You haven’t seen me post a lot this year. And I have had to cancel most of my events due to health issues. You see, I haven’t been able to spin, weave or dye in months due to pain.
Not being able to do any of my fiber art is like taking away one of my senses. If you are on this page, you know that creating is like breathing to me. My hands must be busy at all times. I kept a spinning wheel in my car and a spindle in my purse. I was ramping up my historical textiles – spinning, dyeing and weaving. And then the pain came.
I have pain in my hands. Tendinitis, Raynauds, and other pain. My feet developed plantar fasciatis and arthritis of the toes. I had to stop spinning during a Judith MacKenzie workshop and and that was a devastating blow. It was obvious I was pushing my extremities too far. Though wearing three splints to bed at a time was pretty amusing.
To fill my time I have been drawing Zentangle inspired art. I take pens with me to the places I used to take a spindle. You can see a new page, Fine art and Prints in the navigation and I will be putting prints into my Etsy store.
In addition, I have been looking into adaptive technology for the fiber artist. I have a new electric spinning wheel made by HansenCrafts which is allowing me to spin with minimal pain. I have a pair of Doc Martens with inserts so I can walk with minimal limping. I wear fingerless gloves at the keyboard to keep my hands warm. I am looking into what I can do for weaving on the floor looms. Maybe crafters gloves or splints.
If I can make an exercise spinning wheel, I can figure this out. This is a challenge and it is not going to stop me.
After spinning on support and drop spindles, I am pretty convinced that spinning in the middle ages (and earlier) was done using a support spindle and not a drop spindle. Note that this is my opinion, but I think my experience (spinning for 20+ years), research, art and physics support my supposition.
References and images to come. I think there is a paper in this…
I was trained as an artist and have been drawing since I could hold a pencil. I am an avid doodler. I draw on everything: notes, shoes, walls, etc. I had gotten away from my drawing as I focused on my fiber art. Not a bad thing as I was learning and enjoying what I was doing.
I tend to over commit and become stressed from it. I am not the most organized person and I fly from task to task at a supersonic speed, frequently flying in two directions at once. Is it any wonder that I am frazzled?
My daughter got a book from her aunt before our trip to Seattle last year. She encouraged me to give it a try as she thought I was happiest when I was in the zone of drawing.
I was hooked. I have almost filled a drawing journal with patterns and Zentangle inspired art. I keep tiles and pens in a case with me at all times. I have incorporated the natural world in my tangles. And the benefit isn’t the drawings I have. The benefit has been what it has done for my mind.
Doing a tangle means you are in the moment, concentrating on the making of marks on the paper. Repetition in the form of patterns is meditative and opens your mind. I have become more organized. More centered. And my creativity has gone through the roof.
Right now I am facing surgery. It is pretty major, at least to me. I am sick all the time from my fibroids and I am looking forward to getting rid of them next week. That does not mean I am not scared. But I am working through my feelings using art, specifically Zentangles, to help me work through my fear and anger at my uterus which is the cause of my pain.
If you are interested in tangling, there are a lot of great books out there. You don’t need to know how to draw. I am here to say it really does help with focus and creativity. Go to Zentangle.com for the source.
In the meantime, I will be tangling.