Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Rag of the Day December 25 2011

 -December 25 2011CN tracks between Ridout and the station; cotton fabric woven in Austria according to the tag and shirt sewn in Canada; the front breast side is quite torn up; sun faded in parts, tears easily but quite sturdy. It is almost like a polished cotton.

I used some of the back to make this.

It is a gift for a young photographer and former student who made us the most beautiful gifts last year (a book of her photos and a flock of Chestnut Animals!). All of the silk is recycled Fair Trade sari strips except for the turquoise from an old embroidered robe I bought at the Buck a Pound a few years ago. The backing is a former rag of the day too, the thread is bamboo and second-hand embroidery floss. I'm not quite finished with it; I know she will like to know where the cloth came from. And that it is made just for her!

Monday, December 12, 2011

New Feature: Cloth and the Elements

I'm still thinking about these things. It's all cloth out in the elements, being used somehow or recently used, wearing away. These are each how we found them, though we did noodle a bit with the 'GAP' tag so it appeared a bit better. I just like to see cloth outside like this somehow.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Rag of the Day Special Edition: Neckties

-December 8 2011 Fishing Beach; the tan dot is silk, I don't know yet about the brown one.

Late this summer I found one necktie at the same spot on the river where I found these two today; that one is still 'in process' as librarians say, in a bucket on the back porch. It is is so tightly packed with sand that I can't get it out without tearing the cloth. So I'm waiting on that one for now.

But this evening I found the two above on the same little stretch of beach where I found the first one. I've already cleaned them and taken out the linings. Oddly they were tied to each other in big double knots, and around a bundle of brush. Odder still is that we have just finished a major flood here, and so these and the bundle they were tied to washed up sometime earlier this week. And it was such an extreme flood, the bundle could have come from anywhere up river. I'll have to start calling this necktie beach I guess.

When I find a cloth in a state like this- when it is an obvious effort by someone else- I usually leave it if it is as clearly a spontaneous expression as the figure below was:

This appeared by the train tracks last summer. Whoever made it found all their materials beside the train tracks, the same places we go to find stuff. The head, as I recall, was a purse, and the mouth was the purse's zipper.

I'm certain the necktie bundle washed up on shore as I found it, and had floated far away from wherever it was made. And maybe it was just somebody bundling their cut brush with whatever was at hand. And maybe that was just old ties.

I am still amazed at the sheer variety of cloth we find since I started down this path of using it in my sewing last year. I have thought a lot about why there is so much cloth discarded 'in plain sight', and about how much of it seems 'ruined' by being out in the elements- it becomes dirty, but really more symbolically I think 'contaminated' because it has been outside. But, as I'm discovering, a lot of cloth can go through an awful lot and still be perfectly beautifully fine.