Sitting with Uncertainty

Greetings Friends,

I’m working on some new fiber pieces, and I’m not yet sure where they’re going. They’re in that awkward stage where I’m making handwoven and hand-dyed fabrics, but I have no idea how they’ll all fit together. I thought I’d show you some of what’s happening in the studio.

Here’s an overview of some pieces I’ve done so far.

Cassandra Tondro art

There are very beautiful handwoven lengths of fabric, leaf prints on cotton, hand-painted pieces using natural earth pigments and other ephemera. The circle in the center is a piece of black screen left over from the catio.

The woven pieces are particularly lovely, and for that reason I find myself reluctant to do anything more to them, lest I ruin them.

Cassandra Tondro art

Cassandra Tondro art

But then look at how interesting this handwoven piece turned out when I stained it with rusty nails.

Cassandra Tondro art

I like the pristine look of the woven pieces straight off of the loom, but I also like the distressed look of the rust stained piece. So which direction am I going?

It’s a dilemma that I often face, and I’m uncomfortable with the uncertainty. Yet it’s the uncertainty that allows for something new and unexpected to emerge.

My job right now is to continue to sit with the unknown and just keep going. Keep weaving, keep dyeing, and keep an open mind. Hopefully it will all come together in the end, or not. Either way I have to allow it to be OK.

Where does uncertainty enter into your life? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts. You can share them with us in the comments section below.

With love and appreciation,



    1. Hi Helga. Yes, I can see that. Planting not knowing how it will grow or if it will grow. Some things die, and then you have to pivot and make changes. Same sort of process, as you said.

  1. Cassie, these are beautiful. When I first glanced at the leave one, I thought of curtains. I don’t know why???

  2. beautiful textures and weavings. my process for montage/sculpture is to select pieces, let them rest, attend to them, and then step away again. and again, unsure how they will coalesce. this is not uncertainty for me—it is simply unknown. the parts speak slowly into my hands as i touch each one, to become part of the whole. same process with graphic design: collect, gather, select, rest, assemble, rest, assemble….

    1. Thank you for sharing your process, Adriane. I find your words to be reassuring and comforting. I’ve had some anxiety the past few days because these pieces aren’t coming together. The not knowing is giving me angst, and it helps to hear how you let your work coalesce slowly.

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