Thursday, January 21, 2010

two news and weariness


the pomegranate experiment got better as the third day dawned. 

and then began to sadden some. by wednesday evening i was ready to rinse it and the final piece was interesting, but so disappointing in that it's just plain old plain old. very little purple and ochre left... inevitable, but dull.



and this is how it goes. it will be a base for something else, but alone it's quite mundane. however, the pom shapes are interesting. i saved the dye liquor and the pomegranate pieces and put them in a pot on the counter with a scrap of cotton. i added some leftover white wine going off for drinking, but the smell is quite delightful in the kitchen! over at slow cloth on facebook there has been some discussion of ugliness. i will still maintain this: if the work is bad it's ok to get rid of it. it can become compost, buried treasure, whatever. only it should not represent you or the work of hands, nor should it be sold or given away. it should change, burn, bury, or hydrate. you learned something, and now you move on. as a mature artist it's my belief that the bad work needs to disappear. 


but, this week i had a new artist, the latest addition to my class. he made a book and today finished sewing the button closure and tuesday he sewed the signatures onto the spine. he made his own version of linen decorative sewing. when completed, the book was quite stunning.

he has plans for this book and has agreed to bring it in to be photographed in a couple of months after he and his siblings draw in it. 


watching this young man "get" the whole project, from looking at exemplars to his final choice of button for closure has been a pleasure. his hands were confident and exploratory, and while he was working and using the binding tools (including sharp knives) he gave deep consideration to where he wanted the book to go. he didn't need for the pages to be exactly the same size, or sewn in perfectly symmetrically, but he pulled each stitch nicely snug and the book sections functioned correctly. i could have told him the spine sewing wouldn't work, but he pushed it far enough to make it quite exciting visually, without disturbing its functioning. i liked that he'd told his siblings about it and the three of them will draw in it. 


i am doing research on using art/writing journaling with kids to further develop fluency and facility with language (our program's ultimate goal is passing the g.e.d). i would appreciate any leads/ideas/hints you might have. (i teach the kids about dan eldon, danny gregory, 1000 journals, sabrina ward harrison, combat paper, etc). and, by the bye, thanks for the good health wishes. i'm almost back to normal. 

9 comments:

Nancy said...

Paul Johnson from England is interested and experienced in exactly that, although he works with younger children--bookmaking as a way to encourage the learning of writing. I'm away from home but will try to remember to send you his web addy when I get home.

neki desu said...

i second you, bad art has to disappear.if not it will become a perennial albatross around your neck.

joy this week in the shape of a new student and his book !

Judy Martin said...

I agree with Neki and you.
No bad or boring art. Change it, cut it up, burn it, but don't sell it.

Velma said...

nancy--i know of his work, but haven't thought of checking johnson is this context. i will.

neki and judy thank you!!!!!

jude said...

yes. let it go. composting is a good metaphor i think. even if it rots and helps something grow in its place.
you make me want to become a teacher....

chuck bolyard said...

are you at all interested in doing calligraphy with your students?...i have my students do their favorite song or poem...they use large lettering at around 1/2 inch for lower case....they start in the center of a 24" square and spiral out about 8 or 10 rows till they get to the edge of the paper....i made a template that allows them to see through the drawing paper to see the baseline guidelines.......i have had many special needs students do this....though some needed an aide to help them....let me know if you want any templates....

Velma said...

sounds like a great project. we do some work with *locally sourced* turkey quills (which i or they cut) and chinese brushes i scored *cheap* a few years ago.

Joei Rhode Island said...

Hey!! Wait!!! I really like those shapes and lines on the cloth. One (wo)man's ceiling is another (wo)man's floor. The color may not be what you expected....but overdyeing could remedy the color. Yipes!!

Velma said...

nope, i'm not unhappy with it, just wish i could have kept a bit of the ochre. it's not done, by any means.