Mar 5, 2014

Slow cloth... oh yeah, I got this...

I have been reading about the slow cloth movement, and always being a day late and a dollar short in most things, it looks like enthusiasm for slow cloth may be dying down, but I really hope not.

Being a weaver, I've never felt like Speedy Gonzales in the production area. I'm definitely more like his cousin, Slowpoke Rodriguez.

And being ignorant of the whole slow cloth mindset, I thought that's what it was all about, speed. No... not at all and the more I read, the more I really like this whole concept. 

How did I even get started looking into slow cloth? Hand sewing. My sewing machine is the Singer Basic 21 stitch machine. It's not a bad machine but I find that with every sewing machine I've ever used, I have to deal with bobbin problems which require you to bend down and crawl into the bobbin case for hours trying to get the thing to run right, thus wrenching your neck and back unnaturally. But I really missed sewing and I kept getting ideas for sewing, cloth and quilting projects. Then I would end up trying to put these ideas on paper or canvas and it just wasn't the same for me. Fiber is my true medium and the only one I'm interested in. So sitting in the loom room the other day I just picked up a needle and started hand sewing and just got lost in it. I realized it is something I can do that doesn't bother my back and it is very meditative; always a good thing.

I started searching the web for hand sewing info and started stumbling on slow cloth websites i.e. this one where Elaine Lipson defines slow cloth. She gives 10 qualities of slow cloth on her blog, Red Thread Studio:

·        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.

These are ideas and concepts that I can definitely wrap my head around. I like that slow cloth is sustainable and contemplative. I will need to read more about this movement. 

Here is a manatee friend I'm embroidering. Not sure where he and I are going yet, but I'm sure the journey will be worth it