I wasn’t sure how it would feel – giving all my weaving notes, samples and research to the Arran Heritage Museum for their archive.
But that’s what I did today. Took the folders and sample boxes round and gave them to a delighted archivist. Delighted.
And me – I feel so absolutely free – no longer responsible for making sure that there is continuity in the textile history of the island – taking off that mantle (handwoven, of course) of awareness that I’ve worn since I came to the island in 1975.
In all my designs, teaching apprenticeships and production there was a conscious homage to island traditions and a sense that I was working in the context of a history that went back to people producing clothes in Neolithic times. It was important to record that as we went along and now those records have gone to the museum.
To celebrate I’ve bought a new wee tapestry loom to replace my picture frame improvisation of the previous blog. I can thread it up with a complete sense that weaving from now on can be about the thread, the shapes and the textures. No doubt my own textile history will creep in as well as the influence of this island, but that sense of responsibility is gone and I think it might even be FUN!
I’m grateful that I’m physically able to weave again, grateful to have had those years as custodian of a tradition and grateful that there is a treasure out there of untried yarns
There’s a dance in here somewhere – a whirling of spindles and shuttles – a new rainbow of colours and shades all of it addressed by a competence and confidence in my ‘weaverness’ that has built up over the years.
I am blessed.