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September 28, 2008


Reminds me of being in artschool and how it was de riguer to call oneself a cultural worker rather than an artist. So silly. For me, I call myself an artist because I make art. Not as often as I would like to these days, but it is a legitimate job title. In fact when I was applying for some financial thingey, as I ran through the list of all the various things I do when asked about employment, the bank manager said, "Why don't we just say artist?"

Thank you for the comments . . .Ruth, I appreciate what you're saying. . . though I think that if we get stuck in the idea that art is vain (and there are plenty of people who will say it's selfish), all we have to do is imagine our world and the human race without it. I like what you say about calling yourself an artist; I think we do tend to live up to what we name ourselves, good or bad.

I say this somewhat hesitantly, for fear of being an imposter myself (with degrees in biology and medicine and no formal training whatsoever in art).... Making a conscious decision to call myself an artist (and for a long time only to myself) was a turning point in taking what I did seriously - meaning that I gave myself permission to invest time and energy and intellect and passion, to give it my creative best because it was something real and worthwhile. Expertise is a different thing, I think, a spectrum of acquired skills, and I believe I can know with reasonable accuracy and humility what I possess and what I do not, but would aspire to. I do identify with the sense that art is somehow supremely, audaciously vain, because it represents a naked expression of self, with no excuse for being except that I willed it to exist. And who the hell am I to go about willing things into existence? Except that I don't exactly will them, I choose to follow them into being, and that sense of channeling comforts my fear of vanity to some extent.

A very good post one that makes me remember that there are others who wrestle with the same types of ambivilence and angstiness that I do. It sounds as though the mirrors are helping to reflect the bad away as well as provide another reflection of yourself for contemplation (and they are pretty and shiney too)
For what it is worth I visit this page to both see what you are working on aas an artist and to read what you have to say. I find both to be very valuable to me.

I like these posts too (and yours, Heather).

I have used mental images of mirrors since I read your shiny cloth post - with success. I admire you to dare do some belly dancing !

I like these posts Elaine. I think writing them out is what indeed does give us the ability to feel beautiful and to move forward. Likewise, I feel that mirrors are also there not to just shine the bad away, but are also there for us to look at and realize, hey, we aren't so bad after all! (Although, frankly a fun-house mirror to lessen my hips would be nice.) Be good to yourself and continue to explore.

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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