Thursday, April 23, 2015

feel with your eyes

In the biography of you on World of threads, it states 'handwork adds the sense of touch, a sense more psychologically profound than the sense of sight."  What did they mean?  Question 6 of Martha Sielman's ten intelligent questions she sent me last December as we were preparing the article.

The idea comes from Merleau Ponty.  I know the answer to Martha's question because I studied phenomenology and I am a mother.
work in progress   spirit 
There are five senses.  Touch, sight, smell, taste, sound.  All add to our knowledge and our memories. Over several centuries, we have come to think that the sense of sight is the most important.
Sight is important.   It is how we know with our minds.  Sight helps us think.  Seeing something makes it real.

But the sense of touch is how we know with our heart and body.
More primal.
Our skin is the biggest organ.
our fingers, the bottoms of our feet

Feeling, it's emotional.
Art is responded to with emotion.  Agnes Martin


  1. No pun intended, but you have touched on something quite important here. It has been challenging for me to say why I want to make cloth that will be used rather than art that will be viewed. It is all about handling ... being able to hand-le cloth ... to feel each stitch as it's made and then the response of the cloth to those stitches. That's what it's about.
    Thank you for articulating this.

  2. This is a great BLOG post-I am a very tactile person and the reason I love quilting and stitching so much! I would really like to learn more about the 10 intelligent questions.

  3. your photographs are so tactile Judy, they draw us in to feel the weight, the textures, the time it takes to make with our eyes

  4. Lovely post beautiful work, cloth is so tactile, thats why it hard not to touch in textile, ceramic and sculpture exhibitions but I don't think many people want to touch a painting.

  5. Tina - Thanks for the idea. Maybe I will use the questions as stimulus for blog posts over the next few months.

    Mo and Debbie - I think that when art is made with so much texture that it begs to be stroked, touched....but the viewer in an art gallery can not .... they still somehow 'feel' the art with their eyes as they yearn to touch it. Because we know what it feels like through our life experience. That's how i understand phenomenology...

    thanks for all comments. The piece pictured in this post is using up all my thread. xx

  6. Like my eyes, my hands would love to follow your stitches ;-)

  7. Anonymous12:44 pm

    I like to make useable art because I have strong memories of the useable art in my life. The quilt my great-grandmother made from her scraps. Finding the same fabric elsewhere on the quilt, following the roads of her stitches around it like a city map. The baby blanket I used, watching the quilted rose vines disappear over many many years of love and use as the threads pop. I'm amazed any are left... I want to give these kinds of memories to my family and to whomever else may end up with my things.

  8. Sweet torture to see such depth on a flat screen when one wants to touch and yet, grateful for the view.


Thank you for taking the time to connect. Much appreciated.xx