Lisa's Musings

there's little i control

so... the by a thread art talk?? well.... i got to sit in between two art crushes of mine -

Lauren DiCioccio

lauren dicioccio

i really love all her work, but these hand embroidered organza "plastic bags" are just SO delightful.


Victoria May

victoria may

none of the images on her site do her work justice. i particularly love the concrete and thread/organza pieces - like this one .

it's always a treat to meet artists that you have admired and have them be as wonderful as their work. it doesn't ALWAYS work that way - so when it does - well - it's icing on the cake.

a lot of familiar words were batted around: fragility, domestic, mundane, mending, nostalgia, lineage, notion... we all answered why we use thread in our work. i was next to last and really had very little to add on the topic after so many thoughtful responses [which were all interesting to hear]. the dreaded "c" word came up - yet again. i'm talking of CRAFT, of course. i'm not going to extensively rant about this here as i think this topic has been covered numerous times by folks far more intelligent than me, but... here's the short version of what i think....

i'm always disheartened when people continue to want to push a hierarchical divide between art + craft. one artist in particular was speaking about it's all about intention. in essence i can agree to that since ever since duchamp pointed his magic art wand and declared things art - you can "intend" almost anything into art. but i also feel that art can be born even where it WASN'T intended - in some ways it's art even if someone else intends it. this artist also spoke about how they felt that you discover "truth" and "something about yourself" while making something as an artist that you don't while making "craft" [i'm really generalizing here but you get the idea]. honestly - i think that's a load of bull. i think there is "art" that is fantastic/horrid and "craft" that is fantastic/horrid and that you can have an "art moment" [aka epiphany] in front of anything that you please - be it art/craft/utilitarian item. trying to separate them into these meaningful and ultimately elitist categories seems so 20th century [i'm being facetious here - kind of]. i always want my art to be well crafted and my craft to be artful. to me it's not about if macaroni art is "art" or gees bend quilts are "craft" - it's about what moves you in some way in any given moment [and that movement doesn't need to be like or love either]. enough said.

but speaking of said... lindsay sent me a poem that she said was inspired by my work. she writes a poem a day as an exercise [ah how i love daily rituals] and she sent it to me....

She ties the tightest knots,
practices first with her sister
who calls it cat's cradle,
but it's too easy diving her fingers in, out and through,
so she moves on to the living room,
tying the arm of a chair to its leg,
then a chair to another chair,
then a loveseat, a table, a lamp, a book shelf,
the thread like spider silk
that threatens to tangle in ankles
and the cuffs of unlooking pants.

she slips a needle through the patterned wallpaper,
and ties the chairs to the walls,
holding the room to itself.

i loved cat's cradle when i was a child - although i didn't have a sister to play with... how much do i love that last thought... holding the room to itself? so much. thank you thank you lindsay.

her website
her blog

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10 Responses to “art crushes and a poem [not by me]”

  1. # Blogger shari

    thanks for the introduction to two new and very wonderful artists. as always, i loved your thoughts about art vs. craft. beautifully said. xo  

  2. # Blogger wise craft

    Beautiful! And I love your thoughts of art vs craft. I have a friend who constantly struggles with this, and I think the struggle is never resolved in her because she's trying to divide the two and she really shouldn't. xo  

  3. # Anonymous betsy

    This is a brilliant post, lj. And an important one. Thank you for stating so eloquently what I also feel so strongly. The elitism enrages me sometimes. It shouldn't but it does. Lindsay's poem is beautiful -- what a thrill it must be to have your work captured by such magical words. xo  

  4. # Blogger Denise | Chez Danisse

    My brother and I had our fun collaborating on a project inspired by San Francisco's Chinatown bags too. Lauren's version looks beautiful.

    I've always felt uncomfortable about CCA(C) removing that last C. I like your perspective on the topic.

    How lovely to have someone write a poem about you and then share that poem with you.  

  5. # Anonymous Shell

    I hear you! I do a lot of research on the art/craft divide that occured during modernism and the reunification of it in contemporary practices. Thank goodness that heirarchy has almost ended. There are so many artists who integrate craft oriented methods of making or traditional craft materials into their work now - the big ones being - Kiki Smith, Tracy Emin, Jim Drain - to name a few, that I'm surprised it still needs to be justified. Anyway, I find that half the fun I suppose, subverting the stuffy old 'rules'. Love this post!  

  6. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Arrogance, in any profession, is an unfortunate attempt to exclude "others" out of fear of something/someone who is different. It is an unfortunate, and sometimes ugly, stance to take.
    The poem about your work is a lovely tribute!  

  7. # Blogger Hayley

    Well put! Working at a museum I hear a lot of interesting definitions of art [a good portion of the public consider art to be painting, and painting things that look like what they are supossed to look like]. I think the art vs. craft debate is based on some pretty old-school assumptions- and is also totally genderized. I think art is creating something new, with intent to create something new, with or without the intent to create something called art. I also think craft and skill get used interchangably when they are not the same. Knitting or painting realitically is a skill- art & craft is about using those skills to create.


  8. # Anonymous sophia

    i stumbled across this online and instantly fell in love too. i've always loved the look of this no-name pink grocery familiar around oakland's chinatown.
    hope you and cc are well!  

  9. # Blogger Esti

    thanks for the links to those great artists. As always I enjoy your line of thought.
    And how generous of Lindsay to give you a poem. Another fantastic piece of art.
    Be well, Lisa.  

  10. # Blogger our little love nest

    That was a positively beautiful post!!! I love the organza bag.

    I so agree with you on the topic of art and craft. Pretentious attitudes lack soulfulness and intelligence in my opinion and completely stray from the intentions of art in the first place, don't they?

    That poem is so image inspiring and wonderful. I love it!

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Name: lisa s
Location: oakland, CA, United States

hello and welcome to my blog. i'm a mixed media artist living in oakland, CA with my husband, 2 dogs, 1 cat and my baby daughter. i try to post once a week about things that inspire me, what's going on in my studio, and little tidbits of my life. thanks for visiting, reading and commenting!

please please please :: i am happy to have you use an image of mine on your blog or somewhere else, but PLEASE just ask permission before you do. and please don't hot link. it really is important that we respect one another and the work we do. and if you are too shy or busy to ask, could you at least link back to me? thank you in advance!


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