Tuesday, 29 November 2016

How Long Did It Take to Make That? About 35 Years!

Every now and then I see a big surge in page views for my five-blog series on "How Long Does it Take to Make a Blanket." I'm glad to see this because it shows that some of you out there must be interested in the detailed process. Thanks for reading!

But in the growing spirit among artisans of what it really takes to make anything by hand, I'm going to answer the "How long does it take?" question with the title's response - because that's really how it works. I've actually been weaving for a little over 35 years. It's been very fulfilling and a lot of fun.

The truth is, no weaver - in fact, no artist - starts up and makes something for sale for the given price, just like that. There is a lot of training, whether formal or informal. There are numerous test cases that end up in the - I hate to say it - garbage. And there is all the ongoing learning, too, which takes time and requires building one's knowledge. Add in the cost of materials, keeping a studio running, and numerous overhead costs. As well, I need to know from all those years of experience that anything I sell is of the best quality that I can make, and that it will serve the owner well for many, many years.

So please do not point out an item, ask how long it took to weave, and do some quick math in your head that convinces you the artist will make a killing when it sells. You're probably looking at a unique piece that cannot be found anywhere else, and if you're there with the artist you have begun (or continued) a special relationship. Additionally, a well-made piece will last for very long with much enjoyment throughout that time.

And that's all IF it sells.

So that's why it's not just a certain number of hours to make anything, but really - for me - 35 wonderful years.

1 comment:

  1. Jane I totally agree with you on this. I don't know what you do with the pieces that are unsellable but to me as a tapestry weaver they are valuable lessons in learning. A perfect piece means for me learning little. Imperfection however is costly because it is time consuming to unweave. I love your work and enjoy my visits to your blog to see what you have been creating. Holiday greetings to you and may you find an abundance of continued creativity in the new year.