I have a wide skills base due to years of teaching textiles but that doesn’t mean I want to employ them all. I just focus on the skills that I am interested in pursuing.
At the moment I am interested in focusing on:- very basic hand stitch, weaving, indigo dyeing and some contemporary shibori techniques, natural dyeing, researching, journaling and sketchbook development.
Some of these are tried and tested areas whilst others – weaving and natural dyeing – need to be developed. They are on my ‘wannabe better at’ list.
Most important is the fluidity of these lists. I do not categorize my practice, I use the techniques that I am in the mood for and which will fulfill the ideas that are in my head at the time. True alignment comes when everything is flowing, I am working with the materials, methods and content that are right at the time. Listing skills and highlighting those that I am interested in has helped me to see more clearly and I am feeling quite well aligned at the present time as this journaling is leading me along a very positive path.
Dismantling the committee has helped free up my perception of perfection. It is my feeling of perfection and no one else’s. My perfection looks like this:-
It feels ‘right’
It is truly mine, no one else’s idea, ideal, but an expression of my inner self
It might be a small trial that has ‘worked’, it looks right, it has done what I hoped it would do.
It might be a piece for exhibition. I want the audience to engage, pause, look, think, question, they don’t have to like it. If they do any of these it has ‘worked’, Perfection of a sort.
It might be a piece I am working on for myself.
In any of these I have to feel that: - it works in its visual sense, the materials and techniques work together, it illustrates or conveys the content and/or the concept. It is ‘right’, but what does that mean? It is a personal feeling, an intuition; the key is that it does not relate to how others feel about it.
My perfection is possible. It comes and goes, sometimes achieved quite easily, other times not. It can be quite elusive, hard to find, it tends to ‘happen’ by itself. It isn’t about perfect finish or technique, neatness, prettiness. It is about knowing how to do something, what can be achieved with a technique, pushing it to its limits, playing with it.
The path I am traveling along whilst working is as important as the destination, the time taken while making, the process of making.
Reading back through this I realise that I am moving into a more confident phase, a place where I am feeling okay with what I like doing. This is the most important thing.