Journal

Starting a Conversation

 
Image showing a tapestry from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It has been woven from two panels stitched together, and its possible that each side was woven by a different person- you can see clear stylistic differences between the two.

Image showing a tapestry from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It has been woven from two panels stitched together, and its possible that each side was woven by a different person- you can see clear stylistic differences between the two.

Hi from New York! I’m here on what I’m calling a creative holiday- as in, I’m alternating between museum visits and staring at my laptop. There’s a lot of new things that I’m working on right now- this blog being one of them. 

I’ve been thinking for a while that I’d like to have a space to discuss certain topics in a bit more depth. Instagram has been such a good space for facilitating dialogue, and I’ve loved the conversations that I’ve been having there. But after a certain point, there’s only so much room! I found that I was drafting Instagram comments that would go on for pages, and having to edit most of it out.

So: this blog. It’s a space for me to share what I’ve learnt and what I’m learning, to think out loud, to put things out into the world and ask the question “hey is anyone else thinking this?”

It’s also a good opportunity also for me to pause and reflect, which I rarely make time for. Most people that know me well would probably say I’m pretty driven. Like, “working 8am to 8pm for weeks on end” driven. “Hand me that coffee I’ll sleep when I’m dead” driven. I don’t think this is always a bad thing (although sometimes it can be!) Its one of the qualities I’m proud of in myself. But often I can see myself getting locked in on a goal, and I don’t stop to think that there could be different ways to look this issue, better ways to problem solve or that I might be missing something vital.

Don’t get me wrong- sometimes its totally necessary to block out distractions and just focus. When I first started my business, there were only a handful of people who gave me actually helpful advice. The vast majority of it was well-meaning-but-awful (and usually along the lines of “I don’t think anyone will pay £400 for a rug…”)

But at other times it is crucial to allow space for dialogue. This time in New York has been a welcome clarifier and a chance to reassess. On top of that, I’ve gotten to see some seriously cool things and geek out over textiles with the experts, thanks my wonderful friend Hannah and everyone in the Textile Conservation Department at the Met. (You can find out more about the work they do on their website here and on their Pinterest)

The global conversation around craft and textiles thats happening right now, facilitated by the internet, is one of the main reasons I feel so lucky to be weaving today. After years of keeping my head down and fighting my way through, it feels like it’s time to let the outside in a little more. I’m challenging myself to be more intentional about my part in this discussion, to open up and be more transparent, to take on feedback. I’m confident that I can listen to whats helpful, and ignore the noise. I’d like to start a conversation, and I’d love to hear from you.

If there’s anything you have any questions about- leave me a comment below or on Instagram, or email me at christy@christabelbalfour.com