I am in the early stages of study for my Certificate in Felting Techniques (CiFT) and it requires me to make a number of samples in a variety of wools. One advantage is that I have now begun to develop a hightened awareness and appreciation for quality and individual characteristics.
My early samples displayed a number of inconsistencies and uneven felting. It frustrated me on a number of occasions that the final piece did not measure up to my expectations. Rectangular rather than square. Three edges reasonably straight whilst one has an indentation. One area thinner than the rest of the sample. And so on… I kept finding reasons why it was not good enough.
Practical skills and a bank of knowledge requires a dedicated approach. A time to explore, experiment and engage. Without the connection there is no link and we become detached from the making process. Our actions and outcomes either produce an endless supply of products which are inferior or could be so much better.
Quality lies within our approach, our knowledge and skills. A continued onward investigation, always with the aim of self improvement, should be lifelong. We should not stop because we retire, cannot be bothered and age is a feeble excuse. And quantity is not the measure of quality. I have now completed fifteen samples and although time has not allowed me to make more, the quality has improved ten fold. My attention to detail, my ongoing learning and my problem solving skills have increased. And in line with this my appreciation of the quality of my work has expanded. I understand so much more and want to go on getting better at what I do.
Look closely at the quality of a finished object will always show the skills and knowledge of its maker. Quality always shines through in everything we do and sometimes we have to go that extra mile to prove to ourselves and others what we are truely and honestly capable of.
We can lead more positive and understanding lives supporting and encouraging others to appreciate quality in all that they do and see during their lifetime. Strive for the best you can be in something you love doing and share it.