Sunday, April 4, 2010

Pattern Envelope Contents

Because I am preparing for an art gallery show in July, and also working towards having an entry to meet the May deadline for the annual Houston show, the clasp envelopes I use to keep everything in order are the only "control" I have over potential chaos. When completed, each file goes into a file cabinet.

The question may be what kinds of items go into each envelope?

Using Badlands as an example that I have just pulled from my file cabinet, I open the labeled envelope and find not only the Master Pattern, but also, I discover small sketches of the beadwork pattern used on the jacket and the experiments I made to create the faux beadwork. A deadline prevented me from
learning genuine beadwork, which is taught locally by Native American artisans who learned from their grandmothers. Neatly folded are the tracing paper template patterns I followed of various sections in the master design. There is a small practice swatch of a border quilting design I did use. Each piece serves to remind me what occurred during the process.

For current work, I will place in its envelope a sample swatch of each fabric selected & glued to a recycled shirt cardboard, and the tracing paper template from which each piece is cut from freezer paper. I do not cut up the tracing paper template because I need it to keep an accounting of what has been done. Rather I make a freezer paper copy that is cut apart to make each fabric piece. If I am interrupted by another concern, when I come back that traced pattern serves to help focus me where I need to be without spending time matching and comparing, wondering and spinning wheels. The full size master pattern is on a wall and does not come down until the work is completed. It, too, is my reference guide throughout the work.

Another bonus for keeping envelopes is I love sorting through any envelope because I will discover notes written to me so I would not forget flashes of ideas during the building of a wall hanging. Revisiting former designs provide me with reminders of possible titles I conjured up in the middle of cutting or stitching. Ideas are written on a scrap of paper or on the Master Pattern. There may also be an address or a quote I heard on the TV or radio. Who knows what I will find on any piece of documentation? Occasionally, it can be down right hilarious to see the notes I wrote to myself, which leads me to ask another question, What in the world were you thinking, Carol?

The clasp envelopes are my documentation of each work that I create. If I ever wish to piggyback from a former work and use an element in a different manner in a new work, I can open any envelope and find the starting point. I can read my notes of inspiration to cheer me forward to completion of an original idea with a different viewpoint. Or, I can be reminded of pitfalls I may have encountered along the way. Either discovery is highly useful.


alice said...

I like the clasp envelopes idea. I have used file folders. Down sides: they allow smaller items to slip out, bulky pieces make folder too fat to fit nicely with others. Thanks for sharing your method!

Anonymous said...

I love this Carol. I have a "treasure chest" that I put mine in, sometimes envelopes are in there, but I like your organization.