Boy, Sharon sure is not letting up on the difficulty of the themes for her
This month she’s asking us what we call ourselves and why. No, she doesn’t mean the names we call ourselves when we do something stupid or even, necessarily, our ordinary roles or occupations, although that may apply. What she’s asking is what do we call ourselves with regard to our work and play with fiber, textile, and design. At least that’s how I’m interpreting it.
This is not such an off the wall question, really, because many of us, I believe, are struggling with what to call ourselves. I for one, have a difficult time calling myself an artist. Why? I guess because I don’t have much formal art training and I don’t produce art for sale. Plus I don’t do much of what would be considered fine art.
Yet, I hesitate to call myself a craftsperson, because to me that denotes practicing a craft pretty much precisely according to instructions without adding anything of my own creativity. An example would be making a quilt from a kit, using provided fabric, setting, and quilting designs and techniques. There may be excellent craftsmanship there to be celebrated but not much creativity needed.
Plus I have this terrible aversion to things I term “bleach bottle craft” which are merely attempts to use or re-use things to produce items with no real aesthetic character and which fall into the kitschy arena.
I think all of us who participate in “Take It Further” are definitely beyond simple craft.
So where does that leave me in terms of what to call myself? I’ve been toying with the term “artisan”, although I’m not sure that’s exactly correct, either. I often tell people I’m a fiber or textile artist. Perhaps I think adding fiber or textile in front of “artist” softens the distinction somehow. But then when I say that, rarely does anyone know what I’m talking about.
So, not only do I have to settle on nomenclature for this challenge, I then have to depict it somehow in fiber and textile. No easy task.
As I’ve been reflecting on the challenge, my initial thought is that this piece will have to be some kind of garment. In my faith tradition it is sometimes practical and often metaphorical to take on a garment or covering as a sign of who you are. As an ordained minister I wear very specific vestments to indicate my role and office.
So, what could I design and make that might be an indicator of my “naming” of myself with regard to this other vocation? That’s the challenge as I see it.
The only easy part for me this month is the color palette. Not only do I love these colors, but they’re the ones that I wear the best. So it could be a no-brainer to do a garment.
My next greatest limitation, besides those mentioned above, is time. We are getting ready for the move back to VA the first week of June. Although we’re not taking back all that we brought to NM, I still have to make determinations about, and another layer of sorting through, professional books, papers, and files. John is really limiting us on space.