eva hesse

3.30.12 Objects of Use, Oxford

Objects of Use No. 6 Lincoln House Market Street Oxford OX1 3EQ United Kindgom

Telephone: ++44 (0)1865 241705

goat hair high duster, cobweb duster, and carpet beater

garden goods and brooms

lovely garden goods

Wandering around Oxford – some may call it lost, we like to call it exploring – we stumbled upon THE most amazing shop.  And I do not say that lightly.  Objects of Use is quite simply the loveliest shop I have ever stepped foot inside.  Filled with a vast array of usable items of the most exquisite workmanship and quality.  The time the proprietor must have spent in choosing each piece is impressive, to say the least.  What was most refreshing and touching, really, was the lack of slick brand goods.  This is not a design store.  Although it is, in my opinion, exquisitely designed.  It is a store filled with Objects for Use.  Simple in its function.  Stunning in its execution.  Again, the loveliest shop.  My heart leapt when I spotted a selection scissors lovingly hung from wooden pegs along the wall.  I may have to take a trip back for the little gold stork handled embroidery ones.  At only 15 pounds, I would be a fool to pass them up.

the lovely lady of the shop

the very gracious owner - a supremely brilliant human being who is - in his own words - 'against throwawayism'

cooking and kitchen

2.21.12 New in the shop today

A new pillow for the shop today.  You can find it here.   My new goal is to get at least 4 new items in the shop per week.  Hopefully more.  Including some nice naturally dyed linen napkin sets - because everyone deserves nice cloth napkins - and a great new bag I have a sketch for.

This is the new packaging I came up with for some of the goodies sold in the shop.  Cute muslin bag with a small blue antler hand painted on wool felt.  It has a nice drawstring and can be reused for whatever your little hearts desire.  I like it.

And finally, a new batch of natural dye for a napkin order.  The color came out really pretty.  In the left over soup I added some minerals and got a soft grey-pink.  Still deciding what I should make with the left over fabric.

On to other news...we went bird watching this weekend, which we are always doing to some extent.  But this time we took binoculars and our Western Bird Book.  Wow.  Nerd alert!  We identified 19 species of birds in our neighborhood.  Which was completely addicting once we started.  And we ignored all our other chores.  Next year we want to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count, a joint project of The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, The Audubon Society, and Canadian Partner, Bird Studies Canada.  But for now we are obsessed with naming all the little black, brown and grey birds in our backyard.  What is it about grouping and naming things that we are so driven to do?  Mystery.

Have a lovely week.  Treat yourself well.

xoxo

2.8.12 Kapital – Japanese Sashiko Fabric Tote

find out more here.

A friend sent me the link for this bag today with the subject "thought of you."  Which is a very big complement.  Thank you a million times over.  I would love to apprentice in Kapital's workshop for a day or two.

So today is the big day...the day I have been mulling over in my head for months - perhaps years would be more accurate.  It may have even been a lifetime.  Today is the day I begin to stitch together the fabric for a the Victorian Parlor chair  which has been sitting in my garage, ever so patiently, waiting for me to get my confidence together to tackle the project.  I know this will be a long process.  I am resigned to the fact that for a stretch of time I will hate my work.  I will feel incredibly uncomfortable and I will want to quit.  I am also resigned to the fact that I will keep sewing.  And eventually, I will reach the point where I look down and smile and know I have created something good.   It always works like that.  The same predictable evolution.  The difficult part is remembering that I have been there before.  Remembering that the discomfort is a natural part of my creative process.  And after getting a bolster of confidence from the Kapital tote above, I have to say, I am quite excited to begin the journey again.

xoxo

2.7.12 The Clutter in my Brain

A small peek into my mind/work space.  As you can see, it is a little cluttered today.  I spent the day digging through fabric, dying some, cutting more, making piles all over the sitting room.  I am preparing to cover a beautiful, old, Victorian parlor chair.  It will be my first cover with my own fabric - hand dyed, hand stitched in my own rustic industrial fiber art design.  A tad intimidating.  Hence...the work space and clutter in the brain.  All will be well.  Just have to push on.  Tomorrow is a new day.  Bright and new.  And clean.  xoxo

2.2.12 Dub with Strings

http://youtu.be/iMOU9efjCsA

What we are listening to over here...sit back...relax...breathe.  And a little bit of what I have been working on.  Terrible photo.  But a really beautiful little pillow.  Will try to take some better shots tomorrow and get it up in the shop.  Goodnight.  Sleep tight.  xoxo

1.27.12 Diebenkorn & Hesse

RICHARD DIEBENKORN

April 22, 1922 – March 30, 1993

Untitled, 1970

Still Life with Letter, 1961

EVA HESSE

January 11, 1936 – May 29, 1970

Contingent, 1968

Untitled, 1960

Eva Hesse

Every so often I forget why I am doing what I do.  I get caught up in the end result.  Or I get caught up in the fact that I am not "there" yet.  Wherever that is.  I also get lost in the fear that people may not like what I am doing - or I tailor a piece to what I think people will like.  Then I am just that.  I am lost.  And I need to find my way back to the roots of what I do.  And I need to ask myself the very first question again.   Why?  Why am i doing this?  Is it to make money?  Yes...but no.  Is it because I don't know what else to do with myself?  In a way, yes.  But more than any other reason, it is because I have to.  I am miserable without it.  Cranky and unfulfilled.  When I look at the photo of Eva above, I see the place I want to be.  I see the peace in her that comes from doing what you are here to do.  When you just are.  And you move through it without hindrance.  This morning I woke up feeling sick, achy and worn down.  I came into the sitting room and gazed at my recent work overflowing from the back of my sewing chair onto the floor, and thought just that question...Why?  More thoughts flowed in.  What is that?  Why did I make that?  Do I even like it?  What am I doing?   Back to the first question.  Why?  Why I am not looking for another job?  Why am I not still working in a lab at some biotech company?  Why am I not still teaching?  Why do I need to pursue this?  It always comes back to that.  So I made a cup of tea and sat on our wonderful old couch and started pouring through books on two of my favorite artists.  Richard Diebenkorn and Eva Hesse.  And I remember.  I remember being a little girl standing in front of paintings by Diebenkorn and Francis Bacon and feeling at home.  Feeling like I had found my place.  And I am soothed.  I look at the lines in Diebenkorn's work and see the inspiration for the rustic industrial patterns I am driven to sew.  I look at Eva's work and see the beauty in the rough edges.  And I see that it is all good.  That no matter where it takes me it is good.  And I cry.  And I am happy.  Still sick, but happy.  xoxo