For my first shibori sample I’ve chosen to use a gauzy, woven bamboo. I purchased several fabrics in preparation for this class and ultimately decided on this one for the Mokume sample because it has a gird pattern in the weave of the fabric that would be easy to follow for my stitching lines. For the design of the areas without stitching I wanted to do something simplistic because I was more interested in experimenting with the space between my stitch lines than outlining a motif.
The stitching process reminded me of quilting and I found it very relaxing. I’ve done my best to pull the threads up as tight as possible because I’m concerned that the sparse weave of the fabric will allow the dye to penetrate beyond the gathers.
Choosing Craft, The Artist Viewpoint
Edited by Vicki Halper & Diane Douglas
Liz Collins: “I wonder if the fine-art versus craft split matters anymore. I teach a generation that doesn’t care about old art-craft hierarchies. The DIY (Do-It-Yourself or Design-It-Yourself) movement doesn’t think of craft as a dirty word.”
Allison Smith: “Even though the work each of us makes can be categorized as craft, we are all trying to stretch the boundaries of conceptual and collaborative art as well. We are conceptual artists whose subject is craft.”
Smith: “Craft has become a buzzword in the artworld, too. In so much contemporary art, though, when a work is supposed to be about craft, what that means is it’s got some big, sloppy stitches on it. It’s a kind of disrespect to craft traditions and the deep history of hand-making.”
Smith: “If you’re using craft, the question of skill is going to enter the critique no matter what.”
I found this discussion interesting. I struggle to find my voice (or style?) in the fine art world. I think my love for art was born from a love of crafting and the things I’ve made in the past and at my leisure are more craft than fine art. I hope that from my college education I can learn to combine the two. Before returning to college I had a craft based business. I constantly felt like I was struggling and ended up deciding to quit the venture and return to college in search of a better way to make art my life’s work.
As a crafter I am a perfectionist and want my work to show little to no sign of my hands. I used to feel like the labeling of my work as craft was an insult because craft makes me think of shitty Pinterest projects that are held together with hot glue. The label of craft felt demoralizing to the devotion I had for absolute perfection of workmanship and presentation.
I’m trying to think of craft differently now; to find ways of using my skills in new forms and set perfection aside in favor of artistic exploration.