Archive for January, 2010

little housetop

January 27, 2010

Last fall I continued trying to create a wallhanging for my daughter because she was inspired by a Gee’s Bend exhibit. Despite emulating with free cutting, salvaged fabric, and a favorite Gee’s Bend pattern, I could never get loose enough.  Nevertheless, I gave the result to her and she seems pleased enough.  But I’m not as pleased as I want to be myself.  I’ll probably let this effort go for awhile because of other projects, but I hope someday to give her something much stronger and more fluent.

Anyway, I titled it “Fall Homage to Housetop,” and subtitled it “getting over the fear of corduroy.”  Two different flea market cords combined with old shirts and some Fassett cottons. The cords were the real risk for me because using something too easy like that always felt a little like velvet paintings.  But just having the corduroy was enough for the Gee’s Bend women to turn out glorious quilts using it. And in fact in this little piece I don’t dislike it and will probably use it more.  Well, that’s a kind of progress I guess.

The color and surface texture turned out to be hard to photograph.  These from different cameras and different light, none precisely correct.

slow return

January 26, 2010

The people writing almost all the blogs I follow seem to have recovered their rhythm after the holidays and started posting in their usual way, sometimes even more than usual.  But over here life has thrown in some kinks and I’m still trying to find my way to the work I want to do in the coming months, old projects that have just been holding in the back of my mind, and some newer ones too.  While I move slowly into that, I’ve picked up a book I started last year and didn’t finish, though I’ve wanted to.  It’s called The Craftsman by Richard Sennett, a sociologist who in this book examines what craftsmanship is and what it means to human culture, past and present.  It’s one of those kinds of books that I underline in and write notes in the margins on most of the pages.  I thought I’d bring a little of that here.  For instance, from the prologue:

“Learning from things requires us to care about the qualities of cloth or the right way to poach fish; fine cloth or food cooked well enables us to imagine larger categories of ‘good.’”   And a paragraph later: “…we can achieve a more humane material life, if only we better understand the making of things.”

Agreed.  Slow cloth and slow food.  Better life.  (And I won’t even complain about it being The Craftsman.)

The Craftsman bookcover