Monday, September 02, 2013


    Today I will be slow sewing. I am working on a piece of cloth cut and stenciled and reverse appliqued: the corset, a kit by Alabama Chanin. I had the privilege of taking one of her in person, one day workshops, last year in Beacon NY, which included the kit.  And I have been slowly working on it, stitch by stitch. I suppose that if I had done it with any focus
    I could have finished it faster, but I have lingered, and it has taken me this long to bring it into focus. I have carried it to work with me upon occassion and stitched on it there, on the train, and stitched on it on my couch, at my table and on the road. It has been a labor of love. Like many of my projects it has spent alot of time languishing on the pile of forgotten new beginnings, only to resurface from time to time to be worked on and reloved.
    For I love to do hand work. I love to make anything that I can with my hands. I am not a technician or a scientist, I am a maker of things: a discoverer of pleasure of making things. It never dissapoints, that process, that labor. It brings me to a place that others get to by walking on the beach, or reading or meditating or connecting with their dieties. I am always trying to get there, to find the time and space and magical concoction of materials and imagination  and intention that bring me there. And attention. Yes, the bane of the aDD addled brain.
     Even if the object fails to meet my expectations, it is the process itself, that charms.
     Natalie Chanin runs a company that respects the process of hand made clothes down to the last detail. The products that she creates are art and she has, with her books ( I have all of them) and workshops and now given us the chance to create, borrowing her vision. And the cotton is grown by local farmers and spun and dyed in local mills in the U.S.A. She respects the labor right down to the planting of the seed and I want to commend her for this on Labor Day. And yes, they are not cheap. Nor are they cheapened by child labor and undignified labor conditions.
     So do  support unions and organised labor? You bet. But I also support companies where  they are not needed. Check out Alabama Chanin. And go make something.

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