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May 27, 2008


i agree with your view here. being engaged in what you do is an important element in slow cloth but it is just a gateway. the personal part is the key to beginning. but it is a journey and part of it is the need to communicate something. i often get discouraged about that part because my original premise was that it must be possible to understand one another. but it is easy to fall short. the important point you have made here i think is that you must share part of the journey to get to the same place.

What a beautiful post. (I better come ups with some goods here, don't want to fall into the trap of the banal compliment.) I agree that generally, distance and ambiguity and "openings" in a piece invite a viewer in to share and explore more so than work that is too literal and close to the artist.

But there have been some successful, very personal pieces I have seen that succeed, I guess, because they access the realm of shared experience. But they are rare, indeed.

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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