Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Find your own way to it

I was a bit surprised when my recent description of a conversation with an experienced basket maker sparked a few comments about how unacceptable it is to discourage someone from experimenting. It honestly hadn't occurred to me to be discouraged! I may have made too much out of what was actually such a brief exchange. I didn't present any concrete idea, just mentioned the vaguest of concepts. It might have been nice if she had taken an interest and drawn me out a little, but I'm not sure I would have had anything to add if she had.

What I took from the exchange was food for thought about the particular challenges you might meet when combining disciplines and/or media, as well as the value of taking time to learn skills (like knowing the rules before you break them).

I have lots of loopy ideas, and often try things that don't work too well, or that I will need to get back to once I figure out a better way. This doesn't bother me too much. (The main problem is what to do with the failed or half-made projects that languish around the house.) I also have ideas or plans - like combining felting and basketry - that I expect to take months or years to go anywhere. I could probably do with a bit less patience at times.

I'm thrilled that so many of you are fans of innovation, experimentation, and breaking boundaries. I'm keen to keep revealing and sharing the results of my ideas (good, bad or indifferent), and I hope you do too.

1 comment:

Donna Lee said...

I went back and reread your basket post and it made me think again. Some of the most memorable pieces I have ever seen are the mixed media. And who says you can't mix felting with basketry? It may be difficult but I have a feeling you would enjoy working out the kinks and finding your way.

One of the things I am hearing very often as I am teaching my group to knit/crochet/sew/embroider is that they were all taught some time in the past but gave it up because "they weren't doing it right". My feeling is, as long as you're consistent and you like the result then it's "right" and they are learning that they like crafting and are actually good at it.

Go for it.