A Body of Work

Tuesday, July 14, 2009





So I’m sitting in my Garage/Studio sewing some satin lining into the velour wrap I’m working on. I’m listening to a podcast that’s talking about how many pieces is appropriate for an exhibition/show. The host of the podcast is very smart, and says it depends. But she mentions that regardless, when we feel we have accumulated enough pieces around a theme or technique, we will know when that body of work is ready to show.And that got me thinking about bodies of work. And samples. And just exactly what it is that I need to have prepared.

I was wasting time late last night wandering through Etsy and Artfire, and looking for other sites that were similar (which I found: Winkelf and Shophandmade) and started to discover just how many pieces each vendor had for sale on these sights… They range from single pieces to sometimes hundreds. There were some that I thought didn’t qualify for “hand made” items (like this one company in China with over 100 employees that posted it’s stuff on Etsy) and thus had more than a hundred completely different garments for sale. None of the items came across to me as particularly reflective of individual creativity, and certainly none of them looked like they had been “manufactured” with an artistic sensibility. It was yet another clothing line, and the company was just using Etsy as a storefront.

But that got me to thinking–my “body of work” will have certain pieces that will be individual, unable to completely reproduce ever again. I like that. That’s what makes them unique. I can not mass produce these items in any large scale any more than an oil painter can reproduce hundreds of the same still life. Yes, it’s possible, but none of them will be exactly alike. And I’m thinking they shouldn’t be, frankly…

So today I finished my first piece–a heavy velour winter cape with black satin lining, embellished with hand-painted garlands of roses along the hem. A black satin band running around the neck and center front provides an oriental feel, but the overall feel is rather Spanish. I’m quite proud of it. It’s the first in my “body of work.” I’m calling it “Rosey Warmth No.1″, I think. : ) Here’s pics!Until later, live life with relish!

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