As a person who tends to think too much, (and sometimes about cancer) it’s nice to find something to do that relieves this – working with my hands in this case, doing something not terribly important. I only have to think of the next stitch when I’m sewing…
… or if you are an art snob, please consider my recently completed red velvet waterfall scarf a soft sculpture.
I mined two pieces of vintage clothing for materials, one a red velvet dress that didn’t quite fit me, and the other, a Persian lamb coat I inherited from my Ukrainian Baba. The coat is so heavy, it’s like wearing the entire flock of sheep.
First, I cut a swath off the coat’s hem for the edges of the scarf. At one point, I decided the entire dress would be in the scarf, except for the buttons, the bow, and the zipper, so I used up the scraps by making a total of 21 rosettes. The scarf is over eight feet long and my husband thinks it looks like a giant necktie.
The first time I wore it out of the house, I was inundated by women with wide lustful eyes, with questions about it, who urged me to never let it out of my sight, certainly not at a coat-check, for someone was sure to steal it — perhaps one of them.
I’ve only just begun producing art that is to be used for something, so for the first time, I’m forced to consider mechanics. I take articles of clothing out for “test-drives.” I need to find out things like how a leather-covered rock will hang from a sleeve. Making objects that have to work in a way other than aesthetic reminds me of my father. He does things like stick two wrecked 1950 Chevy one-ton grain trucks together to make one that works. I supposed that’s what I do with clothes instead of with gears and grease, a feminine form of auto mechanics.
As I was cutting the lambskin, I noticed a lot of short black curly fur on the carpet, a casualty of the creative process. And then I thought of the soft red folds down the middle of the scarf.
And then I thought – Damn! Have I been wearing an eight-foot long vagina around my neck?
And no, I’m not going to re-name it