Ok, where was I? Oh yeah. The "final project" of Human Marks.
We made a bound book showcasing our marks. It rests in a black cloth wrapper decorated with an entire week of kantha stitching. Dorothy asked that we model the many incredible examples she showed us from India,ie,fill in every possible space, explore direction, and take a stab (hee hee) at a border from her handy-dandy handout of options.
We stitched these covers slavishly. While waiting for the lectures to start....after yet another glorious home-cooked meal on the deck...beneath the bedside lamps that should have been switched off hours before. It went like it has always gone with stitching since the Beginning...idle meditative musings when alone, sharing of stories when in each other's company.
Here's how far I got, with a deep bow to Jude Hill's Patchwork Beasts class.
Which brings me to what I learned:
#1. There is nothing like the completely satisfying--and creatively productive--process of just making something. For its own sake, or to learn what it feels like to do it. Without an image of a finished project looming overhead like the shadow of a black pterodacytl. When I came home, I immediately gave birth to perhaps 25 little stitched pairs. They went into the wooden box, where they will jump out when drafted in service of #2.
#2. You get a much richer final project when you choose to do one if you've spent time exploring the components. Or collecting them from Places around you.
#3. I have a deep but totally unexplainable affinity for the artifacts of the American West in the 19th century. (So does Himself, leading us to wonder whether we were together in another life back then. I say I was Butch Cassidy and he was a Dance Hall Girl.) I need to remember that when creating new work, because everything I saw that week shows me that Deep Affinity gives birth to Heart in one's creations.
#4. Black India Ink stays under the finger nails for a long time.
#5. It is infinitely easier to create when you are surrounded by creative souls who support one another, give and receive critiques and opinions without judgment, and show their work with conviction and without apology. Whether they make ceramics, fiber art, woven dish towels, or quilts, everyone around me was committed to making stuff.
#5. I was one of them.