Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Why fiber art?

"So fellow bloggers, what exactly is your motivation to create?There have to be as many reasons as there are members, but I would like to hear from some of you personally. Whether you are a professional or beginner, why are you working in fiber? What drives you to make show your inner self or just play?" asks Gabrielle in her Sept. 13 post.

My initial response was that the process of creating something makes time disappear. And it does. Like the athlete who gets "in the zone," working on a fabric piece is truly living in the present with little thought of past or future or anything else. This sense of total involvement, where the problems of everyday living cease to exist, is remarkably satisfying. In a way, it is similar to the feelings of a child when the world created in play is the world entire. Fiber art is playing: challenging play that requires planning, considering possibilities, improving skills, making decisions, discarding ideas, and sometimes ripping out and trying again. Whether daydreaming about a project or actually involved in the process, having the control that is often lacking in so many areas of life is an important factor.

Why fiber? Many other art and/or craft endeavors have engaged me over the years,and while all were enjoyable, the wide range of activities and techniques in fiber art incorporates many of the things enjoyed previously into one satisfying arena. Think of all the wonderful, playful, shiny, soft, rough, slick, colorful fabrics that call out to the customer who walks through the fabric store admiring (and fondling) the various bolts, but who doesn't need them for the pattern she is making... Those unsuitable fabrics might be just the thing for a quilt, fabric postcard, atc, vessel, wall hanging, banner, doll, art vest or jacket.

In this varied arena of fiber art, there will always be a use for that particular color or pattern or texture, and even if it doesn't work with anything now, it will be perfect for something in the future. What a wonderful excuse to walk up to the counter with several bolts and ask for 1/2 yard cuts of fabric to add to your stash, just because you like it. And the beads, sequins, yarn, fibers, roving, fringe, metallic threads, fabric paint, dyes (necessary embellishments/surface design) that will either compliment an idea you have or inspire an idea - well, who wouldn't love to play with all of these toys?


  1. Great post Jen...emailed you yesterday but still love the being in the zone...another thing that struck me today was your not being in control comment. Something to ponder.

  2. Oh I agree with you about buying the fabric to add to the stash, just because I like it. and the threads, paints, beads etc. just have to have those too. It all makes for more fun.


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