Wednesday, June 16, 2010

stitch: waiting

i bought one of kaye turner's lovely pieces a couple of weeks ago and it arrived early last week, but with the dreary weather, i never felt the light was right for properly photographing it. it's a piece that kaye made last winter and she called it waiting. and at the point where she was making it, i was also waiting. waiting for my new job to begin, waiting to see what kind of a farm we would find, waiting for our house to sell (still waiting for that, tho' there is a glimmer of hope at the moment)....waiting and waiting and waiting. and so when i saw the piece on her big cartel site, i snatched it up. i'd been wanting one of her pieces and this one just felt like the perfect one for me.

i've been fascinated by the so-called slow cloth movement and i wrote last winter a few times about the slow cloth facebook group, which i felt both strangely compelled and repelled by - because it seemed like it was an awfully hard group to break into and be welcomed. especially if you, like me, are rather into contemporary fabrics and have a great deal of affection for your sewing machine. you'll be glad to know i've largely stopped checking out what's going on in the group gotten a life and moved on. but i'm grateful to the group because i think it's how i met kaye (who is really named karen). i've been reading her blog and she mine and she's a flickr contact as well. and i love the insight that gives into her process and her art.

i'm showing you bits and pieces of the piece because the detail is what drew me to it. there's a house. there's a compelling and rather map-like symbol that may have eyes on it and a nordic sun symbol. the tones are muted and fit that march period in which it was made. there are some vibrant orange and burgundy threads in it, adding splashes of color, but for the most part, it's quite neutral in tone.

earlier this year, i bought a beautiful stitched piece by jude hill, who may be the very soul of the slow cloth movement. that little cloth, with its flying trees, is magical. but karen's piece is magical in another way. while i feel privileged to own one of jude's works, this piece by karen feels more like it was meant to be mine. like it was made for me and has now found its way home to me. karen is also waiting to sell her house and move, so in a way, we had parallel story lines at the time it was made.

the piece holds up well to scrutiny and the more i look at it, the more meaning and symbolism i see in it that i feel applies so much to me and my life. the little colorful bed of X-es makes me think of the garden we've begun here at the new house. and my eye is drawn back again and again to the map-like circle, with its different landscapes and that peninsula in the center. i love the luminous little stretch of brilliant red.

when you pull back from the map-like circle, it resembles a head as it has a neck and "body" below - and the shape of that body reminds me of the driftwood people that husband and i have made. it seems to be peeking in from the side in a way, as if popping in from the future to reassure that what's ahead is colorful, since that side of the piece has the most color. the nordic sun symbol within a square is something my father-in-law would have appreciated, so it makes me think of him. there's just so much here. and i'm sure it all meant something else to karen, but it's just so dense with meaning for me. i just can't escape the feeling that it was meant to be mine. there are details that i don't know yet what they mean, but i feel certain it will become clear to me as time goes on.

i'm getting quite a few stitched pieces now - sophie callaghan's beautiful petra doll (thanks spud!), my beautiful stitched pillow from elizabeth. my own breakthrough eye pillow that resides on our bed. i'm not sure yet how i want to display karen's piece. with the house half falling down, i think a proper place for it will have to wait, which is probably just fine in light of its name...waiting.


Anonymous said...

Thank you - for such insightful words, and for your excellent photographs. I'm so glad this piece found its way home.

Polly said...

this really is a great collage, great choice, I don't quite understand why the title is waiting but I that house is great, it reminds me of Munch's Scream...

Elizabeth said...

Find the symbol on the first picture most intriguing. Think I am gonna search for it on Karen's blog to see what it means to her.

Have a lovely SUNNY day!!!!

Elaine said...

I'm the creator of the Facebook group, and the creator of the slow cloth manifesto/movement. I'd love to know why you think it's "hard to break into." And for the record, I too love my sewing machine and contemporary fabrics - slow cloth is not handstitching - that's just one of the major misconceptions that a few bloggers have sown. See my blog for more on that. Would love a conversation.

Joanna Jenkins said...

What beautiful detail. I'm not that familiar with the slow cloth movement but I'm liking it very much after seeing your post and will look into it.

I'll e watching to see where this lands in your new home.


Unknown said...

I am now following you! You can follow me @

Beki :-)

Char said...

beautiful beautiful pieces for sure.