Thursday, June 7, 2007
Cochineal Extract continued and Whidbey Weavers Guild
Ah me, I just read Dana's comment about the cochineal in the previous post. I am afraid she confirmed my suspicion that there is a mineral somewhere in my process affecting the cochineal color. Sooo.... I will have to re-do the batch. The upside is the color is lovely! Cochineal is very sensitive to the ph and the minerals in the water. It hasn't been much of a problem so far washing the skeins in our well water before mordanting them in the filtered water but there must have been just enough to turn the color. When I first put the skeins in the cochineal dye, they are a bright red, just around the 150 degree mark, the whole dyebath and yarn turns purple, about the color of grape juice. This is one of the things that makes natural dyeing so fascinating to me. Not everyone's cup of tea I realize, but I do enjoy it and the yarn will not go to waste.
Today was the final Whidbey Weaver's Guild meeting of the season. Next week I have the final other two guild meetings to attend. Today's program speaker was Teri Jo Summer. I have been familiar with her beautiful work for a few years so it was a pleasure to hear her speak in person. Lately she has added consulting to her work giving us the benefit of all her years of experience. Her story of how she came to do what she does was very fascinating. I found I identified with a lot of the elements of her story. The one thing I really got from her presentation was the very strong message to value yourself and value your work. Seems like such a simple idea but one that is often neglected by craftspeople and artists, especially women craftspeople and artists. Her message was made all the more powerful because you could tell that she was speaking from her own learning experiences. That one little bit of her message really resonated with me. I certainly know that I haven't always valued myself or my work as much as I should and in fact, am still learning to. It doesn't always come easy. After her excellent program, we had last year's grant recipient give her presentation on the final results of her project. I was inspired by the standard that she set. If you are reading this Virginia, I am talking about you. I am in awe of the work and scope of your project!
We finished up with our show and tell and guild challenges. One of the things I really noticed after Teri Jo brought up the subject of valuing yourself, was how many of us spoke negatively about our items and challenges. We can't seem to resist pointing out the errors even though the rest of us are admiring the beauty of the piece. I didn't see anything at the show and tell that I wouldn't be proud to own. And just so people know, I was no different about pointing out the flaws in my own project, however, I did so in the context of what I learned from my mistakes and what I would do differently next time, the challenge was to try something new after all! Teri Jo's program gave me a lot to think about. Thank you Teri Jo.
I have her website in my Fiber links. Do check it out, not only will you be glad you did, you will be inspired.
The final batch of the cochineal is finishing up now. I will be drying the skeins tomorrow and then will post the results.
Now for a really tough and personal question, Do you value yourself and your work as much as you should? I don't do too badly but there is a lot of room for improvement. I will be remedying that in days to come. -Renee