Re: PIC8 and 9, An Apology and Some Thoughts on Intent

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Posted by R. John Howe on December 20, 1998 at 16:57:07:

In Reply to: Re: PIC8 and 9, An Apology and Some Thoughts on Intent posted by Wendel Swan on December 19, 1998 at 09:16:47:

Wendel et all -

You are right about my garbled PIC numbers in my previous post in this thread. Twice I wrote "PIC9" when I meant "PIC8." I need a proof-reader.

I have to admit though that although I see the imperfections in the drawing of the major guls
in PIC8, it does still seem to me that the near pencil-sketch lines of the minor guls are instances of drawing at a markedly inferior level. I don't think this happened as a result of the weaver remembering to "be sloppy" with the minor guls. I suspect that the minor guls drawing is an attempt by the weaver to experiment with creating a particular effect. It's just that this particular experiment was not (in my view) successful.

I can tell you from my own experience that craftspeople experiment like this all the time and that real failures occur.

It can also go the other way. I had someone admire a complex macrame piece I had done once, asking "What was the source of your inspiration as you made this piece" I was forced to say, "I couldn't do what I wanted to."


John Howe

: Dear John,

: I think you should re-examine Pic #8 to see whether is really the weaver has, as you say, "demonstrated ... one level of skill in drawing in the major guls and the borders of this piece but then has chosen, I think, to draw the minor gul differently and at a much lower level of quality."

: Overall, I think "this weaver's demonstrated weaving skills" are above those shown in Pics #1 and #9, but not by very much. Look again and tell me if you do not notice the following problems in execution, among others:

: 1) The "spikes" in all the major guls are noticeably asymmetric.
: 2) The "curls" at the tops and bottoms of the major guls are very poorly drawn and often curl in the wrong direction (not symmetrically).
: 3) The octagonal centers of the major guls are flattened on the bottom sides, but the flattening is not consistent. (Are consistency and regularity hallmarks of superior weaving skills?)
: 4) The border is nowhere resolved in the corner.
: 5) The full major gul on the right side is especially misshapen and asymmetric.
: 6) The fact that the piece is somewhat misshapen indicates a problem with tension on the loom, perhaps indicative of overall inexperience or lack of skill in weaving.

: I cannot account for the ghostly (or ghastly) minor guls. They should have been a bit easier to execute than the major guls, but perhaps not significantly easier. This leads me to disagree with your final conclusion that "PIC9 (sic) seems to me to contain poor drawing that the weaver put into this piece deliberately despite being able to do differently and better." I believe you meant Pic #8.

: I can certainly believe that the same weaver might, depending on the circumstances and purposes of her weaving, not take the same care in weaving one rug as she might another. But it defies all logic to believe that a weaver would, as she progresses row by row up the rug and from side to side, think to herself: "Remember to be sloppy with the minor gul element but not anything else."

: Wendel

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