Saturday, November 22, 2008

Things and No-things

Read it here; it feels so strange reading my thoughts in someone else's voice. But I agree wholeheartedly about utility of things I make, even though no-things can fetch higher prices. And alert me if you spot this blogger's name or nickname; I can't find anything.

7 comments:

  1. Her name is Alison...click on "about" on the right side of her blog! The type IS tiny!

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  2. Meg, thankyou!

    The lovely Alison lives just around the corner from me, and I've met her only recently. She's been kind enough to introduce me to my local spinner group - and yet I hadn't found her blog.

    I agree with both of you. I, too, struggle to make things that don't have a use. I've never been able to make myself make a sampler for the sake of making a sampler, for example - and yet, I'm in awe of people like Cally, and Peg, who do just that. That's true playing for the sake of it.

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  3. Alison is a member of the Online Guild too! She sometimes signs her Guild messages with her nickname, Ota.

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  4. Instead of thinking of a "no-thing" as not having a use -- i.e., useless -- think of it as bringing beauty into the world just because it IS. That's how I'm thinking about my new Art Cloth, and the plain fabrics I've been weaving. Beautiful in themselves, without having to have a function beyond that.

    Perhaps the Universe spawned all this beauty around us everywhere, just to exist for its own sake. Without having to be used or manipulated or mined or extracted for some other function.

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  5. OK, so Alison it is, then. I did spot the nickname Ota, because that's a proper Japanese family name! (And I still can't see it on her blog, right side or left! I'll have to try it with Ben's work monitor one day.)

    I was thinking about your Art Cloth concept, Connie, yesterday when I've been mulling over one of the posts I've been writing in my head for a long time. In Japan, craft is seen as superior to "fine art". We learn names of potters and styles of textiles (more often to do with dyes and embroideries to me, rather than weaving, but still) in more detail than painters and sculptors in our history class. Textile is pretty high up within craft, so a light went on yesterday that we've always had a lot of "art cloth" in Japan, and people paid a lot of accolade and money for them over the centuries. Ditto with pottery and woodwork, particularly lacquers and inlays. I was surprised to realize while thinking about my weaving, your concept sounded so foreign and far-fetched, but all the while I've lived my life as a Japanese knowing there were some cloth which were deemed utterly worthy and precious, and their makers are superior to makers of beautiful-but-not-utilitarian things.

    I don't know how I'm going to reconcile the difference, but I still believe things which are beautiful and can be used should be valued (and that includes the $-value, absolutely!) at least as much as things that are beautiful and ... just sit.

    I'm on a path to possibly making things that just sit, (i.e. decorate the environment), for a different reason; I'm not sure what this reason is exactly yet, but I think it's something to do with challenging myself technically, and the variety of techniques, (e.g. dyeing), and if the techniques or material don't render to nice, fluffy scarves, so be it; I'll make something with no use. That's how I've been feeling for a wee while...

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  6. oh I agree! I get blogged down when I am making things just for the process of creating. I wonder what all this stuff is for anyway!

    Meg, I suspect you are not a person to display awards, and I totally understand. However, it might bring you a smile to know I have given you a small tribute on my post today. I hope others might find as much to enjoy about your blog as I have.

    No obligations given with the mention!

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  7. Ahh, shucks, thank you, Dana. That was a lovely surprise. And I love the Christmasy look of your blog now. I love Christmas decorations and Christmas albums.

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