The first time my work received a critique that began with "I like it, but...", my spirit sank just a bit, but I quickly learned to recognize this as both a compliment and an opportunity. Critiques help me to better understand what other people would like to see, which in turn helps me in future designs. Sometimes, these conversations lead to a collaboration or a commission for a custom piece.
My current project grew out of just such a scenario. The client saw one of my towels, and loved the design, but not the colors. Not so much into blues, could I do it in greens? And while we're at it, could I make it a table runner rather than a towel? Absolutely.
And so a collaboration begins. We talk, she makes her color selections, requests dimensions to fit her furniture, and I order the materials. The box of yarn arrives, filled with greens and golds, but definitely not your 70's greens and golds. These make a gorgeous cohesive palette. (And I make another entry into my color notebook, thank you very much.)
Weaving software and color wraps help me work out proportions and color rotations. I struggle at first because it's not looking like the original design. But of course, that's the point! If I give the original vision a little slack, the new version can take shape. I wind the warp, dress the loom and prepare the shuttles. At each step I like it more and more.
By the time I weave a short sample, I find myself smiling. I am so happy she asked me to weave this for her because she was right, this is absolutely lovely, and another reminder that simply keeping an open mind can lead to wonderful things.