Tuesday, April 17, 2018

the private side

I pinned the daily practice wall pieces up on the design wall.
These are daily collages that I stitched on every day between January 1 and April 7 2018
In the first one, I tried to make collages about observations and intuitions.  (Super Moon an example)
In the second one, I used abandoned work, attempting to give new life to some cyanotypes.
In the third one, I just recorded the passage of time and the containment of love.
Then I flipped them back to front...and wow.

They stir my emotions more.
I wonder why.
the reverse of these pieces are simpler than the front
minimal colour
naked maybe, yet marked with those black dotted lines
they are sensuous
there's a serenity to them
maybe they are more spiritual
more connected to something ineffable
 the materials are wool felt and wool thread
they remind me of the sweet grass baskets stitched with black thread that I collect here on Manitoulin
made by the indiginous crafts women
this scented grass remains so sweet even when it drys from green to a golden colour.
I began collecting these small and simple lidded baskets when we moved here 25 years ago
this one holds some pieces of mica, gifts from nature
the three wall pieces also remind me of mbuti bark cloth from the congo in africa
click here for more examples of bark cloth
To make the daily practices, I stitched arrangements of plant dyed velevt to the felt
always designing from the front of the piece.

yet I prefer the back sides.

The inner side.
the inner world.

The front is too distracting and noisy.

we've been thinking about being alive for thousands of years 
Jessica Stockholder


  1. OMG Judy! These DO look like Mbuti barkcloth....I have a book of that work I purchased years ago...and was breathless when I saw my first cloth close up in a London gallery. I Love these pieces and wonder if you can continue along these lines (pardon the pun!)...

  2. hmmmm, the backside is more "the ongoing steady process of stitch"
    (that's you ! ...)

  3. so beautiful from both sides, the intentional and the intuitive

  4. B-sides fascinate me ... they are always revealing. And thank you for the link to “ineffable”

  5. Anonymous7:02 pm

    When you asked I wonder why, I had to really stop reading the words and think.
    And what I thought after some consideration was not a visual answer but the thought was an audable response.
    I can hear a change in volume,
    isn't that amazing to be able to do that with textile and thread and time.
    Cheers Jan

  6. Hi Judy, personally I like both sides. A spinning quilt- one for happy, upbeat, inspiring
    the other calm, relaxed, clear my head

  7. Road maps of the journey.

  8. Hi Judy,
    I also ponder the paradoxes, or maybe the infinitesimal boundary between them. I prefer the raw underpinnings, the skeletal structure that reveals in its quietness the the spirit of truth. Your work and words reverberate deeply. Thank you.

  9. so beautiful, these marks, and i love how they echo the sweetgrass baskets. i love how the black string becomes so much more as it sews fiber together.

  10. It's the yin/yang of stitching. You cannot have one without the other.

  11. Both sides are sensual, but yes, there is something deeper, natural and raw about the backs. Often I feel more connected to my backsides, too- perhaps they are closer to the truth, without management or judgement.

  12. Thank you for the link to Mbuti barkcloth. What a treasure trove! I really appreciate your blog and the introspection you post in each one.

  13. THIS: (whoever she is) "we've been thinking about being alive for thousands of years."
    THE WAY YOU THINK about stitching is ancient.

  14. the back sides are your own silver lining

  15. Beautiful work, Judy.


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