The goal of this creative project was to create a weaving from raw materials. With the mass-production of modern textiles, the skills and traditions of fiber artistry have seemingly become irrelevant. The scope of fiber artistry is vastly diminished from its historical position; and yet, it still carries a great weight of cultural significance. When working with fibers, one draws upon a history that spans all cultures and the majority of human history (all of human history, excluding approximately the past 150 years of mass-manufactured fibers). This project encompassed each step of the textile production process, from cleaning raw wool, to spinning yarn, to weaving on a loom. The curveball: this project was undertaken with almost none of the essential skills. Consequently, there were many errors and mistakes, and production was frequently derailed and scaled back. These mistakes are documented in photos and videos, so that others who endeavor to learn fiber artistry may avoid these errors, and additionally heed this warning: ask for help early and often. The true value of handmade fiber arts is developed through the maintenance of tradition and sharing new skills with other people. Fiber art communities and the personal maintenance of technical skills allow us to keep a special connection to the past and to the arts. This project was a success in that it produced a valuable learning resource and allowed me to develop my skills in several fields of fiber artistry, while also providing me with a difficult lesson about when to ask for guidance and counseling.
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- The Fiber of Humanity
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