i only just discovered that jude hill of spirit cloth has another blog: what if where she details her experiments. surprisingly, i think these experimental pieces in themselves appeal to me even more than her finished work.

partly it's that their simplicity appeals to me aesthetically, more so than the super-elaborate layer-upon-layer approach. but, less superficially, i think it also reflects the stage that i'm at with my craft. i'm very much still serving my apprenticeship, experimenting with fabric and stitch. and while i know that experimentation never stops, there comes a point where it begins to crystalise into accomplished, coherent work, and i know i'm nowhere near that stage yet. so the more basic, unfinished, developing work appeals directly to me at an unconscious level.

i love following the work of women who have a totally different aesthetic sense to mine.
i feel that it goes some way towards protecting me from the unconscious copying we all fall prey to sometimes. something striking lodges deep inside your mind and when it re-emerges in your work you forget where it came from - until, that is, you realise everyone else is mysteriously doing exactly the same :? i tend to shy away from some of the bigger craft blogs for just that reason - particularly those that seem to share my aesthetic - for fear of my own little voice becoming overwhelmed.

and that's leaving aside the conscious copying that goes on, particularly on the commercial side. as soon as someone talented becomes successful a whole raft of copies seems to flood the market (i.e. etsy, lol). i find it hard to understand how anyone can really enjoy making totally derivative work (leaving aside the ethical issues). it's even not as though there's any money in it, surely, especially since the copyists always undercut the originators. i guess they've totally convinced themselves that being "inspired" by something and copying it with the odd tweak here and there are actually the same thing.

which brings me back to inspiration - the inspiration i draw from people like jude and shannon is as much to do with process as with product. the way they approach their work is honest and individual, it emerges organically from ideas and memories, rather than superficially, looking like something else they saw somewhere.

i'm setting out to strive for that kind of authentic voice (or at least be transparent about my sources when i am blatantly ripping off). coincidentally, it's lovely to see manda developing creatively too, and finding satisfaction in it.

inspiring women, all.