Handwoven May/June 2018 Lookbook
A few years ago, I attended the exhibition of Pablo Picasso’s Guernica mural at the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid. Picasso started the mural upon hearing about the bombing of the Basque city in April 1937, and by June 1937 he had finished what has become one of his most famous paintings. Besides the power of the piece, what struck me about the exhibition was the large room full of drawings that Picasso created prior to putting paint on canvas. The sheer volume of sketches was overwhelming. Some of those images made it into the final piece, others did not. Picasso had the knowledge and experience from a lifetime of painting and studying art to enable him to go from inspiration to idea to implementation in only three months.
That exhibit came to mind while putting together this issue about inspiration. Many of the project designers and article authors wrote about the paths they took from primary inspiration to developing and implementing their designs.
Not that we are all Picassos, but it is gratifying to know that our knowledge and experience as weavers help us to design and weave, as well as grow in the craft. In some cases inspiration came from problem-solving, such as Sherrie Amada Miller finding in dimity weave the perfect texture needed for her Noah’s Ark soft sculpture, and Eileen Scally wondering how to weave clouds and then discovering it was possible with krokbragd. In the same vein, Tom Knisely writes about an ongoing question about threading log cabin, finding the answer when he wasn’t really looking for it, and how that set him on a new path of discovery. Like building blocks, Deanna Deeds went from one weaving experience to the next in working toward designing her Plaid Windows Blouse, as did Marty Benson in designing her bath mats, Lea Vennix with her pillow, and Marcia Kooistra when planning her foulard.
Yarn colors and nature photographs inspired four of the designers: Sarah H. Jackson, Tracy Kaestner, Deborah Jarchow, and Tien Chiu. Others were more directly inspired by nature, such as Donna Wildearth, who pays homage to the California quail in her scarf, and Jenny Sennott, who reminisced about the colors of a Florida beach when designing her towels. Nancy Dunlap shared that her weaving is tightly related to her love of music with her rug, Symphony No. 1 in Rep Minor. Finally, in her Spotlight article, Toby Smith lets us in on how she plans her travel-journal inspired weavings.
I hope you will be as inspired by the projects and articles in the May/June 2018 Handwoven as I am, all the while marveling at the paths the weavers took from inspiration to implementation.