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.