I know – what with a massive clear-out and deaccession of unused fabric and objects, it seemed like time to start making things again.
I've had the photo for this one for a while, I know I got permission to use it, but I cannot remember who originally took it. If it was you, tell me, and I'll send you a print of it, in thanks!
The clearing out continues apace!
I had two large halted-projects bins – those have been consolidated to one, and a lot of projects recycled. I've finished with the bin of batiks. Some extremely ugly ones are gone, and the rest are sorted by color and filed into two bins. (I decided if they were that important to me, I should give them a larger space allotment.) That is the end of the fabric bins.
I'm facing the cabinet of catastrophe and chaos next. It contains some paint (more paint is in the kitchen where I actually use it, but it takes up space the cereal used to have, until I realized we don't actually eat cereal here) and the buttons, and the beads, and all the rubber stamps including the ones from my youth, and a lot of random things.
Many things are easy to decide about, but I have a little doll suitcase with a doll and all her clothes inside it – the weird thing is that she doesn't mean much to me now, but she did? I think? I dimly remember playing with her, but not to the extent that I remember playing with the small bears I installed in the dollhouse my dad and I made. Or the model horses I was obsessed with from third grade on.
On the whole the clear out feels lovely – there is space to breathe, and fewer unfinished things are glaring at me when I walk in. It opens up mental and physical space for new ideas to bloom.
Today I went after the larger box full of silks and velvets. The fabric in there falls into two categories, the colored, and the undyed (which sounds like zombie fabric but really, it is just white). I separated and tidied those sections, and moved the velvets into a bin I am more likely to look into and take things out of. I also, in a fit of organization, folded the big undyed pieces so they fit better.
And then I went after the pile of unconsolidated stuff on the floor in the corner. There was an appalling amount of trash, which was easy to cope with. There were several canvases that I'd thought I was saving for something, but I'd rather have the space they take up. There were many many empty spools, because for a while they were a good indicator of how much thread I'd used, and what I should replace. And then there was the box of parts of dolls I made, back when I was makign art dolls. And a lot of heads. And two small bears from the doll house of my youth, and a larger bear as well… those are harder to decide what to do with. I need to have enough open shelves that I can actually display some treasures – I just have to keep a very tight rein on what, exactly, is a treasure.
Cleaning is traumatic – and yet, it continues in the studio.
Timna came to my rescue this morning, and went shopping in my boxes of printed fabric. I'm doing more and more of my work with batiks and hand dyes, and just not feeling the love for these fabrics that they deserve. So we took two huge bins of quilting cottons, and she had a free fabric experience and chose a huge pile of things that spoke to her. But the bins still didn't fit easily in their shelves. So I sat in front of the bins and picked up every single piece of fabric. She took the pieces I picked up and did not love and put them in a bag to go away.
The bins contain only the fabric I LOVE right at this very moment.
It fells very different – I peer in, and no past projects whisper snide comments to me about failure to commit, no ugly things whine about lack of use. The only thing I see are all these fabrics I just LURVE beyond reason. Freeing!
Tomorrow, I address the box of silks and exotics. Already the floor is clearer (I do feel like an ad for acne medication at moment) and I can think better.
I've finally gotten sufficiently aggravated at the state of my studio to change it.
Today I celared off the work table, 6'x2.5' heaped high with fabric, smaller bits of fabric, scraps of fabric and a dusting of shells, beads, buttons and washers. The only unexpected things were the washers. Apparently washers were a favored medium for a while. I can remember thinking about how to string them into nets, and Al commenting that I had rediscovered core memory configurations for computers circa 1960.
I kept repeating to myself "sentimentatily is the root of clutter" and threw more things away.
There is still acres left to uncover and organize, but for now I am declaring victory on the table. Next up – the fabric collection.
May 1st happened – a Happy May Day, workers day and day of union celebrations to you
May 3rd was Northampton's biggest parade, the Gay Pride Parade. It was fabulous.
Today is Jedi Day: May the 4th be with you!
I have no May project, because the first two things I tried didn't work: bleach pens on t-shirt material, which would probably work better if the t-shirts I'd recycled were not so old and, well, faded; cutting holes in well loved t-shirt material is oddly pointless because the fabric is too soft and drapey.
I can start a different book, with new fabric for pages, or I can continue in this book and work to find something that shows up and is interesting on soft, well faded t-shirt material. Coin flip later today to decide.