|Not mine, but I want one so bad.|
I maybe an artist, but I am also in the Spinners and Weavers of Imperial Calcasieu guild. I love doing fiber arts, though it is more of a hobby than what I do with drawing and other art medias. Mainly due to I use knitting, my main fiber art, to take a break from my current work to chill out... Or cuss out and fuss at a piece of knit I am working on to get all that anger out. Esecially with the shawl I am currently working on... How do I keep twisting my stitches?.. Oh, back on topic. Though I joined the guild roughly a year ago, the last few months of college and early this year had me so busy, I was missing meetings. However, I got back into the monthly meeting schedule last month. This month's meeting was at a guild member's house where before the meeting, to most of the day, we had a Dye Day.
|Spoiler: She did end up multicolor by the end of the day because she forgot to wear gloves.|
It is basically a loose workshop on how to dye wool and cotton, either as fleece, roving, yarn, or, in my case, the finish product of what is made. Two members of our guild who were more experienced at using dyes showed the rest of us how to properly set up for dying, get the dye to temperature, and then dye the yarn. Then, we were let lose to experiment. I was mainly trying to finish a short scarf which I did finish and dyed it in my crock pot(or now dye pot).We figured out that for me, it was best to boil the water up to temperature in another pot and then use my crock pot to keep the water that is poured it at the right temperature to do the dying.
|How to make a rainbow fleece! Put wool and dye in pot! Bonus, cleans the fleece as well!|
Everyone had a fun time either dyeing or working on other projects they brought. We all learned different methods like dipping yarns, making rainbow fleece dies through just a pot or in a cooler. We also went over other methods like natural dyes and the cheap alternatives like Kool-Aid dying and raiding supermarkets after Easter for Easter egg dye kits. Seriously, one member had a whole bag of the stuff there and I might do the same so I can do some dyeing through the year. All our dyed products came out great, even my scarf which I was a little worried with how dark it was originally that the dye I chose would darken it too much. Some pretty yarns below from some of the guild members attempts.
Now, even though this is an traditional craft art form, the making of yarn and such, you might be wondering "Why is this on an artist's blog? It's not important to making a painting or drawing." Well, actually it is. Artists can get inspiration anywhere, be it drawing people in the park or just going out and having fun and just taking notes of ideas they come up with to deal with later. People are always saying "Specialize! Specialize! Be good at only one thing and your set for life!"... Yet, that's not true. Would you be happy if you only planted the same flowers over and over again? Or eating the same meal over and over day in and out? Being an artist 24/7 in one super special niche can hurt the artist if that is all he or she does. If they are focused on the same stuff without allowing for the chance of change even in that field, it becomes tiring, stressful, and their creativity slowly begins to ebb away. Even when they are not focused on the same stuff, working yourself all the time will only lead to burn out.
|Another rainbow fleece, though the cooler dyeing method.|
Hence having a hobby or even other forms of art you like to play around in is a great way to mix things up without adding too much onto your workload. It gives you a break and even some extra joys like being able to make your own clothes, which buying clothes is getting expensive nowadays. Sure, it might take me a year to make a set of clothes, but I will be happy with the end result like the good old days decades ago! It doesn't have to be a traditional craft or even art to be your hobby or even just fun time. Maybe you like to fish or go out hiking. Or even, you like to just relax in a hammock after working so many hours, possibly doing super lazy thumbnails or reading a book. Anything that gets you out of your art for just a little bit and gives you a view of the outside world is a good thing. A good example of this is I have started a container garden and every evening I got out and water my garden and my aunt and uncle's tomato garden. It is like a meditation that helps me calm down and enjoy the moment every evening. In this fast pace world where artists compete and clients are demanding so much from not just artists and graphic designers, but so many other professions that many people are being made miserable...
|You don't want to be the one going around in circles like this yarn winder does.|
Sometimes slowing down even just a little bit is better than just going faster and faster, breaking apart in the process. When you slow down, you begin to find life and the things you do both for work and play are enjoyable again... Not a choir and stressful annoyance as you begin to see things you missed with moving super fast and realize faster is not always better. So, why not find one day, be it every week or once a month, to just find something you enjoy and do it that is not your main job. You'll be amazed how recharged you be when you jump right back in the saddle to get back to work. Heck, you might even find yourself brimming with new ideas that cannot be contained the minute you return from either reading that book or dying yourself up a skein of pretty hand spun yarn you done all by yourself.