old skills

i was trained 
in the long ago and far away 1970's
as a fiberartist.
i could design a cloth wall piece and dress a loom,
weave and finish it.
i could dye with chemistries called procion and acid.
i could read and think about ART and art and CRAFT and craft.
i learned to make paper, too, 
and to work with clay and metal a little bit.
draw and paint some.
i left academia and
i learned next 
to spin and then to raise sheep and goats and rabbits and plants
for fiber which i then spun
sometimes dyed
or made paper with.
it is truly all connected by a thread.
stitching me to my mom
who taught me to sew with re-purposed cotton hem threads on kleenex.
i was weaving away on this recent folio, 
made of lokta shifu, a lovely 3 x 6, 4-selvedge cloth
using another stump loom, 
remembering my past, when therese sent me lovely bits of color.
around the folio fold mark another thing began to happen.
the cloth wanted a few stripes
(remember this cloth will be 3h x 6w equalling 3 x 3 inch folio size).
in today's mail came FIBER ART now
a visual scream (please please get another layout person)
inside was a pantheon of rich fiber art.
including my buffalo state college teacher, nancy belfer.

a good many months ago i warped up my smallest floor loom
with delicious cotton intended for shifu.
maybe it's time to weave a long cloth.
i can imagine
mrs. belfer looking
over my warp 
and making some little criticism, or,
if i'm lucky,
a word of praise.
in any case,
this journey with paper and books 
is exactly what i should be doing.
and this funny folio seems to be sprouting
some slits and wraps
reminiscent of my first experimental learning tapestries
from the 70's.
(i know someone will notice the needle: i did carve the bone one
from a found whitetail deer leg bone)