Friday, January 13, 2012

Crafts of the Past: Things from the box!

I saw an interesting talk this week at the Ann Arbor Fiberarts Guild by Loretta Oliver. She spoke about her journey to becoming a felter, and her inspirations, and had a slide show of many beautiful pieces. Afterwards, she did something unique, however. She showed us pieces that did not work, that were not finished, that had been abandoned and put into "the box," which in her case was not really one box but several, and explained why each piece ended up there.  And then she showed us some pieces that had been made from abandoned earlier pieces. I thought it very illuminating - as crafters we don't usually speak of our misteps, and what we might make of them.

In that vein, and because I have been cleaning out my basement, I'm going to show you some sad, abandoned ideas:

beaded star
this was a test - pony beads and fishing line

I think I was planning to make a curtain out of pony beads, this test bit is only 8" long - and it's heavy, and they don't hang together well. And I failed to compensate for the fact that the beads are longer than they are wide! I made this on a sort of improvised bead loom made out of foam core.

napkins with a pocket
Two cloth napkins, sewn together, with pocket. Let me explain!

Eight years ago I had a great messenger bag, it was red plaid (but otherwise great), and the best thing about it was the CD walkman pocket, with the grommet in it so you could pass the headphone cord through. And when the bag wore out, I thought, hey, the pocket is still good! So, I sewed the pocked onto some napkins that I really liked, and then the project stalled. And now, no one even has a CD walkman anymore.

Presently, the plan is to remove the stitching and let the unpocketed napkin go join the ranks of cloth napkins we keep around for eating. The other - well, I think it will return to the box.

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