Saturday, September 23, 2023

Join Me for a 'Thread Talk' on October 5

 Above is my most recent post on Facebook, promoting a 10-minute "Thread Talk" I'll be giving during Spinning and Weaving Week.

It's a wonderful opportunity for me to talk about craft, why we humans have always been makers, and how inspiration can come to us like a bolt out of the blue -- even to the point where we don't know how it happened or where it came from.

My talk is based on a longer presentation I've given at guilds and conferences, looking at craft around the globe and throughout history.  The discussion reaches as far back as the cave paintings of Chauvet, France, discovered in 1994, which are thought to be around 33,000 years old. Drawn in charcoal on stone, these images were created at a time when Neanderthals still walked the earth.

Humans have been working with and manipulating materials as far back as we know, creating objects and images of great beauty like those above -- whether they were designed to be useful, representational, or inspirational. Or perhaps all three.

Some estimates state that the tradition of weaving began as long as 12,000 years ago -- but the practice of spinning and dyeing is much older than that.

Pictured above: the oldest dyed flax fiber found to date: a microscopic image of the fiber, at least 30,000 years old, found in a cave in the republic of Georgia. 

We'll look at Homer and his story of Penelope, who wove and unwove her father-in-law's shroud, a journey of sorts that reflects her husband's odyssey.

Sculpture of Penelope, Roman copy of a Greek original,
circa 460 B.C.E., Vatican museums

We then move far forward in history, to the quilter's of Gee's Bend, to Andrew Wyeth as he paints Christina's pink dress, and on to the crystal chandeliers at the Metropolitan Opera House -- but I won't give it all away. I'll just end with an image of my own work, hand-dyed and woven on 12 shafts in reeled silk, one of my favorite pieces to date.

For a full schedule of events, including my Thread Talk and others, click here:

The entire schedule isn't up just yet, so keep checking back for updates.

Thanks for reading! Hope you listen in.

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