Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I studied karate for 10 years, and there was a principle we were always working with, called push-pull.  That is, power is created when force in one direction is balanced by an equal force in the opposite direction.  This principle applies to life and our creative pursuits, as well.  I've been thinking about this a lot lately because I am caught in a dilemma.  Do I make art, or do I write about it?

I love quilting and other needlework.  Passionately.  I love the meditative quality of slow stitches and the deliberate, relaxed process of creating a large cloth out of lots of little pieces.  To the outside world looking in, however, it is kind of like watching the grass grow.

I am not afraid of "slow."  I am following the Erosion Bundle Project, an internet-inspired effort to create naturally aged and weathered materials to use in my art. The basic idea is that you gather and put together a bundle of materials -- fabric, paper, bits of metal or other items to bleed color, plus any other ephemera you can think of. Then, you leave it out in the elements (some people bury their bundles underground) for a period of time to weather, after which you make art with the results.  Here is my bundle, which I put together in August of 2010.
erosion bundle aug 2010

And here it is today.  In August, it will have been out on my fence for a year -- I don't know if I can wait that long to open it!!!
erosion bundle may 2011

Back to my dilemma -- the internet community is so inspiring.  I am constantly amazed when I see the wonderful art that people are making and sharing online on a daily basis.  I am not part of a local art community, so the internet has become a virtual group of friends with similar interests.  The trick is, you have to participate to be part of it.  It all moves so fast, though, so if you wait more than a few days, you are not part of the conversation.

I think that karate holds the solution.... push-pull means finding a balance between "slow" and "fast."  Now, if anyone has a clue how to do that, please let me know!


Jenni said...

I just love this idea! The only concern I would have is would the material be too damaged to use, however yours is still looking good!

Marilyn said...

That was a great project. Yours has definitely eroded with the elements.

libbyquilter said...

hey when you get it completely figured out please let me know because i find that i have the exact same struggle~!!~
MUST do an erosion bundle of my own . . .