I have been looking up embroidery, trying to decide if this is a medium I’d like to indulge and incorporate, or if I already have enough on my plate. I feel like it’s a natural progression of where my work is at already…but sometimes my ideas move faster than my output can handle. I look back and feel like I wish I had more work to evidence each of the concepts I digested at any given point. Will my mind ever slow down? There are worse things I guess…
I found this really great place NEAR ATLANTA! called Japanese Embroidery Center – I will let them describe themselves:
“The Japanese Embroidery Center (JEC) is a nonprofit educational organization whose mission is to preserve and promote the cultural heritage of Japanese embroidery through the pursuit of Nuido™, The Way of Embroidery. The word Nuido™ is made up of two parts; Nui, or embroidery (also shishu), and Do, the way of Nui refers to the acquisition of technical skills and knowledge. Do refers to the development, and constant discovery, of the spiritual components of the art of Nuido™. Nuido™ has three aspects: the acquisition of technical skills and knowledge (rationality), the development of artistic sensitivity and awareness (sensitivity), and understanding the spiritual aspects of shishu (spirituality), resulting in a state of peace, calm, and harmony.”
I am definitely drawn to the intention and ritual, the idea of meditation before working, having a sensei, everything about it really. And good on them for getting over here and further taming the wild, American beast. An information video on the site said the hardest thing about teaching students in the States was getting them to shut up during class – we can be so obnoxious as a culture, like a toddler. –I probably, wont be able to get in and take a class until next year, but I’m glad to know it’s there for me when I’m ready.
I love that the students of the Japanese center learn gardening and appreciation for nature’s role in their craft. It isn’t really clear whether or not they are introduced to silkworms and if that’s what they are working on maintaining in their garden, or if they are simply growing their own food. Either way, I think hands-on interaction with the earth is essential in maintaining a tradition and culture of ‘big picture’ understanding.
There may come a time when I will only use found material. This is hard for me because I love paint so much, but as a medium, it’s completely artificial…or at least in the ways I indulge it. I want to find a more sustainable, but simultaneously archival, way around this. I know I can make my own pigments out of plants and household items, but the way I’m painting currently, this isn’t really practical. The dilemma itself really is the greater umbrella concept of my work: the intoxicating trap of artifice and the quest for ways to find the purest relationship with the natural world possible, coming from an honest evaluation of where we stand today on our journey as humans on earth. I’m not too beat-up by the conflict as it applies to my personal work though – I’m confident I will arrive naturally and gradually at solutions that make sense and support my ideals.
…So do I paint on the fabric and then embroider on top? or do I pour paint on top of embroidery. Probably BOTH! Playing with stitches will be added to the bank of stuff to play with while I’m in Vermont. OH! This is perfect considering I will be meditating and yoga-ing daily. So excited.
the featured image:
from the series Red Sky at Night by Rebecca Ringquist — Bounty, 2011, 60 x 32, Embroidery and machine stitching on found fabric