Friday, July 31, 2015

emPHAsis on the art

I hate making up words to describe myself and what I do. For the longest time I didn't consider myself an artist, maybe a writer, but not an artist. There was no future in that. So I've gotten good at circling around, coating it with practical applications and poetic license. It feels sticky and gimicky at worst, far too prescious at best. When I started all this fiber business for fun and profit I told myself success would be being able to call myself a fiber artisan without feeling like I was lying. But even when i got to that point on this journey it felt untrue. Yes, the end result of what I sell often looks like a hat or a scarf or the materials for others to make the same, but the making part never felt utilitarian. It's always been my kind of art. The deeply process-based sort.

That's been my number since day one. I'm a notorious medium jumper. I've dipped a toe in oils, clay, photography before this and it's always been that flow state, like a trance, that feels like I'm doing the right thing. It has almost nothing to do with the finished object, if that turns out nice too its a plus but it's not where the joy comes from. I find that embedded in the doing.

Applied to fiber I've found materials that fit my meandering nature. I can go from wildcrafting to weaving in the space of a day. I can explore scientific journals for information on dyes or play with color and texture to mix a sukoshi batch or get me to a craft show and infect other folks with this notion of learning to do things from scratch. There is so much to explore here and I'm glad to have peers out there. I discover more and more every day. Artists and crafters and all the inbetweeners, too. I'm going to pick a side now, though, imagined yet unnamed consequences be damned. I'm an artist, a fiber artist. A process-based fiber artist specializing in eco-ethical methodology - if you want to get fancy. But artist works just as well.

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