I felt a little under the weather yesterday so I spent the afternoon camped out in bed with herbal tea, a West Wing DVD, and a long-overdue sewing project.
Since July 2004 (long before I’d heard of any of the cool swaps that are happening in the craft/blog world – which isn’t really saying much since I’m invariably a late comer to these things) I’ve been exchanging small artworks with two friends, one in Maine, the other in upstate New York.
We call it Circle Play, the idea being that we explore (very loosely) the notion of “circle”, and the word “play” is a good reminder not to get too perfectionistic. We were inspired to start by a small book that S had found, and which P and I ran out and bought immediately.
It’s full of embroideries exchanged between two women in Denmark and the US – this little focussed project that went on for years. It seemed like such a great way to stay creatively connected to each other when we live so far apart. And to make experimental objects – things we might not make otherwise. We figured out what our parameters were and got started.
And it worked! After our first year we gathered for a weekend and laid our all our treasured experiments on a long dining table, covering it. I had forgotten so many of the pieces I’d made, and seeing them again was like coming back to a familiar place. With all the work together I could see the relationships between the months – unconscious similarities or repetitions of a theme, reuse of materials and colors.
Last year Circle Play slowed way down, all of us pulled in other directions. It’s been months since I received the last piece from P, and it’s been nagging at me, like a letter that needs answering. Yesterday I sat on my bed watching “good daddy president” Martin Sheen and started my reply. I’m not ready to show it yet so instead here’s my very first piece from 2004.