So I wanted to make something for myself while I was back in Rhode Island for Christmas. I brought a grip of embroidery floss and a sweatshirt (a rare mostly cotton crewneck from Ocean State Job Lot years ago -- I collect crewneck sweatshirts and OMG it is hard to find ones that aren't 50/50 polyester blends). I wasn't sure what to put on it, and was generally feeling vexed and uninspired (also I didn't bring a notebook to pull something out of... <rolling eyes emoji>). I ended up borrowing from the great Alicia Bay Laurel and embroidered a version of the cover of her book Earth Mass. Now before anyone gets their underwear wadded up in their sternum from a knee-jerk reaction to "copying" (or appropriation LOL sorry not sorry) -- let me repeat: I MADE THIS FOR MYSELF. It ain't for sale. Go breath that stank breath of accusatory rhetoric somewhere else.
Maybe you can tell that I'm feeling some, um, hormones today. The filter is loose but I mean it! The sphere of finger pointing (stirred up mostly by the PC culture that has taken over Instagram -- and by default the internet) is really such a buzzkill. Like yes -- I get it -- getting copied sucks. But there's also something about art that is just intrinsic to SHARING. Every bit of art that is produced by humans (who are btw intrinsically inclined toward creating art) is an iteration of something that has come before. There's nothing new under the sun. And I'd like to point out that there is a difference between an homage and a rip-off.
This is my homage to Alicia!
Photo taken at a lemon and peacock farm (I know right?! Trust me, I'm from a dank post-industrial town in New England -- this beauty is as astounding as the first time, every time) down near San Luis Obispo. A family Airbnb that allows pets (even Bucky!) and has a gigantic hot tub (these are three words that really just belong together, amirite?) and isn't even that expensive (for the California central coast, arguably one of the most beautiful places with the best weather on the continent).
One more thing! This embroidery took somewhere between 30-35 hours. It's strong as hell and I've machine washed it several times since making it (at least once or twice before this photo) so 1. when you (the hypothetical collective "you") request a custom from me, know that is being made to last. And 2. If I'm putting 40+ hours into something, it can't be cheap. It's a chill craft for sure, but it's also kind of physically demanding in its low key way, and I value my hands. This is part of the reason why I incorporate appliqué into my work frequently. And the other part of the reason is that I can't stop finding/buying/collecting cool textiles.