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April 25, 2008


I am deeply moved by reading your post, and can connect to what you write. Most of all I am inspired by your philsophy on Slow Cloth, and the way you so beautifully express yourself. I think a part of me is into working with textiles as a meditation and healing prosess, a way to connect to myself and of course trying to create some beauty to surround myself with. Just everyday beauty, not necessarily great art. The picture from Gee's Bend grabbed my attention. That's the kind of beauty I am trying to adress. (Clumsily, since english is not my first language). Thank you so much for sharing.

what an enjoyable post this one is. were we joiners, i'd say we 'bout have enough for a club. i'm a solitary kind of gal, too. one who has always felt guilty about that, embarrassed for my mother having a child like me while living in a culture that assigns all sorts of importance to living out "the more the merrier," a culture that placed much judgmental emphasis on how many people you were seen with. crowds, clubs, groups generally exhaust me.

i am reluctant to reveal much about self, yet do so enjoy the community of bloggers who share common traits and passions. having always been one who needs a little room for thinking (in whatever form thinking may take at any given moment), blogging is for me, like the chair the woman in rita dove's poem called "daystar" takes out behind the garage to sit out the children's naps.

Me too. :)

I've been following your blog for some time now but this is the first time I've been moved to comment. I relate so much to your comments about being able to tell the truth about your life and experiences. I know how much courage and strength it takes to confront these things in the privacy of your own head, let alone talk out loud about them and I think you are very brave to comment on them here.

As for community, most of my time stitching, which for Japanese embroidery definitely comes under the heading of slow cloth, is spent in solitary enjoyment. But coming together with a group of like minded people for our classes twice a year is such a highlight. I think this form of community is a wonderful thing, no one judges anyone else and everyone, no matter what their background, is made welcome.

This has been a longer comment than I thought it would be so I'll just add 'you are not alone' and wish you well on your journey.

Beadbabe 49, thank you so much. Your words mean a lot to me. It's actually very new to me to say these things "out loud" -- having someone hear them and respond so graciously, and not just call me a whiner, or crazy, is very helpful.

Paula, I meant to link to an awesome article from 2003 in The Atlantic, "Caring for Your Introvert" -- the best explanation I've seen, and very funny. If you haven't read it, have a look: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200303/rauch

I can relate to your comments about needing time by yourself to recover from social interaction. the worst part of being married with kids is the lack of personal space. luckily I dont work so I have time free and clear during the day to 'get over them' - if i worked as well i dont think i could cope. When i did work (premarriage) I often told friends i was going away during my holidays and stayed at home cooped up with books etc and just recovered from being with people. Having said that the sense of community associated with textile craft is one of the things that has drawn me to it. i cope better with people if i have a common interest, blogging is particularly good, because it is community on my own terms - i can join in when i want, and as much as I want. I need to think about this more.

thank you for your beautiful post...I didn't find it disjointed at all and applaud your courage to be so frank about your background. As an artist for many years, I have no difficulties sharing my work in my blog, but I have a much harder time with personal information, yet often it's the personal information behind the work that draws people back to look at more work.
anyway, bravo and thanks also for this whole slow cloth/craft thread!

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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