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Thoughts on Control Vs Lack of Control–Isabel Swift

July 24, 2011 by in category From Isabel Swift tagged as , , with 3 and 0
Home > Columns > From Isabel Swift > Thoughts on Control Vs Lack of Control–Isabel Swift

Holding on. Letting go.

Just met a photographer at a two hour batik/dye class who said she was there because she wanted to push herself creatively in areas where she wasn’t—and couldn’t be—in control. Because she knew she relished and enjoyed the control she exercised over her photographic images—it was aligned with her natural inclinations. And she knew as an artist, she needed to challenge her comfort zone on occasion.

She did watercolor for the same reason. You can’t “fix” a “mistake” with water color. You have to listen to the medium and figure out how to reimagine your vision to work with whatever happened. Which can sometimes mean heading off in new, unexpected and eye-opening directions.

Then some years ago, walking into a group of office crafters—knitting, crochet—it seemed a homogeneous gathering of like-minded souls. But mention the word “felting” and the room divides, half enthusiastic, half appalled. Because for some, knitting is about choice and control of all the variables—patterns, colors, materials, tools and talent. And felting, with its ‘lets-just-toss-that-thing-in-the-washing-machine-and-see-what-happens’ attitude is utterly antithetical to what they do, what they enjoy. Because it’s out of their control. And for others, that’s the point and the fun.

Of course people aren’t all one way or another—they usually have areas where they want and need control, and other areas where they are totally laissez-faire. Though some can be judgemental about another’s excessive (or shocking lack of) control in whatever area they differ on! But I will have to explain the Janci Curve in another post….

Do you have areas that you think are too tightly wrapped and could benefit from some loosening or experimentation? Or areas where you’re a little too experimental and need some focus and discipline?

My answer is…all of the above!

Isabel Swift

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Anonymous
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I just learned about steeling! I want someone to do it to a sweater, but can't find anyone that advertises steeling…

Anonymous
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Hmmmm. How about okay with giving up "some" control? I love to felt, but steek? I don't think so.

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