Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A loom with a view that changed our behavior…

March First Friday was cold and blustery and poorly attended (who can blame people with the long winter we have had…) but one would never know it by the eager participants in our Community Project. The question of the month was also popular with 70 responses. I think I need to make a bigger board as some folks did not participate due to lack of space (not everyone likes to draw in the margins.)

Let’s loom first… to answer the most popular question, how did I come up with this idea….beats me. Like most ideas of mine, something strikes me as fun or intriguing and then concepts just grow like cerebral crabgrass. Self-imposed parameters of cheap, easy, fast and educational (and cheap) guide the process. So 40 feet of PVC pipe and 500 feet of parachute cord became a loom. Goodwill sheets and dust ruffles plus a few donated fabrics became bins of torn strips. Yeah, what could go wrong?

I underestimated the change in our educational curriculum…I guess the old paper place-mat project of cutting one piece of paper into squiggly strips and another sliced all most to the edges so they could be woven together is just not part of our learning process anymore. It was amazing how many visitors had never done the “over under over” process, especially when having to be opposite the row before theirs. A few mishaps and false starts were quickly remedied and it was off the races. People worked from both ends, some quite particular about which fabric they chose so as to keep colors separated. Some couples worked together while others raced against each other. A few brave souls even climbed under the whole thing to have access to the middle if both sides were occupied. While having fun, they also learned and remembered, sharing stories of the old pot holders we used to make on our metal frame (I still have mine with a potholder still on the pegs). A professional weaver stopped by and did three perfect rows, enjoying the freedom to use crummy materials. The most surprising question to me was whether I pulled out the long ropes after it was all done…but such curiosity is part of the educational intent for these monthly activities. Gotta love it when the light-bulb goes off!

With only about two feet left to go, the loom is curving inwards like a giant hourglass from the pressure of strips being pulled and tightened over and over. Just about every person asked “what are you going to do with it?”…I don’t know really, other than put it on exhibit in July when all the Community Projects will come back out of hiding. I guess I am more process oriented than product oriented. 

Join us next month for the Great Square Inches of Art Mystery Picture and take the Art History Mystery Quiz to see how much you know!  Okay, on to the question of the month….

Name an object, invention or thing which you feel has altered or changed our human behavior in some way.  Now notice that I tried to keep this in the realm of physical objects one could touch…not esoteric ones so I could use that angle later…but again I underestimated the thought process of others so our views on what comprises an “object, invention or thing” are quite different. 

Food related: GMO’s – McDonald's – Taco Bell – fast food

Social, Process or Beliefs: Jesus – love – social norms – police – laws – imagination (2) – friendly people – music – laughter – repetition (2) – people – education – schoolwork – birthdays – assembly line – plastic surgery – mathematics – internet (2) – YouTube – discovery of the existence of God using the Higgs Bosin Particle – history channel – the Bible

Actual things: cell phone (2) – computers – traffic lights – seat belts – printing press – toothbrush – hat – chalkboards – contact lenses – clocks – cars – clothespins and safety pins – light bulbs – indoor plumbing – video games – d—che bags – spandex – braces – medicines – wine press – buttons – pens (2) – tunnels – baseball bat – plane – birth control – wheel – GPS – jewelry – money (2) – make up – dishwasher – maxi pads – guns – keyboard – fire - electricity

Every month our demographic is a bit different. Remember that all the questions and answers are printed out, laminated and posted on my studio door for your reading pleasure.  

1 comment:

  1. Although I didn't come to First Friday, I enjoyed reading about your giant loom. A teaching peer of mine did such a project years ago by making a loom on her classroom door. The warp wound vertically around the door and the fabric covered the face of the door. What a fun to see it grow. Certainly not as large as yours but still that community feel. It amazes me how many people have not experienced weaving, sewing, embroidery and the like. Thanks for doing this, Judi!