As my readers know, I frequent thrift shops for textile treasures. I spied this colorful batik Boston Commons quilt top across the aisle. A quick look at it didn’t show any rips, stains or bad odors so I decided it was purchase worthy.
Well, hello! After getting it home I noticed the corners. Yi-yi-yi-yi! The quilter/piecer tried a shortcut to stitch the sides to the common. Obviously it didn’t work and it didn’t fit. There will be a lot of reverse sewing going on. I am thankful that the quilter who made this did not cut off the ends at the corners. I think I may have some of the cream tone-on-tone in my stash if I need to add another border and I am sure I can find a good batik for a solid border.
There will be a lot of hours involved to get this ready to quilt. I am on a self imposed hiatus from art quilting and this project is just right for relaxing on the the deck, pick a little, sip a little tea, pick a little, sip a little tea.
Oh what a cute little piece of vintage commercial fabric. I could see this design reworked with appliqued yo-yos and embroidery.I could use any commercial fabric of my choosing for the background, or I could use some of my hand dyed fabric for a more artsy look. But then the questions arise. Is it my art quilt, a copy or an inspirational derivation?
What if I did nothing to the fabric except put a binding on it and some beads. Does that make it art? And if it makes it art, is it MY art?
If I want to submit it to an art show or a quilt show, can I honestly do that and call it MY ART or MY QUILT?
Recently I’ve had this very issue come up. When I asked what makes a commercial fabric that is simply bound and beaded art, I was told it is the artist’s hand that changed it, otherwise it is just fabric. Ummmm…maybe ….
My response was that it is the artist who transforms any medium into art. But I don’t see binding and/or beading a commercial fabric enough to transform it into art….and especially not art that you can honestly present as your own work. You aren’t the designer of anything except the binding. If you are beading the design it isn’t much more than paint by number.
I think this discussion goes far beyond a fiber artist using commercial fabrics for their art. Pamela Allen is a master at using commercial fabric and making art and there are many more. With the ability to purchase unique fabric from the designer who sells it on sites like Spoonflower, the chance of something being claimed as the fiber artist’s own art and design increases. I think it is dishonest and I wonder what you all think about it?
I know I’m outspoken and not afraid to enter into a spirited discussion about all things fiber and I hope you will let me know your views on this. I’m linking to Off The Wall Friday this week.
This is definitely art and quilt related but is also about everything we do online.
Many years ago I owned a small artist’s co-op. Two of the members were University professors, one of whom was the internet guru. This was when the internet was brand new and it wasn’t something that everyone was expected to have in their homes. She had written some professional articles for publication about this new phenomenon. I will never forget how impassioned she was that we all needed to be very careful about this wolf in sheep’s clothing. Everything we ever write or put on the web will remain for ever and ever. Of course most of us poo-poohed what she said.
Well, guess who was right? I’m more savvy than most about my security and protection of information. But lets face it, if you want to be connected you are giving up any expectation of privacy. I try hard to only put online or in email something I wouldn’t be embarrassed about or too stressed if it comes up in the future to bite me in the butt. I have a Facebook account and a LinkedIn account but they have security enabled. When either of these programs wants to know more and more personal information for my profile I ignore them. Think…they are selling my information….have you noticed that if you post about something like being on a diet you will then have ads on your FB page about diet remedies? Or if you look at Craftsy or online schools that’s the ads you get on all your pages?
One of my pet peeves is people who go on and on about personal trials and tribulations on their Facebook page or in online groups. Especially people/artists who are trying to make a living online. If I was a gallerist or a promoter for exhibits, I would run in the opposite direction from someone who is always whining (at least that is my interpretation of the ‘poor me’ posts). So would a prospective employer of any kind. Think people…others CHECK these things to make a decision on whether or not you are honest and trustworthy. I’ve heard people say they want others online to feel like they know them as friends. Sometimes friends have too much information.
So, if anyone has ever wondered why I don’t share more information on my blog…few pictures of friends and family, very little about my personal life outside art…this is the reason why. I love you all and love it when you send me emails. I try hard to answer everyone personally but not always on the blog.
I hope you all have a wonderful day. The sun is shining here today and I will take advantage of it to get some rays.
Well golly gee…we all know how dangerous those sharp rotary cutting blades are. And many know how painful a machine needle through the finger is….or the plentiful pricks from a hand needle. But who would have thought there was danger lurking in the heavy plastic cutting rulers. They look so innocent just waiting to attack.
I found that out the hard way. This is my foot a few days after the initial bite. I even had shoes and socks on but that ruler jumped right off the cutting table and aimed its sharp corners straight for my instep. It hurt…a LOT…but we had errands to run so I didn’t even take a look. The next morning when I put my slippers on it was red and swollen and hurt like heck. I didn’t take a photo then since I wouldn’t want to gross you out.
So here is hoping you all will have a SAFE quilting new year. You might check out some fashionable steel toed boots to wear in the studio to go along with that cutting glove that protects your hands from the rotary cutter. Who knew???