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June 24, 2008


In our school of Japanese embroidery we have a phrase "The hands are the exit of the spirit". A different way of looking at beauty??

Your post on beauty reminds me of this...

Many years ago, I use to make beads. I would make these very symmetric necklaces and often would have "left-over" beads. One day I strung all the "left-overs" together into one big, bulky, mismatched necklace. I thought it was the most hideous thing. I wore it to a concert (Grateful Dead) and this friend of a friend just absolutely LOVED my "ugly" necklace. In fact, he liked it so much... I took it off my neck and gave it to him on the spot.

6 years later I married that friend of a friend... and so the "ugly" necklace stayed in the family and I am SOOOOO grateful since each bead of the necklace tells a story of the person the original necklace was made for and it marks a definite chapter in my life. It took me much longer than my husband to "see" the beauty in it. Now it is one of my favorites.

This story and necklace illustrates to me just how transient beauty is and how context, time and connection can play into ones perception.

PS We just celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. I am grateful to be married to someone who has always pushed my perception of beauty. I do think true beauty has a depth and a story behind it... something much deeper and richer that connects us to others and experiences.

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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