The warp factor

SOMETIMES I wish I’d been a stonemason engaged in restoring cathedral spires, or a potter shaping clay into useful and attractive objects. Or a bookbinder, or a crafter of fine leather, or a cabinetmaker – someone with a skill who can gather raw materials in his hands and fashion them into items that possess beauty. I feel a bit like that today when I visit a weaver’s workshop in the Alpujarran village of Pampaneira, high in the Sierra Nevada mountains of southern Spain . . .

We have visitors staying; and one of them, Sue, knows all about weaving and looms and warp and shuttles, and all that stuff, and is keen to impart her knowledge. I listen attentively as we walk about the workshop, though I must admit I find the process a complicated business and most of the information flies over my head.

I look about the workshop and I want to be a weaver. I have an overwhelming desire to sit at the loom and create something that will give people pleasure. Why wasn’t I provided with this option by the careers officer in my final year at school? Why didn’t someone say: “Right, you’ve all read George Eliot’s Silas Marner and we all wear clothes and have access to materials – who wants to be a weaver instead of going in the shipyard?” But it didn’t happen.

Why didn’t someone say: “We all use pots so who wants to be a potter? The world is full of churches and grand buildings, so who wants to be a stonemason?”

Perhaps they did but I just wasn’t listening. Perhaps, at sixteen, many of us do not possess the faculty to see beyond the easiest option. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to be a weaver now.

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9 thoughts on “The warp factor

    1. I’m like that with certain activities. I’ve been on skiing and surf-boarding courses and achieved nothing except collecting lots of bruises. Perhaps you just haven’t found your niche, Carol.
      Cheers, Alen

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  1. Would be good to know if anyone, ever, was directed to an appropriate and enjoyable career by a careers officer! Those lovely colours of yarn make me wish I could do something like it myself, and I can barely sew a button on!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’ve got me thinking there, Jo. Those old skills are disappearing. I used to be able to sew a button on and darn a sock, and do a little knitting and crochet when I was a kid. I can still sew a button on but the rest has gone out of the window.
      Cheers, Alen

      Liked by 1 person

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