“This is just awful! Did I really make that horrible thing?” I’m sure you’ve had that reaction to a piece of your work at one time or another. A few months ago, after putting in about 40 hours on a rug, I looked at the finished piece and gasped. It was truly dreadful. What to do? All that time and energy….I figured my choices were to cut it up into pieces and try again, or just throw the whole thing in the garbage. Cutting it up was scary, so I let it sit on my table and haunt me. Now I’ll let it haunt you.
Then, not one, but two other felters suggested (independently of each other) that I cut it up. Easy for them to say, they routinely deconstruct and reconstruct as part of their creative process. But it was a big deal for me, having done that only once before. Easier to just throw it away. That I’ve done often. However, it seemed as if I didn’t have much choice if I didn’t want all that work to go down the drain. So I cut it into 3 pieces and took the middle piece out. Like this:
I couldn’t quite get my mind around the black piece, so I started with the other two. Overlapping them seemed to work. they fit together well, despite missing the middle. So I started to sew them together. Then I added a scrap from the cutting process. I got some more ideas about stitching, and the more I stitched, the more ideas I got. The piece started to take shape, and it was a shape I liked. Now, almost finished, I am quite pleased.
So pleased that I think I’ll try some more of this deconstruction-reconstruction stuff.
Oh, by the way, here’s the photo that inspired the piece: