Last week a friend of mine asked if I wanted to join her for the monthly meeting of the Westchester (NY) weaving guild. They were having a guest speaker; she couldn’t remember whom. She thought he was a tapestry weaver and a member of the “New York study group.” I wracked my brain! I should who this man is!…..but I didn’t!
So I went. And of course I knew him when he arrived to speak. It was Stanley Bulbach, who also happens to be a member of the Textile Study Group of New York. I’m so glad I took advantage of the opportunity to hear Stanley speak and to see a few of his rugs in person.
As many people may know, Stanley spins his own yarn. I did not know that he does this on a homemade spinning wheel that is based on a bicycle wheel he upcycled for the purpose! He spins yarn from Lincoln fleece, which is long and lustrous, and when he wants something other than the natural colors of this fleece he turns to natural dyes for additional color. His rugs really glow, something you cannot imagine from a photograph They are beautiful!
I know you can’t see his rugs well in these photos, and I’m sorry about that. Trust me that my photographic ability wouldn’t do them justice anyway.
What I want to say about his rugs is that they have a presence. Even if I didn’t know that he’d done all the fiber preparation by hand, that he’d created the yarns by hand, that he’d woven the rug entirely by hand…. I know I would still feel the presence of something extraordinary about them. …which leads me to the title I gave this post: there is something precious in the quality of work done by hand with precious materials.
He also spent a good deal of his presentation on the need for textile artists to better advocate for our chosen field. Of course we do! I am a perfect example of someone who has not recognized this facet of working in textiles, and since I am so ill equipped to cover this subject I’ll just pass you along to Stanley’s website.
(His photographs don’t do justice to his rugs either)…