I found a beautiful poem by Adrienne Rich which transported me to a cosy spot beside the Aga in a farm kitchen long ago. I picture a woman sitting with head bowed over her handwork. Perhaps she is weaving or crocheting, sewing, sketching, collaging .... or even carving.
"..... Vision begins to happen in such a life
as if a woman quietly walked away
from the argument and jargen in a room
and sitting down in the kitchen,
began turning in her lap
bits of yarn, calico and velvet scraps
laying them out absently on the scrubbed boards
in the lamplight, with small rainbow-colored shells
sent in cotton-wool from somewhere far away,
and skeins of milkweed from the nearest meadow -
original domestic silk, the finest findings -
and the dark petal of petunia,
amid the dry dark brown lace of seaweed;
not forgotten either, the shed silver
whisker of the cat,
the spiral of paper-wasp-nest curling
beside the finch's yellow feather.
Such a composition has nothing to do with eternity,
the striving for greatness, brilliance -
only with the musing of the mind
one with her body, experienced fingers quietly pushing
dark against bright, silk against roughness,
pulling the tenets of a life together
with no mere will to mastery,
only care for the many-lived, unending
forms in which she finds herself ..... "
- Adrienne Rich, Transcendal Etude
When fiber artist and bush sculptor, Janine McAullay Bott first began weaving she recalls that "Something came over me. I'd never weaved an object in my life, yet it felt like I'd been doing it forever. That feeling went from my heart right through to the tips of my fingers. I haven't been able to stop since."
"I like to call a weave a thought I had. Sometimes I'd just sit there and think about my grandfather or my mother and my hands would keep going - like they had a mind of their own" - Jane McAullay Bott
If you are a basket maker you have probably visited Tim Johnson's studio photo blog, here. Not only are his baskets wonderful but his photography is outstanding too.
Woven bottles by Mary Giles
Gurage basket, Ethiopia
If you would like to see more images, visit my WEAVE board at Pinterest, here.
See video, Gapuwiyak's Women With Clever Hands, here.