Susan L.

Exploring the Options

I’m not sure why I dragged my feet on this exercise. Mostly, I think it is because the thought of a major purge of my studio is daunting; it will require a huge amount of time to execute. I know I struggle with letting go of things, as I’m still in the mindset that I’ll need all these toys when I retire from teaching in a few years, and finally have time to work at my fiber art.

All this being said, I often do practice the art of organizing by tackling one small spot at a time, and enjoy watching the progress over the period of a few weeks. So, in my studio, I decided to tackle a basket of ‘ sewing stuff’ that sits beneath my sewing machine. I pulled it out, and sorted the goods. Some things could be tossed, some needed to relocate to a different and better place, and a few things went back. I’ve dubbed this basket as my ‘to do’ basket, and have put things in there that need repair, quick alteration, etc.. It sure looks better and encourages me to continue.

I realize that I need to sit down and have a cup of tea and have a think. In order to tackle my studio properly, I need to decide who I am right now, as a creative person. I have so many interests, most of which utilize materials and tools. Have I moved on from certain textile arts and crafts? So, in my list-forming mode, I sat and thought about it all and mind-mapped.  After that exercise, I realize, it is no wonder I feel so scattered all the time. How do I ever manage to focus. I was hoping that this task would help me sort out items I could part easily with, as I identified interests that have gone by the wayside. So far, no success, so I think I will have to have a cup of coffee next, and delve deep into the area that encompasses the material goods in my life.

My rules

I do have ‘rules’ for myself, but thus far they have revolved around my closet and books (one in, one out). I have also used this with fabric purchases, which has been relatively successful. Time to move on to the art materials, if I can muster it. Surely there are some dried out old paints there somewhere. I think it would be good for me to start a rule of how many unfinished projects I allow myself to have. I sometimes approach this by challenging myself to accomplish some ‘dones’ in my life. I’ve even blogged this in past.  So, I shall move on this one again. I know I can approach a use what you have rule relatively easily. I’ve done this in the pantry, and in the freezer, as purging efforts, but now, will attempt to turn it into a creative challenge for self.

Working with It

In my purging of the basket, I came across samples of handwoven and felting tests that were left over from a design challenge I was involved with, with the Handweaver’s Guild of America. I was matched with a weaver (I being the designer), and together we had to create something from a basket of yarn. There were six teams across the U.S. I still have some of the testing scraps (my sublimation and felting tests, as well as the weaver’s test samples). So, I’ve decided that I should do a mixed media piece utilizing one or more pieces from this bundle of goods I purged from my basket. I want to enjoy the process, so I’m not going to rush it. Rather, I hope to let this be a meditative and enjoyable process that would contrast the final days of the project way back when, as I impatiently waited for handwoven fabric to arrive so I could do my end before leaving on an overseas trip. It arrived damp, freshly fulled off the loom. Those were hectic times. So this round, I shall have a pleasant journey with it.

Here are some of the samples. I do look forward to choosing one or more to proceed with in some way. As per usual, I think this shall start with a sit down and mind mapping session.