Meanings Behind Our Work

I've been thinking about this recently (actually I think about it all the time).  Another artist friend just blogged on this as well, so I'll add my two cents.  (

So many artists put their work out there and think it will speak to others by itself.  Sometimes it helps to make a connection, from ourselves, to others, and for others.  I often call this the "J.Peterman" effect to those who remember the stories about the scarves and jackets that Amelia Earhart might have worn to circle the world and live an adventurous life...   I couldn't believe yesterday to see that Kashi cereal "is like a haiku" and also has a haiku on the box.  Yet, that is part of the aura and connects the product to the consciousness of the consumer. (Otherwise, eat generic oats)  True, part of all this is marketing (and to some that means bad) and part of this is getting your views of your work across to your audience.  A sunset might be a sunset, but it also might be "glistening gold and scarlet shimmering across the celestial sky."  Somewhere someone said that you should describe things as if for a blind person, for which I don't mean just without vision, but without the ability to see, feel, experience, understand.  The more you understand your own work and how to interpret it, the more it will carry across to the world.  Some people may get it without the background, but others need their eyes and minds opened.  Some may never get it, either.  They will have impersonal machine products that take up space and are disposable.  Me, I would like to connect, with people and the things they make to have a context.  Sometimes, it's easy, other times, I have to work harder at it...

This month I've been working on some towels (and rugs, and scarves, and all that goes with the job)....  I will probably be working on them for a while, since I put a long warp on.  It is a basic white warp with a border pattern that I tried in a heavier thread (though that didn't work out quite as I was thinking, but not in a bad way).  I got a few finished in white last week and made some in a light chambray blue ones yesterday and the day before.  I'm thinking the next round will be darker, navy blue, but then again, I'm also leaning towards spring greens or a natural linen/cotton weft.... 

I like the simple clean look.  It's classic and pure.  Yet, how do I convince others that simple can be sophisticated.  These won't be inexpensive, but they will endure... They have a texture that invites touch, but people think they are too "nice" to use.  So, I have to get them past that.  (I know, this round is white, too.)  I was thinking yesterday of the "scars" of experience.  That is, I mean to say, the scratches in one spot on a table that the 40y "nephew" made banging his spoon at 3y, or when "Aunt Sue" spilled the gravy on the linen table cloth that has been used for family holiday get-togethers every year, or the occasion chip in the china that happens despite our best care washing by hand.  Things don't last forever and if we put them on a pedestal, they never get used or enjoyed, or end up in museums.  We need to connect with our lives and sometimes remind others to connect as well.

If we just put our work out there, people just might not get it.

1 comment:

  1. really nice post Amy.
    I love the white on white and the wonderful textured patterns.

    I hope to make it to the shop this week. It's been a while!

    And you're so right, some people just won't get it even if it's handed to them:)