It was but a year ago
A lot changes. A year ago during the height of Covid we went on a quest for a Christmas tree that took us to the perfect tree in a tree farm. We cut it down. Guilt! On many levels this was such a nice tree that lasted a month and was then taken to the curb. We went artificial tree this year. This has its own associated guilt. We’ll see. During Covid I made an estimated 26 Nantucket style baskets. They make/made me happy. I have had mixed reviews on their quality. In looking back, it has been a long and eventful year.
… the opposite of minimalist. I wish. Ha! We are close to clutter. But not! Call it cozy. Call it busy. What weaver wouldn’t kill for a studio like this? Barn loom and four modern looms. I have cameras – lots. Looms (five) are bigger and standout in a room. Alas, we have looms in the living room. Don’t forget the great wheel! And we have beer mugs – lots. My Nantucket baskets await. I shall give them away one day. Ha ha.
Consider it home. We (truly) live in it. It’s a happy home. Did you peek into the background? There’s something to catch your eye everywhere. Meaning and memories abound, stories to regale you of adventure and fun, not clutter, but about love. If there were only one beer mug it would just be a representative of the genre, a commemorative. But, each one after is a memory of place and travels. Yes, we’ve been around a bit. …making up for lost time. Yup, stuffed…with love.
I have made 30 Nantucket baskets and counting. They are not yet entirely complete but are done enough to appreciate. Defects? Plenty! I’m not striving for perfection. I just want to gain efficiency and make as many msikates in order to learn the limits. It’s been interesting. Now, they are like my children. Can I gift them away? Certainly, there is plenty of potential. They really do look great! Who’s your favorite child? 30 favorite children??
During covid I am down to two chief subjects, my cats and flowers. Boring is good. It means we are safe and sound. I have joined Colleen in obsessing over weather. I have four different weather apps open and one beach cam. And we cook and eat. …repeat. Colleen asked me to photograph her handicraft and mine. We completed these projects among others. Spinning fiber to yarn; weaving yarn to material, scarves; weaving Nantucket baskets. I’m not bragging; the girl’s got talent. Me? I’m better than I was but not as good as I’m gonna be.
Bored. Yes, dammit! Bored! Remember, this post was composed two – three – months ago. Arghhhh! Yes, pirates say argh. I’m confined. I take pictures of baskets – that I made (Nantucket). I arrange artificial flowers. I take picture of flowers I planted. I cook. I take pictures of my cats. There! Colleen actually reads my blog faithfully. She’s not listed as a follower. Ha! She’s laughing out loud right about now. Call it support from home. If she doesn’t then who will? Arghhh!!!
The passion has cooled. One never knows. No no, I still love my (present) wife! (I was once married to someone who was never wrong.) Here, this is the single (to date) Nantucket basket she (Colleen) has woven. I just examined it again. It’s pretty near to perfect. In fact, it is really perfect to my eye. She is a bit (quite) compulsive and follows direction. How? Perfectly! It’s in her nature to always strive harder and to more perfect.
The body of my work by now is far greater in volume. Quality took a back seat to efficiency. I was seeking to hone my skill. Mistakes? Ok, you don’t make an omelet without breaking…. Experiment? Style? Pattern? Color? Yes! It’s a collection where nothing has been the same from the last. That would make it art not production. Imperfect, not too bad, not ready for prime time, but still the body of work is impressive if I don’t point too closely. I see cherry blossoms and don’t seek to find a single perfect bloom.
Looking overall, I see Colleen’s single work in a different light today. It recalls a vascular surgeon named D.r Goetz whom imparted to a raw intern (me), “You can do an operation a hundred times and never know it. Or, you can do it once and it is yours. You choose.”
Since I retired I have taken up spinning; yes, as in “Rapunzel.” I have begun basket making; yes, as in that “throw away/easy ‘A’ class in pre-med in college. I doubt my college ever offered basket making. And I apologize to all who make baskets. Indeed, there is a range of people of extraordinary skill down to amateurs (like me). But, on occasion, I can crank out something visually captivating. Mistakes? You bet! To the viewer’s eye, not so fast. It’s picky to look for mistakes. It’s equally hard for me not to see my own (mistakes). Colleen weaves (gifts). At this pace it’s gonna be hard to find display space, alas, (gifts too).
We’ve been at this about a year. February 16, 2019, was the first basket class we ever took. A little more than a year later… we’ve come quite a long way. We’ve encountered three-four teachers. We learned a few tricks. And we can now make a Nantucket basket. It’s not so difficult as much as it is patience in learning the necessary technique. I have yet to make one of my own design. There are plans out there. I can be very happily occupied for a long while. Looking back we’ve come a long way. I would never have thought we’d weave something so intricate looking every bit as fine as I would admire in a craft store. Neat! … just a year. Oh my! PErfect? No. Happy? Priceless!
And… which one did I craft, which was Colleen’s?