Saturday, November 3, 2012


(Judith Mackenzie and Velma Root - with kuchulus - at GGFI 2010)

During a week off school, I have been prioritizing fiber work and revitalizing the weaving part of my life. This poor neglected warp seemed almost dead, in spite of its bright colors. It had been lying around  collecting dust until I finally removed it from the dining table (ie, loom) not long ago, in order to clean and be free from the guilt of ignoring it. But this break, I tied it up and passed the shuttle and it breathed back to life - the sensation was quite palpable. Now it's off the loom because the weaving's DONE, and it's ready to be sewn into a conservation tool bag.
The reactivation of my weaving identity coincides with a whole lot of thoughts and supportive vibes pouring toward Judith, shown above. Her teaching studio burned down this week, and if I go into the details of the loss again it may make more than one of us cry, so I will carry on with this account of What Judith Means to Me.  I met Judith at Golden Gate Fiber Institute Summer Intensive, 2010, and she let me know I'm a weaver. I'm not a weaver because of Judith, but she recognized it and commanded me to get on with it.
 Judith took this photo of me weaving in her class, with part of my hair tied up in an indigo dye bun.
 My first 250-end warp, with Pony yarn, which included shibori and was dyed indigo like so:
In that class I also dyed this
 which became this
because, due to Judith's urging, I returned to Qatar and figured out how to set myself up with a backstrap in order to weave it.
And that was how it began, the weaving.  Because of Judith. And that phrase could be added to each of these things I wove, since she has remained a constant mentor in my mind, even though I have not communicated with her at all since that week at Point Bonita. Thanks to her encouragement, I keep weaving
 and weaving
 and weaving
So I feel distraught and a bit helpless when I think of her studio burning down, and all the precious material she has suddenly lost. When I first heard about it, my response was to weave. 
The community is responding quickly, a website has been set up, and there will be ways to help.  If an auction gets going, you can expect to see some of my handwoven items on the block.

I feel gratitude to Judith continuously, but now is the time to say it out loud and hope she hears it.