Slow Cloth

Slow Cloth, a term coined by Elaine Lipson to describe an approach to working with and relating to fiber and textiles, is what comes to mind as I continue to work on Flying Geese. I started Flying Geese in 2006 and I first thought it was "finished" in 2007. But after a while of having it hanging in my studio, I realized I was bothered by a feeling of not-rightness. It was too dark and too monochromatic - both qualities I had intended, but they didn't translate from mind to material the way I wanted them too. Eventually, I picked up the piece and added a multitude of edge stitching, on all the strips and on the triangle edges. That was better, I thought, and so I declared it "finished" again. But, no, I was soon to realize it still didn't satisfy. Next step was outlining all the triangles, but still not "finished." After that, I added a single French Knot to each triangle of background fabric (an old Army blanket). Now, thought I, it was "finished." I even blogged about it - HERE and HERE - and put it up for sale. But still it has been calling me, for a long time, to do something I had been avoiding. All those background triangles need to be filled with stitches. I have thought this for so long, and avoided it because it seemed like so much work. But, now, suddenly, I find myself approaching it differently. That's what makes this Slow Cloth. It's not the fact that it is taking so long; Slow Cloth isn't about duration. Slow Cloth is about a way. The stitching I am now embarking upon doesn't feel like work; it feels like pleasure, like a chance to explore a new idea.That's Slow Cloth.

To read Elaine's Ten Qualities of  Slow Cloth, go HERE. There is now a Slow Cloth Group on Facebook, created by Elaine, with help from Glennis, Jude and Michelle. It is quite wonderful, the kind of place that makes you glad you spend too much time on Facebook. See you there!

Note: Elaine Lipson has written about Slow Cloth in the latest issue of HandEye magazine.

UPDATE: Please go HERE to see how this piece finally ended up.