I spent a couple of hours yesterday finishing up this little study. It had lingered on my side table for over a year. I am calling it density. Slowing down to stitch by hand is a way to organize my thoughts.
This latest exploration has me excited about the possibilities. I start with a pile of scraps. Stitch them randomly together, slice and restitch, slice and restitch, trim, iron, trim to 4" squares. (oh such fun to use rotary cutter randomly, no measurements -- just the feel of the wheel on the cutting surface.....)
The resulting compositions of floating and jagged objects start speaking to each other when placed in groups. Like shards of reality exploding in a shattering space. The scraps in this case are from a linen table cloth and some black kona cotton.
I created 49 squares and assembled them into a grid with more black cotton yesterday. Some of them are a little wonky and I had to trim overly thick seams down to size before the final trim. I gave up being perfectly flat a while ago in an effort to respect the character of the fabric. I may even intentionally unravel some of the edges. Or hand sew some suture lines when I see a wounded piece. I will probably battle some of the bias edges when I start to stitch. But I love their texture, and the randomness of the pieces and I suspect that the wonkiness will add to the character of the piece.
Now, another what if process...What if I create tangent lines next to all of the floating black objects? Let them travel across the piece to intersect willy-nilly with other floating black objects.....
Linen and black cotton. Crisp and contrasty. Layers upon layers. Then blown apart.
Yesterday was spent controlling the explosion.
Now to assembly. And then to my favorite part....the stitching.
I am working on more than one project at at time. It helps to reinvigorate my creative perspective. Some of the work is being pieced. Some stitched. Some bound. Some reconstructed. But lately I wonder if this is too scattered, too disparate for satisfaction. Am I adding too many vanishing points to my brain?
I haven't completed a piece in over 4 months. At the same time I have started at least five. Two are lingering on the what-was-I-thinking design board. One is a mass of hand stitching detail that takes hours of concentration and can only be done in a meditative state. One is an experiment that opened a completely new direction for exploration. The children's drawing project has three rough compositions in place waiting for final decisions on treatment. Another has such a deep and complex vision for completion that I am not sure how I will be able to pull it off (I spent the last week learning how to tie fishing nets so that I can add a net to the piece.)
So, what to do?
Is chaos a productive mindset or should I strive for focus? Can multiple points of view cloud the simple solution? Is this exploration a way to avoid decision? And, is this the reason why I can't get a good nights sleep? Too many synapses firing ... too many vanishing points. I have this vision of being tied up in threads that are weblike over the studio, finally engulfing me in my medium. Maybe it's best I don't add a cot to the workspace. You might find me stitched in. (hmmm...another idea to pursue?)
First full day in the studio in about a week and the pace is frenetic. So many ideas, so many directions. I am full to bursting. Looking over today's scraps makes me think I might want to work a little slower in the next go round.
hmmm.... how can I repurpose this?