Terri I.

The Power of Limitations

I have been spending some time cleaning the studio. A daunting task to be sure, but one that I need desperately. For quite awhile I’ve been trying to cull the things that I will never use, but I struggle with decisions. I am working on it. So far one of the best things I’ve done is pull some books from my bookshelf to make room for books that currently interest me. I realize that as much as I love the look of felting and all it’s potential, it is not for me. I gave it a try one day with a felting friend and that was enough to convince me. It’s a shame I bought such a great selection of felting books before I gave it a try. Lesson learned. I do love having a reference library in the studio, but it’s time to find a good home for some of the books I won’t use. I have a similar problem with cookbooks but that’s a problem for another time.

All the exercises we have done so far have really started me thinking, and talking with friends, and talking with myself about what it is that I want to do in the studio. My fibre group had recently discussed a question about what we wanted - where we wanted to go with our work. The last month’s work with this course has been thought provoking and I feel that I’m gaining clarity about what I want. Letting go of the committee has certainly helped. 

The assignment this week regarding working with an unsuccessful project - well - the rebel in me isn’t doing it. I pulled a couple of unsuccessful experiments out, but I’ve learned enough from them. I’m cutting them up for raw material for some ongoing projects, but they won’t be recognizable - in fact they might not even be visible in their new lives. But they will not be sitting around the studio wasting space! Instead I’m working on a quilt that is due for an exhibition. I am working with what is at hand, and the limitations are the deadline, the size restrictions and the theme of the show. It took quite awhile for me to come up with an idea of something I’d like to try, and the details will hopefully sort themselves out as the project progresses. I’m amazed at how often I can come up with ideas or solve problems once I’ve gone to bed. It might have something to do with being in a quiet place and not being busy with other thoughts…

I’m learning about how I work, and what works for me. All this “self evaluation” is fascinating. I truly understand that we are all different, and there’s no point in trying to work towards someone else’s goals. I think I’ve been confused but the fog is clearing.