My wanderlust is unabated, but armchair surfing through gorgeous textile and fabric sites and blogs (when I should be working) is making it more tolerable. I have finally responded to all the wonderful comments left here since I started this blog last month. I was holding out for my high-speed Internet connection but after yet another debacle with Comcast that still hasn't happened, so onward we go - with a sloooow connection.
I want to highlight a few sites that were mentioned in the comment stream:
- The Art Cloth Network is a group of 25 cloth artists who are all about, well, Slow Cloth -- traditions and innovation. "Art Cloth springs from revered fine craft traditions . . ." This national group is limited to 25 members, but Texas-based artist/member Susie Monday -- look at her gorgeous work -- has written in to say that a few slots are opening up. Read the prospectus and apply here.
- Paula Hewitt's The Beauty of Life blog is just the kind of site you can get lost in - lots of thoughtful, conversational writing and great images. Her post on Inspiring Shapes and Inspiring Quilts made me think of Andy Goldsworthy's environmental art as a source of inspiration and a reminder that nature is the most phenomenal and everlasting source for artists. In 2007 pop culture, women who are still sexy and delectable and alluring to men as they get older are now cougars; let's call Mother Nature the original, temperamental, inspiring cougar and let her be a role model for us all.
- To that end, fiber artist Susan Sorrell is teaching an online class at Joggles in the spring called Fertile Earth, using nature as a starting point for multimedia embroideries. (The whole online class schedule looks fantastic, including SharonB's Sumptuous Surfaces.) Another resource for fiber artists looking for ways to use nature as a starting point: The Art of Embroidery: Inspirational Stitches, Textures and Surfaces, by Francoise Tellier-Loumagne.
- Knitting on Impulse is a wonderful blog by Canadian artist Ruth Stewart. If you can stand the temptation, surf over to her jewelry store, Impulse of Delight. But the pink tourmaline circle necklace has my name on it, people.
- I'm not sure how I tracked over to What If and Spirit Cloth, Jude Hill's blogs on creating and embellishing textiles -- I think it may have been via Dijanne, The Textile Itinerant. I love the term Spirit Cloth, and it seems to express a very core principle of Slow Cloth - undertaking work with a sense of reverence and ritual. That doesn't mean it has to be serious or precious all the time -- not at all -- but there's a quality of magic that infuses the work on our best days, and an attention to color, symbols and methods that reflect an awareness of spirit and nature. May we all have many, many of those in 2008.
- I got a lovely comment from Rissa who mentioned belly dancing -- I think this is her site -- I had to laugh, as I've been waiting for months for a new belly dance studio to open here in Boulder so I can start taking classes. And making costumes. I will always continue my beloved yoga practice, but my friends Donna and Angela have convinced me that the art of belly dance is one to explore -- not to mention there are sparkly costumes and beaded fringe involved -- and it feels like another wonderful piece of the puzzle of life as it unfolds in 2008. Onward we go.
Since bead embroidery has shown up a lot in this post, here's a beaded mandala I did a couple of years ago:
I later changed the background to make it a little less formal: