Most of the purses are knitted and felted; none woven as yet. I hoped to make a few rag bags if I get going. At the last sale, they made 23,000 dollars, and all of it is going to Kenya. Peiople are good about buying, as the cause is so needy, and the products are unique
Anyway, looking to copy your bag, wondering about the sewing of the ends, and then the flap/strap division?? Also, one wants a strong warp without looking too string-dominant? 12/6?
Also, dimensions that work well??
If you like, I can tie on the bags a card with your name as designer, and your web address?? I think I could do that.
Hope I am not being too audacious in this request, but your last post gave me courage.
After this, on to rosepath rugs! Cheers Fran from Calgary

Valerie said...

Love the scarf....very serendipitous!!

Anonymous said...

Great scarf. I love the way the different parts and colours work together to make a satisfying whole.

Alison said...

Thanks for this post. I tend to worry about being influenced by other people's work, to the point of copying. It's nice, and a little liberating, to hear your perspective. Thanks for sharing your work, too. I always enjoy seeing it.

Peg in South Carolina said...

Wonderful scarf---I do hope it is the beginning of a long series of explorations. Also a good post.

Susan said...

I know this subject is something every creative person has to come to terms with, at some point. I may change my mind again, but for now, I feel I've struck a good balance. Thanks for each of your comments. I'm happy to know you are out there. As for weaving, I've been weaving a path, the same one all along, just following its twists and turns.

Ursula said...

wise mama, talented sofie sister, pretty scarf. lucky me!

Brittany | the Home Ground said...

This is beautiful, Susan. I love hearing your thoughts on inspiration and where it comes from. I am like you, I absorb everything around me and when it comes out, it comes out on its own. I may be inspired by something I saw briefly two years ago (actually, right now I am!), or yesterday. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Susan said...

Ursula, thanks. Sofie says painting is hard, but she keeps at it like she's weeding the garden.

Brittany, it's the way it works for me, but I'm sure there are many ways to feel inspired. A lot of my inspiration actually involves the coffee cup. Keep your eyes open, and you're right, you never know what your
imagination will do with it. We may not control that as much as we think we do.

Brittany | the Home Ground said...

I am of the opinion that we have little control over our inspiration. I find myself reminded of things I never would have thought of on purpose.