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.


14 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


  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

  2. Are we talking fractional values here, Alen or is Pampaneira like a tunnel in the sky, a kind of wormhole, a time travel back to your last years at school?
    Your headline attracted my attention, but I might have got it all wrong 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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