The course on Creative Development had five students on it, four of whom were diploma Myers-Briggs people. In other words, professional people watchers/helpers. On the MBTI scale, three were Extraverts and two (including me) were Intraverts. I am an ISTJ/P if you want to know. One thing was interesting which was that the I people liked projects and the E people liked techniques. The three Es all set to painting, drawing and generally developing a skill whereas the others did something more specific. That just says I am a problem-solver but it does not solve my over-arching problem which is that I think I should be concentrating on a narrower field.
I started out weaving about 40 years ago and yes I freely admit that I am always trying out new techniques. Like trying to recreate hana-ori or donsu (see yesterday's blog). I have always been interested in bookbinding. I remember staring in amazement at modern fine bindings in the British Museum when the book display was on the right hand side of the front door. About 10 years ago, I discovered that West Dean College did bookbinding short courses and so attended there several times. Needless to say I worked at right angles to everyone else who were all interested in repairing antique leather books whereas I wanted to explore new ways of binding. I took along some of my woven cloth and bound books in it. When Michael became ill, I had to give up regular attendance at West Dean but then found that the local Tech ran bookbinding classes and never looked back. I bind blank notebooks ( and give them away) and text blocks (Pinocchio and so on) and occasionally repair books. Lately I have concentrated on Coptic binding. It gives great scope for individuality.
And then there are textiles. I got into this when I started treating (dyeing, embellishing) my weavings. I remember a nice set of cushions which my eldest daughter seized with cries of joy and removed them to Kuala Lumpur. Some how I got mixed up with the Midlands Textile Forum (MTF) and then started on textile classes at Bourneville . Over the last year or so I have been producing textile works which are to be hung on the wall.
After this long preamble, I will come to the points.
I don't like the so-called works of art I make which hang on the wall. I wouldn't hang them on my wall - well maybe one of them. Each work takes nothing like the time for completing a piece of weaving or binding a complex book but all the same I am getting to the stage when I grudge the time taken organise these very inferior pieces for an exhibition.
I feel I am spreading my time too thinly over too many crafts but I do not want to give up going to Bourneville because of the social side.
And now to what the course tutor said. I took along some samples of work in all three categories. She looked at everything very carefully and then said that I should ditch the textiles and the weaving and concentrate on book binding. (She has done a 10-week bookbinding course - I wish). That is going a step too far but I am going to enter only weaving and books for MTF exhibitions. And I will go on attending Bourneville classes but try to concentrate on making covers for books.
This should give me more time. But there is another question. Should I be concentrating on one type of weaving and get good at it? I have spent a lot of time on Diversified Plain Weave in the last two years. This was done as part of a Complex Weavers Study Group. I was thinking of giving up next year but I think I will do one more year.
Anyone out there got any thoughts?