details

Working on the last bits of a piece can be like standing in line at a government bureaucracy. Tedious buzzing calculations — how many more stitches for that one last line of stitching? Will the employee behind the counter tell me I am in the wrong line after standing (im)patiently for an hour in the first line? Can the exhibit use a staple gun to put my piece up instead of me having to stitch a sleeve to the back?  Tedious buzzing reminders that this is a slow art.

Tying this piece every two inches with crochet thread has given it a new dimension as well as a blister on my left middle finger.

Tying this piece every two inches with crochet thread has given it a new dimension as well as a blister on my left middle finger.

I start to question my sanity when I work on little details for days on end and then tear half of them away. Or when I decide to add another layer to an already complicated collage. Is this layering saying something about my state of mind? Short answer: yes.

Pollinators  is an assemblage of details tied together with details.

Pollinators is an assemblage of details tied together with details.

The rewards? Meditation, escape, complexity, depth, and mystery. I let the thread lead me.

This piece on nuclear arms testing had to have some olive branches drifting to the edge.

This piece on nuclear arms testing had to have some olive branches drifting to the edge.

I'm going with disorder for now

Recently I got an email from one of my readers who said that one of her teachers left her with this thought one day:

Disorder is unnamed order.

This might be a perfect time to share a piece that was close to being cut up over the weekend. Luckily for me I shared it with a friend who said it just needed more thought. She couldn't put a name to it but had a number of comments that showed me how she perceived the piece. And, our conversation about it gave me new perspective on how I might proceed. You might recognize the piece from previous posts. It is a flag made with scraps and scrapings from the studio. A study of immigration, assembly and union.

Adding more stitching created a bumpy topography that bordered on chaos.

There's movement alright, a rippling and straining that only bias stitching can create.

Trouble was, I had this brilliant idea that if I stitched a radiating line out from each of the hand applied stars in the composition it would add movement and convey the coming together of the states.

But, without a good substrate to bolster the bias stitching the flag waves and wanders over the table as if in animated agony. Bubbles, bulges and pits are not a pretty thing.

Going back to my original intention for the piece -- a study of immigration and union -- conflict and resolution -- life stories and belonging, I realized that bulges and bubbles may be just what it needs. Our nation is a compilation of histories. The disorder is resolved by naming the injustices, applying the rule of law and coming together in harmony.

So for now I am adding more stitching. Journeys of thread texture, gatherings of thread colonies and backbones of thread tracks. I am adding order to disorder and naming it This Imperfect Union.

This may take awhile.