A framework to expand and strengthen your personal vision
It’s the new year and we’ve filled our planners with resolutions to improve our lives. While a small percentage of these goals and new habits might stick, others will turn into vague and distant thoughts. But this year why not take a different approach to improving your life by using textile craft to grow your personal vision? In The Art of Weaving a Life, author, fiber sculptor, holistic life coach Susan Barrett Merrill takes a zen approach using weaving as a vehicle to guide her in the choices she makes and integrating them in her life.
The Art of Living a Life, Merrill writes is “both a metaphor and a means for building the fabric of the self….Weaving is about balance, as you will discover in the thread crossings, vertical and horizontal, one by one integrating every part into a balanced whole.”
Each chapter represents the stages of the journey with weaving projects that are broken down into stages of transformation. The first five chapters center on the process of the journey that include the main components of weaving: the loom or the Viewpoint. Merrill uses a seven stick loom she calls the Journey Loom. Each stick represents seven aspects of living in our bodies. The Warp and Weaving are Intention and Integration, respectively. The warp is our inner life whereas the act of weaving is the workings of the universe and human beings' place in it.
The metaphors used throughout the book capture the meditative quality of weaving. Chapters 6 through 13 center on individual projects or “keyforms” that symbolize the rites of passage in life and span cultures, ranging from an amulet to a mask to a belt of power. Each chapter provides a discussion of the symbolism behind the object, the pattern and design, as well as the color and texture of the object woven, followed by step-by-step instructions to create each keyform. Instructions for the seven symbolic keyform projects help beginners to use tapestry weaving techniques, and seasoned weavers to find new dimensions in their work.
With more than 120 photographs, The Art of Weaving a Life provides an alternative to a classical meditation practice for those who seek different methods to transform and enhance their creative processes and lives.