As I unpack my studio, I am aware that too much of the past can be an unintended anchor, an obstacle to enjoying the present.
I am going to find a new home for a huge box of velvet, velveteen and trim. There was a time that these things were my stock in trade. My mother and I owned a small historical costume shop called Elizabethan Arts. Although I have the space and presumably still have the talent to revive the business, I don’t have an interest in it. I’d rather weave, and at the moment I am content to occupy the present century. Any excursions into costumed recreation are likely to involve something simpler and far more authentic. I’d rather dress as a sixteenth-century cottager than as a lady of the royal court.
My mother would never have dreamed of getting rid of velvet (or silk, linen and wool). She endured rationing during WWII, and the rise in production of shoddy, synthetic fabrics after the war. I inherited her fears as a manifesto, and have dutifully moved this box of fabric from here to there, beyond and back again. I don’t even like velvet.
On this spring morning, the possibilities seem endless. I wove half a tea-towel yesterday, and figured out how the monks’ belt place mats should go.