Friday, February 23, 2007

If it ain't Baroque...

So I've been coming across lots of odds and ends in the studio as I gradually reorganize and liberate my work space from ignoredom. Some of those ends have gotten more odd as they are subjected to this house of many little curious hands.



My mom has not a small obsession with gift shopping at the MoMA. Totally fine by me! I've been showered with delightful little art-y things over the years including this smart art history lesson of a folding meter stick. The glory of which should not be in two pieces as shown above. Alas, it be ever still. Perpetrator yet to be pinned with certainty.



I've tried to fix it. No luck. But a funnier luck, guess during which period of art it broke? Yup. I don't make this stuff up people. It b-roke in the Baroque period. Luckier still for the assumed perpetrator as I was so completely amused by the perfection of coincidence that I forgot to finish my interrogation and punishment. It's fine I suppose the way it is. The kids are now familiar with the Baroque period of art where otherwise they wouldn't have been. Some things don't need fixing.

Reminds me of a thread of conversation that went on over here about whether or not some new crafters think they're reinventing the wheel. There's speculation of a mood in young or new crafters that is ignoring the precious heritage of crafting with phrases like 'this ain't your grannies such and such'. I chalk up most of the scabuttle as a reaction to what businesses, not crafters, do to market their goods to someone who wouldn't otherwise take notice perhaps. I was in Joann's last week for some batting and saw soooo many younger, hipper than normal shoppers milling here and there and nabbing up lots of stuff. I thought what took you guys so long? I'll go ahead and say I was sewing before sewing was cool. I've done it since I was 5 whether it made me a dork, a weirdo, an eccentric or a professional. I've always done it. I do love the new company though.



Mostly I am thrilled that people care enough about making to talk about it passionately. I don't care what brings people to learning handiwork, or what frame of mind is fueling their interest. I'm just glad they're here. I'm thankful for all the things my mother and grandmothers taught me. And though I may look at those same techniques with a fresh set of eyes, cleverness is nothing new. Some of the reasons I do it are different than their's were. I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel. (Although I believe Kath already helped us do that for certain!) There's no need to change or fix some things. You know, if it ain't Baroque.

xoxo,AM

46 comments:

  1. LOL! What a great post! I am one of those dorks/geeks/nerds who has been sewing since I was 9. It IS nice to have the new company at the shops, and especially nice to see that the precious skills passed on to us are still being taught.

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  2. Very true and a very cute post. I made my first quilt at sixteen my first embroidery at 12 and my first knitted thing ( doll clothes at 8) my first crochet at 5. Just part of who I am it is sad to say that most people don't know how to do these things from youth anymore. ( I am only in my mid thirties not old my any means). But I discovered even a lot of my own relatives don't know how to do hand work. I can't figure out how we grew up together. It is nice to see a resurgence of all fine arts and crafts. Just so peoples minds are working and thinking of ways to improve the world instead of destroying it. Take care sunshine

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  3. What a great discussion. I have also been sewing since I was little and man, was I a nerd to be a quilter in my 20s. I kind of rejected the whole grandma thing then too, but I think it is maybe more of a natural thing to do (be unappreciative of your parents/grandparents) when you are in your twenties. I have come to appreciate my grandmother's handwork as I have gotten (a little) older.

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  4. We are a family of *dorks* here too. LOL!
    I learned how to crochet at my grandmothers knee (although I sew more now) and drooled over dresses the same grandmother made.
    Now my daughters are crafting as young as 5 years old and blow me away with their creative thoughts.
    Watch out world!

    Thanks Anna Maria.
    Oh...the baroque art is too funny...well ya know not that it is broke. :o)
    What a cool thing to learn and see art from by the way.

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  5. wende @ evidently.org11:54 AM

    I live in a coastal town on the Oregon coast--and the majority of churches in town are mainline and geriatric. As an intern in one last year, I was nearly the youngest person there at 36. The average age of my parishoner was pushing 70. I argued over and over, that these women who crocheted and knitted and sewed had skills that a lot of my peer group wants but weren't given as children. (You were lucky!) I've often wondered if we couldn't use this crafting "surge" as a way of bridging the generation gap. I mean, sure, these women are still using acrylic yarns and could use to be introduced to a slightly more hip aesthetic... but, I know lots of my peer group who would enjoy learning the skills--it might just work? So, I'm in the process of starting a chapter of Church of Craft here in Astoria. I don't know that I'll ever get my 70's crowd to come, but I do know they'd have a great deal to offer if they did--and we'd sure learn a ton. I just have visions of walking into a Church bazaar someday where all the goods are skillfully made of WOOL and SILK. :D (oof... this is too long... so sorry!)

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  6. Anonymous1:33 PM

    My mom was a beautiful sewer and made all my clothes as a girl, my grandmother a painter. I liked climbing trees and boys. My best life long friend made all her clothes while I watched and later in life we shared an apartment where I insisted she stopped whatever she was doing and go out dancing with me...she was drafting a quilt... My greatest regret has long been not picking up sewing at 5 (tree climber and apple bomb chucker), 15 (girl scout sewing badge flunky) 25 (radical sport sponsor) but rather at 35 when a gorgeous friend gave me a quilt. I stared at it and knew in an instant that all the influences of my life had fallen together into one obsession. I am self taught and proud of it even though it means I did everything the wrong way for a long time. Maybe if I had taken more notice younger I would not have such an exciting and colorful past but maybe I would have had a stronger sense of myself. Who knows. But, I also have to say that my best friends today are my quilting group girlfriends and several of them turn 80 this year! I love the history in their faces and the life in their words. So, Anna Maria, my hero, you are the leader of the revolution! Let's take over the world and teach the world to be makers...sorry to ramble but what a thought provoking topic! kathy (queen of circles for a day!)

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  7. Hi all-this is so good. Kath-I ignored MUCH of what my mom was trying to teach me, so you didn't miss everything growing up, it's sometimes a personality issue. We are all self-taught to a degree-only allowing ourselves to be taught when our will breaks a bit. I just wish everyone the happiness of making something gives us. It gives you something that won't ever go away, so much value in it. xo, AM

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  8. My family hated needlework and I tried to learn from a young age. I hoarded fabric from my early twenties and finally really started crafting and sewing about 2 years ago..

    I am actually quite jealous of anybody who leanred this from parents or grand mothers on the other hand I am so glad my local quiltstore stopped interogating everybody entering there door about whether they know the rules of quilting ....I just want to buy fabric and I probably do things wrong .. so what?

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  9. Marieke-there's rules?

    woops.

    AM

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  10. That is too funny! Sorry, it broke- those are really neat!

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  11. Ok Girlz,
    I too, have been sewing since I was born/hatched........now my 5 year old is sewing away, too........can't keep up with her ideas, and she is following with her "keen sense of design" in the footsteps of her momma! The market is flooding with fabric, ideas, you name it! Why did it used to be so humiliating to admit that "yes, I made my outfit"?! Just because the rest of the world is so lazy and out of it and can't pick up a few easy stiches on the 'ol sewing machine. Hello!!!!!!!! I'd MUCH rather have something homemade. I used to wonder why we had to wait 'til junior high to have Home Economics!!! That class was a breeze and so boring. I had some snotty teacher who wasn't into bending the rules, & your stitches and fabric had to be just so. How sad. Well, I guess if they all want to jump on the bandwagon now that we are in 2000's, good for them. It's about time!!!!!!!!! You go, Anna Maria, and all of us ladies out there!!!!!!! We love your style, AM!!!!!!

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  12. I think there definitely needs to be more embracing of our shared history and heritage as crafters, women, mothers, people. It's like so much of our past is only worthwhile when it's been "reinvented."

    Thanks for sharing the link and your thoughts. :)

    (The b-roken Baroque? Too funny!)

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  13. OK, the truth must be known here:
    Yes, Anna Maria watched me sew from early on, but it was SHE who taught ME how to think outside the box and NOT follow the "rules" all the time. And Oh, what a difference it has made! And if it hadn't been the influence of two artist daughters, I would have never know the delight of shopping in art museum stores--and there would have never been a baroque ruler to be b-roken! I've come a long way, Baby!

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  14. What a cute ruler! I too have been sewing since age five (if you count outlining those plastic bears with yarn) but my babysitter definitely taught me to cross stitch at a young age and I was totally enamored with my junior high sewing class. I embroidered much of my clothing in high school, which was definitely not cool, but at 27, I still look like a young bandwagon jumper. I'm just happy it's easy to buy supplies and find cool patterns though. :)

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  15. Mary Ann10:29 PM

    I laughed out loud and then hurried to the MoMA site to try and find one for me! Some of my ealriest memories are of my Grandma, Gretgrandma and Mom all sewing, crocheting other hand work. I learned a lot from them all and the rest is self taught but their hands are all still now. My friendship group ranges from 38 to 78 and its the highlight of my week. Oh and I'm teaching my niece to quilt and this month its a sock monkey! Pass it on!

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  16. Well said AM - if it isn't from the past, it's straight from the pages of a Japanese craft book!

    I'm now inspired to buy some of your gorgeous fabrics from Calico and Ivy (AU). Thanks.

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  17. The shop at MoMa looks very interesting indeed as other museums shops that I really love to visit. MoMa is new for me, thanks for sharing the link.
    The ladies in my family have strong craft/sewing/crochet/knitting skills. Mom is awesome. I am not like them in all these wonderful skills but I am just fine with what I know. They tried to teach me crochet and I never had patience for that. But I did other things, like tapestry, with only 8 years old. I loved it. I've noticed this craft world at Flickr. I was painting some canvas for my kids room and some craft photos came up and I went to check those groups. It's cool how a lot of people are interested in making things. But yes, nobody are reinveinting the wheel. I've seen people talking about some sewing projects like yo-yos and other things with so much passion...things that are so ooooold in this sewing world.Kinda funny. I wish I could talk to my grandma rigth now and I bet she would give me some nice tips. I think she would look at our blogs, laugh and say..."Oh my dear, these are so simple to do...what's the big of deal?"

    Have a nice day.

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  18. I have been so encouraged by all the younger sewers that I am discovering online. I have been sewing costumes for my sons H.S. musical... and they are bringing in the sweetest, most talented Grandma's to do alot of the sewing... but so few younger Moms sew. So excited to see it catching on to the next generation.

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  19. I thought Baroque was when you were out of Monet! I told my mother about your b-roke measure stick on our wat to Nashville yesterday. A tragic story with a happy ending :)

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