Thursday, November 14, 2013
When you make a pot of tea, people have to drink it.
My hanji arrived from Paper Connection last week. They were so nice to work with...extremely helpful, and I had my paper in two days. Thanks, Paper Woman!
Above, the last of the joomchi cutwork. Friday I awoke with a sore throat that promptly turned into a general malaise. Unfortunately, that meant re-prioritizing my workload...so I didn't make the Kozo harvest at the Morgan. Hopefully next season.
Regardless of illness, I still had to make stuff. Above is a tray with custom-made cordage. Below is a stack of momogami joomchi...enough for 18 pouches.
Below are a pair of thread boxes in another tray. There are more things in various states of assembly...all in preparation for the photo shoot on Wednesday.
While reading this morning I came across a statement from Rikrit Tiravanija (it's today's title) that explains my relationship to these things I've been making this week...and it was a bit of a revelation to me. I don't make useful things as a part of my studio practice. I do make useful things as teaching examples (which is what all this recent effort is directed towards). On the surface, I've thought of these endeavors in usefulness as a distraction from the pressing work of the studio...in other words, a drain on my reserves. However, I've also noticed that I am not satisfied with these functional items unless they meet my personal aesthetic requirements. I had made no correlation between the two until I read Rikrit's statement today...then it was as if the clouds had suddenly parted. When I acquire things that are to be a part of my daily environment and routine, I choose things that meet my aesthetic standards...And when I am obligated to make useful things I am still applying those standards, although (until now) subconsciously. I must make things that I would want to live with...even if they are only intended to play the role of exemplar. Knowing this has refreshed me.
In other news: Dean will be back from Nepal next week! We will drink much good scotch as he regales us with tales of his Quartermain-like adventures in weirdness, made all the more weirder by the unusual situations that only Dean Birchfield can get himself into. He still has four more days in which he could be jailed or contract hepatitis from a monkey, so we'll see how this story ends.