Today, to get myself "off the treadmill", so to speak, I took the afternoon and went to Barnes and Noble in Sioux City to look at magazines and to see what's happening out there, beyond Etsy, where my main focus seems to have been. Now, I know that sounds like a bit of a contradiction to what I've just said at the beginning of this post, but looking at all the current magazines really got me thinking about these things. I have thoughts swimming in my head about trends and fashion, about making "stuff", as well as the history and long tradition of art and craft in the world, that is different than" arts & crafts." There has been such a proliferation in the last decade in the possibilities available across the world in terms of access to materials, resources, people, markets...rather mind boggling. We're just inundated with images and as someone with an etsy shop, my struggle is to make meaningful work, yet pieces that will be affordable for buyers who want one-of-a-kind original art. It's easy to get lost in thousands of people who have these same desires and goals. I don't have answers...I just have questions.
After looking at a stack of magazines over a warm blueberry scone and a cup of hot tea, I decided to buy the new issue of Selvedge, which is a beautiful British publication, that I've long admired. It so well designed and has a broad focus in the craft tradition that includes good writing about history and place. I'm going to subscribe, even though it's expensive, because I want to have it each issue myself and I think it's the kind of publication that deserves support. If you haven't seen it, check it out at your local newstand, but better be sitting down so you don't drop when you see the cover price. Subscribing makes it quite a bit more affordable.
Violett and I have spent some time together...playing with various stitches on cloth, which I'm still trying to get used to working with....I'm so much more comfortable with paper. I decided to set aside the near wince of the woman at the store where I bought the machine when I told her I wanted to stitch on paper. She didn't gasp and she didn't quite wince, but she let me know that it's hard on the machine and you have to take extra care to keep the insides free of debris that can cause problems. Violett allowed as how she'd like to try paper and well, that was pretty much fun stitching various sheets of paper together...but that's as far as we got. I'm told I should try using stabilizer with the fabric and that will make it feel more like paper. I'm open to anyone who has knowledge of this kind of thing....how to make fabric pretend to be paper.
Here are a couple of new pieces....not so different from what I've been doing. I realize these evolutions take a long time and are really quite gradual....I mean look at the evolution of any of the life forms on earth...these things happen slowly and over time. I just have to be patient with myself!
Spring Meditation no.11
Mementos no. 4 (detail)
I can't remember if I mentioned it here lately or not, so forgive me if I have, but I'm doing a found text post once a week on Wednesday on my other blog MissouriBendPaperWorks...the last couple have been done as scrolls. Here's a detail of the one from this past Wednesday. Head on over to the blog or you can see more views and the full description and text for "Scout For The Rare Ones" in my shop here.
Scout For The Rare Ones (detail)
So, there you go....I'm going to try to relax about it all and try to get the long view and some perspective on the future. I hope you have a wonderful weekend...enjoy!