So Happy Our Paths Crossed

Wendy continues to ask me what I’ve been up to lately. Here’s part of my answer:

A new-to-me friend stopped by the other day. She is familiar with fiber arts, so I introduced her to our studio. She saw the weaving project that my husband was working on, and her jaw dropped as she exclaimed, “You mean, you weave one thread at a time?” I responded, “Yes, and we put yarn on the looms one thread at a time.”

Here is what my loom looks like today. We are around 1/4 of the way done “threading” my loom, for a jacket, putting one thread at a time through the reed that spaces the threads evenly, and the heddles that raise and lower the threads to make the weaving patterns.

threading Grace's loom

A couple of days ago, my (grownup) son saw one of my handwoven towels with new eyes. He asked me if I had ever considered selling them at craft fairs. I had. I cringed from a flash of memory of summers as a teenager selling my work in hot, open areas, and people walking around with dripping ice cream cones, and greasy fingers from hot dogs… but they had to touch my fabrics and baskets to fully appreciate them.

I told him that I had a hard time imagining someone paying the market price for one — $50 — when you can buy some at the Dollar Store. He agreed and responded, “How much does one cost you to make?” I calculated around $2 because I use mill ends (leftovers from huge fabric mills). He said, “Well, then, you can sell them for $12 or $15!” I said that each one takes around a full day of work to make. He slumped with understanding.

You can understand now why I don’t sell them and only give them as gifts.

Theresa blogged about one of the towels that I made. After you read it, you can understand why I enjoy giving them as gifts.

Towel from Grace

CatTail Tales

When Chuck and I caught the ceramics bug and set up our studio last summer, we started out with reckless abandon.  We spent the evenings and weekends making anything and everything that we wanted to try and, in a matter of weeks, we started to find ourselves buried in beautiful pieces with nowhere to go with them all.

Being a kitchen designer by trade, I can’t stand disarray. A good design deserves to be seen and used without being cluttered. The same goes for a harmonious color palette. Although we created some beautiful pieces, they weren’t always what complimented the decor of our home…or our friends’ homes…or our family’s homes…or our neighbors’ homes…

It became very apparent very quickly that if we wanted to keep making ceramics, we needed to start selling ceramics. Before long, we were learning how to sell on Etsy.

That is where we met Grace.

One day Grace solicited us to make her some winter…

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9 thoughts on “So Happy Our Paths Crossed

  1. Wow! I’m so very impressed with your creativity Grace – not only are you a writer but you’re also multi-talented. I can appreciate your discomfort when thoughtless people touch your painstakingly-created, precious artwork with their grubby hands and the hours of work that are pretty much ‘priceless.’
    Thank you for this explanation on what you’ve been up to. 👍🏻 Bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sure your gifts will be appreciated by their new owners! My mother-in-law spun, knitted and weaved and we still use her creations many years later. I recently repurposed one of her jumpers, made from natural brown wool she had hand-spun. It was damaged and couldn’t be worn anymore as it was, so I unravelled it, partnered it with plain coloured wool to make it stronger and turned it into several knitted hats (known here as ‘beanies’) for her grandkids. They loved them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Unraveled! Wow! That is such an honorable thing to do with your m-i-l’s handwork! I’m sure that the beanies are amazing!

      How rare it is for me to meet someone who has seen a loom nowadays, outside of my arts community online. Nice!

      Like

  3. Nice blog. I like the coordinating towel with the bugs and flowers. It goes beautifully with your hand woven. Can’t wait to see the jacket. Keep us posted. I can now appreciate the half dressed loom and the mess it looks like. My older son was visiting while I dressed mine for the first time, ( which took all day) he asked me if i knew what I was doing, in a loving way. I was able to completely warp the loom and even started weaving…. He was impressed. My husband was happy that I accomplished my goal without taking an actual class.
    Have a great day….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You must have a blood-memory, or innate talent for weaving! I have never heard of someone being able to figure out how to dress a loom without in-person help. You accomplished an incredible feat!

      I’m glad that you and I found each other’s blogs.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. How sweet of you to say that. I did it…. I can’t believe it either. I have to admit, I watched Elisabeth Wagners video series. She explained it very well. I made every mistake possible, and was able to figure out a remedy. That’s why it took me all day. Literally.

        Like

  4. Grace, I agree with you about selling your goods. It’s SO frustrating that people don’t get that we need to pay ourselves for the work we do, and weaving, though it’s faster than knitting or crochet, still takes time. Our time is worth money. If we pay ourselves $10 per hour, which I believe isn’t even minimum wage, plus the supplies, people wonder why a towel would cost that much. Especially not being production weavers (which for me, would take all the fun out of it).
    Enjoy what you do, and continue to grace others that you care about, with your beautiful creativity.
    Martha

    Liked by 1 person

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