KО̄RERO / What To Say To Your Harshest Weaving Critic

Veranoa Hetet
Pictured: Dara Barton weaving a kete - Photography by: Soraya McConachy
It is very hard to look at a piece you have woven and see it for what it is.

It is so common for weavers, of all abilities, to be critical of their work. So often we look at our weaving and see only what we deem to be faults. It’s too crooked, there’s a mistake in that ara, the weaving is not tight enough, the weaving is too tight, the tension is out, the colour is wrong, the size is out of proportion…. the list of faults goes on.

This can be very helpful in that it may urge you on to weave tighter or to adjust your tension or to be more mindful of the preparation of materials. It can also be very harmful in that it can crush your confidence in yourself and in your hands.

It is very important to find a balance in your self critiquing of your weaving.

Always remember that weaving is a series of lessons that will continue to teach you for as long as you are weaving.

The next time you hear that critical voice inside your head I would like for you to think of a few things.

1. Even very accomplished weavers began their journey by weaving a humble kono and struggling with corners and with finding the ara.

2. Your weaving is a mirror of your emotions. If you are feeling out of sorts and unhappy with your weaving - it will show up in what you produce.

3. Remember the words “I am learning to weave. I will never be a Master weaver. As soon as you say these words - "I am a Master Weaver" - your mind will stop accepting any new knowledge. Say to yourself "I am forever a student”

4. If you can learn ONE thing with everything you weave - it is indeed a wonderful piece you have woven. It has served to teach you and so be full of gratitude for the opportunity this woven piece has given you to learn

5. Relax, breathe and enjoy your weaving. Be happy that your hands have this wonderful material to work with and to shape and form into something that will be useful for many years to come. 

Happy Weaving!

PS:  This is a photo of me when I was 13 years old - weaving my first kete. I thought then - "How on earth does my mum do this? It is so damn hard. I will never be a weaver"