2022 Summer Weaving Challenge: Week One, "Process Vs. Product"
Recently, my nearly two year old has taken a serious interest in creating art. We keep many of her art supplies at the dining room table and she asks multiple times a day to draw. While she tends to instruct us on what WE should draw, ("MAMA, BUS","DADA, BALL") we let her take full creative control of her creations. It is fascinating to watch her work. She knows exactly what color and medium she wants to use and never seems to worry about the final product, though sometimes she does explain that what she just drew was a doggy or a car.
I started researching how to best encourage a toddler's artistic talents and I came across a lot of information about "Process Art" vs. "Product Art." Process art is created simply for the act of making while product art is made with a goal of achieving a certain aesthetic.
There are many benefits to process art:
-It takes pressure off of the act of creating because there is no "right" or wrong.
-The art is entirely one's own
-There tends to be more exploration of technique and experimentation
-It allows the artist to set their own pace and work within their capabilities
Thinking about process art made me realize that I almost always create project art when it comes to weaving. How much I plan depends, but like many of you I'm sure, I rarely dive into a project without a clear vision of what I want to create.
This week's challenge is to create a weaving focusing on the process of weaving with minimal planning for the final product.
Here's how I did it:
I chose some yarn (the gorgeous Array from our Summer Weaving Challenge Kit), and warped up a thin piece on a 12" Little Guy Loom with a shedding device. Then, I started weaving. I chose and blended the colors that I used in the manner that my daughter does: decisively and without overthinking.
What was challenging:
The biggest challenge for me was not allowing myself to plan ahead and figure out "what" I was making as I wove. Instinctually, my brain would take over and I'd find myself running through options in my head and I'd have to stop myself and focus back on the process rather than the project.
What I'm making:
Here is a picture of the piece I'm working on:
I have really enjoyed this challenge and it has, indeed, been challenging to focus on the process and not on the product. Almost immediately I found myself wanting to redo what I'd started, but I pushed through that and was satisfied with the result. I spent a lot of time while I was weaving focusing on the details of the process rather than thinking about what I'll be working on next. It made me realize how much time I spend while weaving thinking about and planning what I'll be doing after this color, this pass, this shape. One of the differences between bead weaving and tapestry is that when weaving beads, the biggest challenge is usually the design of the piece and the actual weaving part, once you've figured out a design, is relatively easy. Whereas with tapestry, it's more common to have challenges that pop up as you weave, even with the best-planned design. Weaving a tapestry where you focus on the process and not the product means you don't run into those same type of challenges because you're making decisions about what you're weaving as you weave.
We hope you have fun with this challenge! When you're finished with it, we encourage you to post pictures on social media! On Instagram and Facebook, use the hashtag #summerweavingchallenge on your public posts. You can also email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) pictures and lessons from the challenge. We will share some of these in the coming weeks!
Remember, Summer Weaving Challenge awards will be given based on participation and achievements, so let us know what you're working on (via email or on social media) if you want to be considered for one of the amazing prizes (including a 12" Little Guy Loom and goodies from some of our amazing partners) at the end of the summer!