If 2019 had been different, this image wouldn’t be here. Through sudden changes in life circumstance, two of the objects in this photo were gifted to me: a soulful wool batt from my cousin, a venerable Medalta bowl from my mom. Together these items have been holding my thoughts on a drop spindle as I’ve finally made a commitment to turn the wool into a useful skein.
It is so easy to be distracted by unhelpful patterns of being. Spinning slows me down and gives me time to think about how my life could be different in a more peaceful, thoughtful, creative way. For an hour here and there I feel like life makes sense and I can move beyond those patterns and build upon a new and positive mindset.
Have you ever been surprised by a habit you didn’t realize you had until someone points it out to you?
It appears that this year, I formed a mild habit of handspinning fibre. Until I started organizing photographs, I hadn’t realized I was spinning something almost every month of 2017.
I think of it as meditation in motion. The by-product just happens to be pleasingly tactile, beautifully coloured yarn that also looks great under a camera lens (phone camera lens that is).
Below are some of the images I recorded. I am still learning to chain-ply, took a great class on hand carding with Diana Twiss and practiced a bit of knitting too. (All images photographed with iPhone 5 or iPhone 6S. Notecard in mail image by Susan Stephen.
One way of creating that has helped me deal with the challenges of a demanding teaching profession is spinning. It is highly process oriented and basic in its reduction of form through texture and colour. It is a linear (no pun intended) way of working through thoughts and can be fit in a few minutes here and there without feeling I’ve lost track of what I was doing (as happens when composing a drawing).
Today I thought I would pay tribute to the beautiful wheel my parents bought for me almost 20 years ago: An Ashford ‘Joy.’ Sometimes the things we need to help us settle into ourselves are right there waiting for us to pick them up again. I digitally processed the photographs in black and white to draw the eye to the elegant, minimalist curves and natural wood grain.