Thursday, March 5, 2009

Uncommon Cloth

Several years ago, when I started planning for my website, I spent a fair bit of time trying to decide on a name for it. I had planned to purchase a domain name so that I could be a dot-com, and I wanted the name to be something that I could live with for the long term. My creative work back then involved art quilts - exclusively - and after about two weeks of periodic musing on the subject, I came up with the name Uncommon Cloth. I applied for, and got the domain name.

The photo on the right is a detail from one of my art quilts, Yellow Bird. The background is a piece of silk that I had painted before using it in the quilt.

Fast forward to current days - I don't do as much art quilting now as I used to, and am more into painting and mixed media. Not everything I work with is cloth! Still, I didn't want to change the name so I decided it was time to do some creative thinking about what "cloth" really means to me. First, the painting was no problem because it's done on canvas, which is a cloth. Most of my mixed media is also done on canvas, and often involves fabric, so that was covered too. Photoshop projects? I print notecards and ACEOs onto paper. Paper is fiber, cloth is fiber.... I can live with that too.
And then there's the idea of the overall tapestry of our lives. This next paragraph is something I wrote, back in the late 80's, and it's expressed from a spirit guide's point of view.
TAPESTRY. Every day brings new life, new opportunities for creating - an immense tapestry that you "weave" thread by thread. You control the final product. What colors you use, how rich the thread, how elegant or how poor the final result will be your choice because it is a matter of how you live every day of your life. You work with the richest silks, the finest cottons. The colors you choose cover the full spectrum, bright and shiny or dark and dim with your moods. Every color, every tint, every shade of each hue. Weave with a light touch. Stitch with a carefree hand. Let the pattern emerge as it should - as it will. Hold your needle or bobbin or shuttle lightly, my dear, and if you wish, we will help to guide your creative hand, help you to weave your personal tapestry, the image, the visual representation, of the complex workings of the soul's creation.
When I was done thinking about this, I felt reassured about the name, Uncommon Cloth, because this isn't just about the cloth of my life, but, indeed, about the "uncommon" cloth as well.
Here's another sample of my work. Tiffany Irises is a tapestry that I had woven many years ago, and it's still one of my favorite pieces. I used yarns that I had hand-dyed in this weaving.

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