Last month I started this basket weave temari. I based it on a temari from one of the books from Japan (Cosmo #5) but where they used 2 colors, I used 5 - 3 for the main weaved squares and two for the framing. I also changed up how the bands weave into the framing. I chose one direction (x, y or z) for each color this results in 2 of the 3 main colors being woven in each square and the squares on opposite sides of the temari are the same. I also took many measurements long the way to make sure everything stayd "true" so the framing at the corners would meet nice and tight. Then I made a coordinated yubinuki using the same colors, again in a basket weave where stitched threads are the warp (vertical threads) and the weft (horizontal) are woven but NOT stitched.
A few more yubinuki - the pink one is for the Plum Blossom temari that lives in Scotland, which I made last year. The green one is for the Cedar temari I made last month.
So what is a POLYHISTOR? I am a polyhistor! But I do not think I am a polymath since there are areas of learning that hold no interest to me such as philosophy. And because of my age I am a Opsimath too.
Please refer to this image of the definition of a polyhistor, then keep reading for more background and understanding.
When the Covid-19 pandemic started, I was doing some metal work and temari; reading. After a few weeks into the lockdown I was still making temari and started a weaving project; the metal work was set aside. Now one year into the pandemic I have set aside the weaving and I am spending my evenings mostly working on temari and yubinuki.
It was during this past year I began to ponder my penchant for learning which to me was a bit odd considering I did not enjoy "school" as a child. That's not to say I did not like going to school or all of the things I was told I had to learn; what I did not enjoy was some of the things I had to learn and the more I thought about it I realized I did not enjoy the subjects where the learning was difficult due to my then unknown dyslexia. The subjects I did enjoy were home economics, physical education, art, poetry, the sciences except the heavy math parts, and many after school activities like stage crew, (more) sports and Girl Scouts. It was the math, spelling and learning French - all for a while until I learned, on my own, how to make a game of learning and mastering the rules.
What can be even more confounding is that I chose to pursue an engineering degree after high school. I decided on the degree because I am a "natural engineer" and my father was one too and he said I would have a more difficult time trying to follow my dreams without a degree, like him, than with one (being female in the 60-70's being the other). College was extremely difficult and my undergraduate grades where crap (gong to a very difficult school did not help) but I did graduate.
NOTE: A natural engineer is NOT a person who engineers nature or natural resources. A natural engineer is someone who is an engineer but has no formal training and exhibits the ability to see and solve problems at a young age. I was telling my father how to fix things, he was working on, starting sometime around 5th grade.
Since then I have had this desire to learn new things - embroidery and crewl work, weaving and spinning, quilting (which is very different than sewing clothing which I do as well), knitting, temari and yubinuki, metalsmithing, raising and sinking vessels, constructing boxes, chasing and repousse and learning to make the tools for metalsmithing - all subjects that are, in a way mathematical and engineering related while allowing the person doing them to be creative. I say they involve engineering and mathematical aspects because all do require the use of math, some more than others, and they have a technical aspect to them; when you know the basics there are challenges and problems to be solved when an idea presents it self.
As I said, I realized this past year that I like learning and specifically learning where I can solve problems or processes. When I find a subject that piques my interest, I am ALL IN. I find ways to learn at my own pace, I acquire the books, tools and other aqutromonts to master it. Many of the skills I have listed I really enjoy and have done for 30, 40 or more years And yet.... I realized that for some of these other subjects, which I also enjoy(ed) I have set aside and never come back to. So do I enjoy the learning and gaining the understanding MORE than the act of doing it?
I present to you as an example my 10 year foray into Metalsmithing, shall we. I first learned how to cut and polish a cabochon, then I moved into basic jewelry so I could wear what I had made. I enjoy making the odd piece of jewelry but it did not inspire me to make more. I like working with metal because of the underlying science and engineering which most metalsmiths have no interest in. From there I tried chain maille which I found boring after a while and from there I moved into raising and sinking of vessels - now that challenged me and continues to do so. To do more with the vessels I made, I then learned chasing and repousse; to color my work I delved into the alchemy behind patina and the construction techniques of making boxes and hinges.
Throughout all of this I realize that I am very good at the technical aspects and can make some wonderful things many of which are my own original ideas. What I lack is the continuous flow of creative ideas that would make me a true artist in some things I have learned but not in others. I am OK with that which is why I am an Artisan not an artist.
I know I can find a subject I enjoy, learn it, become proficient in it and make and be creative and sell these items as a polyhistor and an artisan.
For the past few weeks I have been working on some advanced temaril - this first is Cedar and this was done 3 times to get it correct. It is stitched with 3 strands of floss to make an all over covering. The second is a type of yubinuki obi design that is stitched with double perle cotton thread. I stitched twice as my first color choices did not get the design to pop. I then decided to make a yubinuki stand to go with it it.
Oh, what a year!!
A few days late due to the Snowmageddon!
Bear with me on this, it's a great story of a 6-degree's of separation event and a Mitzvah has been done.
3 years ago I moved to Hill Country Texas from Southern California.
During my 30+ years of living in California, I took metal lessons from Deb. Deb grew up in Nacogdoches, Texas.
After moving to Texas I started working on Temari again and became acquainted with Holly via a temari group, who lives near Houston.
Then last week Snowmageddon 2021 hit.
Over 2 storms we had almost a foot of snow and temperatures in the low teens. We lost power for a day and water for five. Other people around the state had it much worse, houses burned down and pipes burst. We will not discuss how the utilities mis-handled their respective areas.
During this time, one day on Facebook, Deb mentions that her 90 (yes NINETY) year old mom Mildred is alone in Nacodoches and she is worried about her. I googled it and she is a 5 hour drive away, in GOOD WEATHER from where I am so just zipping over was not going to happen. Note: I know how to drive on snowy and icy roads it's the rest of Texas I don't trust.
I then remember Holly has some church connections and just maybe she knew someone who knew someone out near Nacodoches, so I put the question to her.
Sure enough, Holly knew someone (Mireya) who's god mother (Lorraine) is a Pastor at the Methodist church just THREE blocks away from Mildred's house. Phone information was passed back and forth and arrangements were made.
This morning Pastor Lorraine has taken water to Deb's mom and verified she's doing well and Deb is very relieved. Plus Deb now has a contact who could assist if Mildred needs help. A call was made to Deb from Lorrain while at Mildred's house and a picture was also sent. Everyone is very relieved and happy this has happened.
The ENTIRE state of Texas has been placed under a weather warning as a massive cold and snow storm was on it's way. All week the overnight temperature was dropping and we were warned about a chance of rain and or snow this weekend.
And sure enough, at 10 pm last night it started to snow. This morning we have a winter wonderland; it appears we had about 3 inches of snow!
Yup! it is that time again. Note: We are staying home and avoiding everyone!
Laurie lives in central Texas with Erich a.k.a. "the shop elf"- her hubby of 30+ years and Cowboy Boots, the cat; her metals studio including 100+ hammers and 300+ chasing tools; her sewing studio which has a sewing machine, a closet filled with fabric, hundreds of skeins of embroidery floss and perle cotton, silk and other materials, and Mrs. King the dress dummy; two weaving looms, assorted knitting needles, tubs of yarn; lots of books; plus a plethora of geeky tech gadgets and more.