Janet C.

Making Time

Making time - this week there was time to evaluate and plan, but not actually to Make. I'm OK with that. There are weeks when my studio is empty because other things have to take priority. Essential things that cannot be ignored. It makes my studio time more valuable. I've planned beforehand, so I am free to Make when I'm there.

Obsessive. An interesting concept. I have made quilts with thousands of tiny tesserae in order to achieve the mosaic effect that I wanted. I have thrown dye at large pieces of fabric, outdoors on a sunny day. Enormously liberating! However, I haven't done anything with lots of little pieces of something that did not lead to a goal.

So I started thinking, without any particular goal in mind. Not easy! It had to be something non-textile. Shells. I looked at 100. I thought about where they had come from, the creatures that had made them and lived in them. These tiny creatures had each created a mini-masterpiece. Functional and beautiful, and all entirely without guidance or tuition. Some shells came from warm waters, others from cool ones. Some had holes in them. What creature had done that?  Presumably for food. Such is nature.

100 was such a small handful. I had more. I would use more - enough to fill a deep picture frame. And why were some shells coloured? Camouflage? I became totally absorbed, picking up randomly and glueing in place. The repetition felt good. The questions kept coming.

But had I missed the point of this exercise? What if I had spent time sewing papers together? Would I have been so absorbed, so mindful of the material I was working with? Would the resulting piece have given me any satisfaction? Can I think of more stretching exercises?

Unfortunately I cannot include a photo, due to a technical hitch with my computer.