Cecilia, Rachel and I were discussing artists yesterday – or rather who among us was the most artistic. I said I considered myself a craftsman, not an artist. Something just won’t let me go there – lack of a degree in fine arts being the most obvious reason.
Rachel, who has done garden design and now designs and makes jewelry, was also a little hesitant about the word. Cecilia didn’t really have an opinion either way about herself, but when I said I thought of the three of us, she was the most artistic, she demurred. But I insisted – as a costume designer for Shakespeare Gild she studied the play, analyzed the characters, created an overall “look” for the costumes, and then designed them. She has designed a beautiful garden at her home, and she worked for years as a professional graphic designer.
Then we started talking about how we each approach the Shibori we are working on. Cecilia is very thoughtful about what she is going to do — not wasting any effort in making something that might not work out. She considers what she wants to make, does a lot of sketches to see what might work, makes a sample and dyes it. Then when she opens the final piece, she analyzes what worked and what didn’t and does it again until she has created in miniature what she wants to produce full size.
Right now she is working on a way to represent a shelf (AKA bracket) fungus in Shibori. Once she perfects her plan, I think we’ll be pulling out some natural dyes to complete the project.
Rachel is really enjoying the Jane Callender stencils and templates. She takes several of them, carefully draws the shapes on her muslin, combining them into attractive patterns that are stunning when opened up after the dyeing process. She has a vision and an eye to discern how things will turn out. She admits sometimes she gets carried away and fails to exactly center her design on the muslin. But she says she can always trim the edges to make it work. (Rachel’s latest creation is pictured above)
Me? Rachel tells me – you look at the hardest thing in the book, say I want to do THAT!, and do it. And she’s right – Of course, because I jump in feet first, I haven’t done any planning, don’t know what it will really look like when it’s finished, and have disappointments. I just think I can do anything whether I can or not. Of course, sometimes I’m lucky and all the stars align, and the work turns out well.