this is a small piece i've been thinking on for a while. i'm playing around with scraps right now and may start stitching this weekend. this isn't how i expected this creature to go... but as i was playing, i realized i've become a little freer, a little more adventurous with my piecing. and i thought i was just listening to jude and nothing was taking hold... but when i was working i could feel her influence, giving me permission to cut a little here, try a little something ... so good to be shifting and working differently! thank you, jude in my head!
i've been drawn to old cotton batting pulled from quilt scraps as applique.. i think these pieces are flattened enough that they'll be secure after they are stitched. i've also been carding them into fiber and spinning them. those bits are just so soft and comforting, and they haven't seen the light in such a long time.
i've been thinking a lot about the difference - if there is one - between being an artist and an artisan. i have called myself a fiber artist for the last while, and that was partly aspirational. i also love everything conjured by the word artisan. i just don't like the sound of 'fiber artisan' and i never hear it used. i'm wondering too if maybe these terms have different meanings or inflections when it comes to fiber work. i think a friend told me that artisan in french has a different connotation, something like 'worker' - you-hoo - did i remember that right?
i'm also inspired by the recuperation of the word "craft" but i tend not to use it, especially locally, since i think it can still play into those old boundaries between art & craft... some people still take it as "just" craft. i applied for an "emerging artists" grant yesterday and i had to check the "craft" category. they had painting, sculpture, photography, dance, some other categories... and craft. strange that they lumped all fiber work into that. i'm still vaguely annoyed by it. i think that since they were describing everything in terms of medium, it should have been "fiber" or "textile".
the more i think about all this, the more ambivalent i feel about calling myself an artist... because i'm fine with doing work just because i like it, or because i want to. it doesn't have to Mean. although sometimes it does. it is important to me to be good at what i do though, to be or become technically proficient at it. so what does that make me?