Tuesday, December 14, 2010

changing direction

sitting next to the wood-burning stove, looking out at the falling snow, my thoughts turn inward...changing direction from their usual ilk.  finding myself contemplating the creative life, and the various avenues i have found beneath my feet, it seems that a new blog is called for.

over the past 30 years, i have been a bearmaker, woodturner, sculpter, potter, painter, illustrator, weaver, knit designer, dollmaker, quilt designer, textile dyer, spinner, author, teacher, caretaker, beadworker, builder, philosopher, gatherer, repurposer, observer, and general free-thinker.  the foosteps echoing beneath these feet now ring with a softer thud.

the snow is falling gently in soft, fluffy flakes, blanketing the countryside with a fresh canvas.  like the pastures around my home, my mind (and i use the terms rather loosely) is shaking loose and settling into fresh grooves.  most recently i have been a quilt designer and textile artist.  for years i have honed my craft and sought technical perfection.  points and angles must meet at proper degrees.  colors must harmonize in symphonic melody.  threads must be submissive and lay as they are told...  order must be achieved!

but why?  why must this be so?

why can't threads jump to the fore and make themselves known, not merely as fasteners, but as primary actors in the play of textiles? why can't points stray? why can't seams meander and forge their own paths?  isn't it out of chaos that creativity springs?

studying traditional and contemporary boro textiles has split my imagination wide open and spilled the possibilities all over the worktable in my studio.  designers such as jude hill (of http://spiritcloth.typepad.com/) and ann wood (of http://annwood.net/blog/) have pushed me outside my comfortable box and inspired me to let go of all that i have ever known to be "required" of my art.  they, and others like them, have unwittingly left the thread crumbs that have lead me off the beaten path and deep into the woods of chaotic vision!

this blog will serve as an introduction and record of this new descent into artistic insanity and vision.  i hope you enjoy the journey and find yourself pushing on into your own forest of creative abandon!



  1. hey joe!...oh! it is really interesting to me
    ....this reaction i am having to finding a
    in this cloth land
    i am so GLAD to see you on the horizon
    and reading your words here,
    i am somehow filled with hope and anticipation
    for this new year coming. THANK YOU for
    leaving your mark on windthread. thank you.

  2. Welcome to Blogland! I am looking forward to sharing your journey. If you have any blogspot questions, feel free to send them my way - always willing to help.

  3. Hi there Joe, thanks to Grace's post we all know you ;-)
    There's an interesting Dutch male fiberartist, look for yourself: www.gabrielse.com You're not alone .....

  4. well... i love what you said... why can't points wander? mine wander all over the place, intentionally. depending on which way you want to go in your errant ways(ha!) there are all kinds of inspirational people to look at... and as far as the blog community we have a stimulating group of stitchers... a loosely formed group that read and comment on each others blogs... so i am sure you will have a big following in no time... welcome!

  5. i am humbled. thank you so much, each and every one of you! i was surprised to see so many comments in my inbox...and from those amazing artists who are among those who inspire me the most in these new endeavors! i look forward to updating this blog in the next few days with more personal photos...and to taking my first steps down these new byways... thank you all for the warm welcome and encouragement! it means more than you may know!

  6. Hi Joe, welcome! I too was led here from Grace's blog and look forward to hearing and seeing more of you and your work...

  7. hi suzanna, and thank you for the warm welcome! i've been working on the long winter cloth today and will be posting new pics tonight...

  8. hi joe... very nice to meet you! and what everyone else said, ditto for me too! hahahahahha :)

  9. hi twhich aye! thank you...and thanks for the notice. i love your blog and have been having fun exploring it lately myself!

  10. Hi Joe! I am on this new journey too. A recent start at a blog, a new attitude about my cloth, and my art. So good to find kindred spirits. I found you the other day throught the boro class list and "followed", but I am just now getting a chance to read your older posts and try to know you a little before the crazyness ensues. Love your words, inspired by the spirit that comes through.