Material Witness will focus on extreme textile process. Images will be posted here showing the history of my work, new work, developing projects and inspiration.

Saturday, November 3, 2007


The lovely Celine answering questions about my process asked by a Tibetan Monk who works with the Dalai Lama. He asked very challenging questions. He is dressed in full robes.

Jay Rudolph asking me an interesting question at the Numen Gallery Show. Her questions are always thoughful.

The really interesting part about showing my work to the public is the questions that are inspired by it.

The funniest one today was from a couple looking very interested in the work. They had that look. It is slightly apprehensive and a bit furtive. They stepped forward in unison. Both looked directly in my eyes and said,"Where is the shoe repair guy who used to be here?".


The other funny thing is that people constantly suggest that if I change my work I can start to attend craft fairs. Seriously. I love the fact that they have no idea and can't imagine that it took years of attending craft fairs in drafty church basements to get to the point where I can show in real galleries and charge real prices for my work. I can make 100 little items and make about the same price for one item made in the same amount of time.

The other question that may be strictly Canadian is "I'd like you to tell me exactly how to make that so I can make one just like it."
Answer is a big "No, I can't without having you spend 20,000 dollars or more in education fees and without having you spend years in practise. Oh and if you copy my work exactly that is called theft!!!"
I love sharing skills with people and I never mind talking about how my work is done. You just know I will never tell you everything. Not even when I'm teaching workshops. I think people just want to share their own experience with art and textiles. People making textiles are mostly alone when they do it. They spend time figuring out how to stitch and how to untie their own knots. They also invent just by the very act of stitching. They need to have their learning honoured.
Some of us, after all, just can't help poking sharp things in cloth.

1 comment:

arlee said...

"You just know I will never tell you everything." I like that you said that--when everything is laid out and numbered, there's no room for your own interpretation and discovery. I've taught a few things where some of my students expected to be able to fastidiously re-create what i had just shown them. What's the point then? Just buy my/our work! :}