i got some sublime stitching supplies, including this great set of meaty treats transfers. i've been noticing but not thinking too much about all the meat art and craft around these days. although it may be not so new - paul mccarthy has been writhing in meat for decades. and i even saw some patterns for some felt meat softies in an old work basket magazine from the 1940s. i think i'll make some of these old patterns - they remind me of the cool meat plush at schmancy.

and now there's meatpaper, the journal of meat culture. so anyway i really do think there's something going on with meat. oh and here's an incredible installation of a stuffed boucherie by artist natalie lete:

and then the other day, i met with an old professor who has expressed interest in my embroidery. it was wonderful to hear her responses and thoughts and feedback. she was supportive and insightful, as she usually is, but she also made me think that perhaps there is a way for me to finish up with school, a way to renew my interest and experiment with visual forms for my dissertation - or else just let myself off the hook without too much additional drama.

she was telling me that freud in writing on mourning and "grief work," he uses the language of stitching. she is german and she says this comes through especially in the original german. something along the lines of how stitching and working with the hands allows the working over of memory and the processing of grief.

and she said how pouring over handwork like my embroidery must be filled with love and reparation. i was very honest, and told her how i had completely lost my academic voice, and i had no idea what i wanted to say. i don't think she was just trying to make me feel good when she said that my embroideries (certain ones in particular) were very tender and powerful, and said plenty. and when i told her i hadn't started on or shared some of the "darker" pieces i have planned or in process because they were so morbid, she explained how grieving and death practices have varied so much in history - and how in the victorian age, much time was spent with the dead, and working with their hair, and so forth. i had nearly forgotten the little i knew about all that - and i'm thoroughly fascinated and need to undertake some research on this. it also reminded me how nice it is to converse with people who are so well-versed in history and how maybe i should go back to reading the NY times.

my usual advisor is great but she has a very hands-off sort of style, whereas this person may be able to provide me with the hand-holding i seem to need at this stage. her own work has to do with memory and trauma. it's strange, but i've always noticed how her hands look like my mother's hands. so she will likely be on my committee, and she's sending me references to the specific freud, which i'd love to look over again with this crafty angle in mind. i have a sense that this conversation could be very important to the direction things take.

on an even happier note, i've been tagged! i love this idea and am mulling it over..


  1. catching up here since I thought I lost access to your blog....very interesting this professor talking to you about your hand work as a way to process grief. Another way of looking at it is that it activates the higher mind and moves you away from the emotional field. that is good eh?

  2. i dunno .. i resist the idea of intellectual/emotional dualism. and when i'm stitching, i feel like i'm definitely mucking around in my emotions but in a safe space. how do you experience handwork?