Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Archive for August 14th, 2016

The way of the weaver

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Anni Albers

[Tapestry weaving] is a form of weaving that is pictorial in character, in contrast to pattern weaving, which deals with repeats of contrasting areas. It works with forms meaningful both in themselves and through their relatedness within the pictorial organization. The variform elements and their free placement within the limits of a given design demand the greatest possible freedom of the structural scheme; in fact, they demand such independence from mechanization of the weaving process that hardly any of the time-saving inventions of the past hundreds or thousands of years of textile history can be utilized in this work. It is art work; and, as in other plastic arts, it demands the most direct—that is, the least impeded—response of material and technique to the hand of the maker, the one who here transforms matter into meaning…

I will be accused of crass one-sidedness in my feeling of awe for the textile products of Peru, which I advance as the most outstanding examples of textile art. But it is here, I believe, that we can learn most. It is here we can learn that playful invention can be coupled with the inherent discipline of a craft. Our playfulness today often loses its sense of direction and becomes no more than a bid for attention, rather than a convincing innovation. Limitlessness leads to nothing but formlessness, a melting into nowhere. But it is form—whatever form it may be—that is, I feel, our salvation.

Anni Albers, On Weaving

Written by nevalalee

August 14, 2016 at 7:30 am

Posted in Quote of the Day

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