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February 05, 2008


Hi Elaine - I cant link onto the original string or nothing post. I am in two minds about the dumbed down projects. On one hand you have to learn somewhere, and if you don't have someone to teach you then there is a market for those 'knitting for idiots' type books (I have been in this boat). On the other hand, you go to the craft section in a major bookshop like Borders, and their range is pathetic (or it may just be their Brisbane store) if you want something other than the quick and easy/make it in two hours/beginners stuff then you have to look else where. I am not saying the shelves should be stocked with esoteric numbers on obscure crafts and nothing else- but there must be a balance. Before Xmas, I was writing a huge rant on the corporatisation of craft, unfortunatley my computer died, so I never did post it in its entirety, but this 'day time TV media personality' from Australia, has started a website 'living creatively' and to me it embodies everything that is wrong with the current craft culture....and the trouble is she makes it sound so 'authentic/slow'. it makes me sick. Speaking of books - In Stitch magazine there is a review for a book called ' Minority Textile Techniques: Costumes from South West China' edited by Ruth Smith. Sounds lovely and I thought of you when I saw the review!

You do have to meet people halfway and hope to bring them with you - no matter how frustrated you are. But you do need to be careful. Comic books were seen as a start to literacy, but I haven't seen any reports about programs that give students comics producing serious readers. And zoos provide people with a chance to really care about animals so they are more concerned with saving animals in the wild - and the jury is still out on that one as well.
I will keep all the discussion on slow or authentic cloth in mind when I teach a high school art club next week. I hope I can meet them halfway with something that is not dumbed down. Thanks.

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10 Qualities of Slow Cloth, by Elaine Lipson

  • I defined Slow Cloth several years ago on this blog. Read the original post at http://lainie.typepad.com/redthread/2008/01/this-must-be-th-1.html. (Copyright Elaine Lipson 2007-2011; all rights reserved).
  • Joy
    Slow Cloth has the possibility of joy in the process. In other words, the journey matters as much as the destination.
  • Contemplation
    Slow Cloth offers the quality of meditation or contemplation in the process.
  • Skill
    Slow Cloth involves skill and has the possibility of mastery.
  • Diversity
    Slow Cloth acknowledges the rich diversity and multicultural history of textile art.
  • Teaching
    Slow Cloth honors its teachers and lineage even in its most contemporary expressions.
  • Materials
    Slow Cloth is thoughtful in its use of materials and respects their source.
  • Quality
    Slow Cloth artists, designers, crafters and artisans want to make things that last and are well-made.
  • Beauty
    It's in the eye of the beholder, yes, but it's in our nature to reach for beauty and create it where we can.
  • Community
    Slow Cloth supports community by sharing knowledge and respecting relationships.
  • Expression
    Slow Cloth is expressive of individuals and/or cultures. The human creative force is reflected and evident in the work.


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Books and Reports by Elaine Lipson

Selected Articles by Elaine Lipson