Friday, December 09, 2016

A Small Bowl & A Not So Small Revelation

I finished up this small bowl yesterday, same basic design and fabrics as the previous Sea And Sand bowl, except this time I wanted to make a shorter version with just two fabrics. When all the rounds were sewn, I meant to finish in the simplest way, grading the end of the closeline before the final rapping with fabric strips so it would blend into the beginning of the round and not leave a noticeable raise or bump along the rim. This is a little tricky and I did not do the best job of it on the other basket, hiding the imperfection with that handle.

I actually left the bowl in the machine overnight while I thought about this, mostly because as I studied the basket, I wasn't sure that where I had planned to end would make a smooth transition. But I think it was more than that. I think it was a bit of boredom. I just wanted to do something different from a plain finish. And so I played with continuing to wrap and stitch the clothesline but not to the basket, then looping and spiraling that length of line into something decorative. It required hand-stitching, which I've been avoiding but no other way to do this, and it was as tedious and awkward as I'd anticipated. I like the results though, and was pleased to find a bead to attach at the center of the spiral.

Approximately 6-1/2" across & 2" high. Still love the look hand-dyed fabric gives.

I think a lot of what I've been doing in the last year or so can be traced back to boredom. I've always thought of my impulses to try new things as more curiosity, but lately these urges to do something different have not always risen out of that excitement of "oh - what would it be like to try this idea" - that "what if" part of creativity. Instead, the feeling is more one of truly not interested in doing the same thing over and over or working with the same medium over and over. I think this is the first time I've been aware that my restlessness may indeed have roots in boredom. And boredom may be a good thing if it pushes me along in my explorations. 

I'm delighted with the way this bowl turned out. I enjoyed the process, finding it relaxing and meditative as I always do. I'm sure I would have been a little disappointed had I not put in that effort to create a more interesting finish. But I do wonder a bit why boredom has been stalking me. And I can hear my English & Latin teacher mother now, as she stood in front of her class responding to students complaining they were bored. "Bored? I'm not here to entertain you - you're here to learn!" 

Right mom. And learning I am . . .


The Inside Stori said...

Your bowl is so much more polished in appearance than the majority of those I’ve seen….color combo great, and the nifty handle detail puts it over the top!!!

MulticoloredPieces said...

Cool finish to that bowl, Sheila! And I think that quite possibly you are a polymath--then possibly like me, because I am definitely a polymath. There's nothing worse than boredom thus the push for acquiring new knowledge, doing new things that are totally unrelated...just a thought. My mother used to say "But, why do you jump around from thing to thing?" (a rhetorical question on her part). Looking back, I find this ironic since she was a polymath too...Have a very merry holiday season! best, nadia

Michele Matucheski said...

Very nice, Sheila. I'm always amazed at how these baskets come out. It reminds me both of the rug weaving I want to start doing (and there's no reason you couldn't wrap clothesline and weave that), and also of pottery. I only tried this briefly back when it was the featured technique in my art quilt group many years ago. Somewhere, I have the closthes line -- but where? Lost in the layers of my studio. I love how you ended it -- just like pottery. Very nice!

I remember back in the day when my weekends were filled with new techniques and creative dabblings. I feel like that's really fallen off the past few years ... and then I realized, it's because I've been spending my time volunteering for Hospice, and doing the sound and lights for my church services (think theatre). I've decided to take a break from volunteering, and take back my time again -- and an amazing thing is happening -- the ideas are starting to flow again ... I want to get back to dye projects again, too.

The Idaho Beauty said...

Thanks, Michele - that's quite a compliment likening my finishing flair to pottery. I've never been tempted to try making pottery but I do admire and collect it. Yes, this does remind one a bit of some woven rugs - would be interesting to see if you could incorporate the wrapped clothesline into weaving. Glad to hear you have taken some time back for yourself. Volunteering is good but can get out of hand, keeping you from the self-care you need. Will be fun to see how the year unfolds for you now that you feel the flow of ideas again.