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.


  1. this is just great, this cloth story line

  2. Wendy...the fence being is just so GREAT!, what
    casual flair!

    and cloth, outside, well, somehow i like it
    better for that, that it has had life that was
    never intended or expected..
    and you have done the most really beautiful
    things with it,
    all this just makes me feel happy and good.

    the ties. now this is a true mystery. i think
    someone, up river from you has a creative urge
    of a kind we don't know...that it was an
    installation of some sort? but still, whatever,
    gives the gift of wondering when you KNOW there
    will never be an answer.

    oh, Thank,

  3. Really interesting. It is amazing how much cloth you can see in odd places once you start looking.

  4. I love this piece of almost guerilla art! How brilliant to stumble across it...........and yes great to leave him in situ for others to smile at. Id be tempted to add to
    I recall leaving messages in bottles as a kid, could it be ties-that-bind nowadays? lol
    I got a reply from a bottle thrown off Studland beach in Dorset one year. The tide was coming in it seems so the bottle was picked up soon after our leaving it I reckon ! Id left my address in with the message and the reply was from a 'pirate' living in a cave eating seagulls and counting shells and was a fun thing to receive............It made my summer that year and he was really an english student with a sense of humour when we met funny!