Tuesday, December 15, 2009

18. Three Considerations for Faster, Easier Coiling Post 18

As I said before, this is the last post in this series.
Again, thank you for accompanying me on this series. Going back to the beginning of the series, remember the three considerations are:

1. Your Attitude
2. Your Tools
3. Your Habits

We spent an awful lot of time talking about your habits. But in the end, habits are not what is MOST important. The MOST important thing, as in all areas of life, is your attitude, and that is what I want to revisit now.

For all self-learners, please remember to be as patient and kind to yourself as you would like a teacher to be. Don’t get angry and annoyed with yourself because things are not happening the way you would like them to. It is very difficult to be both the teacher and the student. Every time you lose your patience, remember how unfair your teacher is being to your student.

If something does not work, you know you must try something else. Ask for advice (the Pine Needle Group is a wonderful place to ask,) look in your book, search the internet, or just think about what is happening and try to cipher why. It does not help to keep doing the same thing over and over. It is true, some things just require practice. But sometimes your expectation must be altered. Was this going to be an open bowl? Perhaps you will make a tall vase instead. I bet it will be just beautiful! The NEXT basket, maybe, will be the open bowl, when you tackle needle angle and learn how to shape just the way you want to!

Try to build your skills in manageable ways. I recommend, for at least your first few baskets, that you make the decision to stick with whatever you have done, and make yourself finish what you have started…that is: make the basket from start to end, even if you don’t like it. No ripping out or starting over. Move only forward, not backwards. Then set it aside. It is important, when first beginning to learn, that you gain experience in all parts of making the basket: the establishment, the middle, the finish. Understanding how the whole is made by the parts is an essential part of learning. Once you are familiar with how everything fits together, you can refine your technique.

Keep your first baskets so you can look back at them when you are an old pro, and see how far you have come. (that's my first basket at left...i bet yours looks alot better than that!) If you make a basket and truly do not like it, I recommend you give it away, if possible, rather than destroying it or letting it fester in your thought process. Then move forward. It is very important to recognize these completed baskets as successes on your road to learning. They are, after all, baskets! Isn’t that truly what you set out to make? I have found others are much more forgiving than we are to ourselves, and you might be surprised that someone else cherishes a project you thought inferior. As your skill level climbs, you will be able to hone your problem solving process, and it will become easier to find what works for you.

Take the time to talk to other coilers. Listen to what they say. Ask questions about how they do things. Ask why. Pay attention to direction of coil, materials, tools, every little technique. Consider the experiences of others, and learn from them. And then find your own method, and with it, your own voice!

Thank you so much for traveling with me through this series, listening to my thoughts on philosophy of coiling. Yes, that is what this has been. Did I trick you? I know I titled this series to make you think it was about quickness and simplicity. But it really is not. It is about exploration, introspection, about adventuring through learning, creating from the heart! It is about applying what you learn in your life journey to the art and craft of coiling. AND, when you have asked yourself all these questions, and thought about them, I am betting not only it SEEM you coil more quickly and without as much difficulty, it will BE that way.

You’ve been wonderful, I hope you will continue to join me as I proceed through my weaving and other life ventures in this blog!

As a little thank you, i will be giving away a pottery base like the ones i sell in my etsy shop MakeABasket.etsy.com . To be eligible, just leave a comment on any post in this series. I will choose a post randomly, using the randomizer, and post the results here.

to see all the blog posts on this topic, click here


J.R. said...

I am going to miss your posts in this series. They have been very helpful to me. Thank you so much for the insight and all the helpful comments. You truly are a treasure!

Best wishes,

Donna in WA said...

If a person approaches pine needle basketry with an open mind, he or she will learn patience. Also, coiling can encourage creativity. It's not always something that needs to be done by the book. I have enjoyed this series and hope to similar ones in the future. There's certainly something to think about.

Anonymous said...

Pamela, thanks so much for this series. It's been great to follow. We will all miss your insightful comments, ideas and thoughts.

Have a great holiday season.

Sue Yamins

Anonymous said...

This series has been a tremendous help to me. I just began making baskets this past summer and have been a self learner. I have printed out each post in the series and bound it as my reference book. I'm still learning but so enjoy coiling. Thanks for all the wonderful information!
Missy Steffey

The Flamingess said...

This was a great series, very well done. The advice to treat yourself as you would want your teacher to treat you is something we can all use. Thank you for all the time, thought and effort.

flatriverfarm said...

Pamela, I am going to miss your posts, they have been entertaining and enlightening. It has been wonderful to see the different coiling methods. See you at convention.

Carol said...

Thank you Pamela for this series on coiling. I look forward to such open exchanges from your blog in the future.

Midnightcoiler said...

Pamela, This was a great series and I look forward to your future posts. Have also enjoyed seeing the NCBA teachers baskets. Your mentoring has been invaluable over the years.

Annejala said...

This was an excellent series! I have thoroughly enjoyed this series. I have followed it from beginning to end. I have learned so much over the last few months. Thanks again and I look forward to what you will teach us on your blog in the future!
Happy Holidays...Angela...Annejala...Ann-g

jazcat5 said...

Well thought out series. Very time consuming no doubt. thank you for sharing your extensive knowledge with all of us. JI

jazcat5 said...

Well thought out series. Very time consuming no doubt. thank you for sharing your extensive knowledge with all of us. JI

Anonymous said...

I found your website in Weavers World newsletter today. Ever since I saw my mother-in-laws pineneedle basket, I have always wanted to make one. So far all I have ever done is make a small coil. (I do make baskets with flat & round reeds.) Thank you for the helpful comments in this blog.