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April 16, 2008


Have been thinking about this post for a number of days. Was raised by women who loved working with textiles and collecting fabrics that held a strong personal resonation. So I am hardwired to think along those lines - to think of stitching as another form of language and, also, prayer. The latter aspects have been important to me since my late teens. In school I studied ethnopsychology, ethnobotany and comparative religion - all three of these subjects gave me a lot of opportunity to absorb the details and gestalt of sacred art from a variety of indigenous cultures. Quite often that art is cloth-bound and/or heavily reliant on needle skills. In the past few years I've realized I can track that ongoing influence to many aspects of my creative work - the materials I choose, how I use them, and overall look(s) that I find most appealing and meaningful. Once I noticed how much this consistent trail of influence was expressing itself, I began to consciously amp it up in a number of ways. As time passes I've found that it evokes methodology and intentions that can sustain my ongoing efforts without becoming rote or disconnected from continued personal growth and life themes.

As an artist born in europe but raised in the pacific northwest (washington, oregon) and with family and history in both places, I have found my work reflects both the natural world and cultural influences of both places.
But always, and probably forever, it's the natural world I return to for inspiration...my choice of colors, forms and materials are based on the cool, moist, green and blue world I live in.

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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