A mess is just another creative opportunity

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Every now and then the mess of fabric in my studio gets out of hand and I have a hard time finding anything - scissors, pins, rulers, the iron, last months bills. It is especially irritating when I'm in the throes of creating an artwork and I know there is this scrap of fabric that would be perfect, if I could only find it. 

So, I decide to clean it all up. I try to organize the pieces by sizes and colors, though not very carefully - I have quite a lot of very mixed up scraps. At least I get it all into my baskets and can start fresh. But this can take a awhile, and not necessarily because there is so much to clean up. 

The real problem is that I can't stop creating. 'Oh look at this piece!' I'll say to myself again and again, 'There's a nice mountain (or sunset, cliff, rock, etc.)'. And soon I am combining pieces into new artworks, right on the floor.

Fab scraps1

I usually pick up the largest pieces of fabric first and work my way down to the tiniest scraps. I tell myself I need to get rid of some of these smaller scraps. I may decide a piece is just too bland or has something about it that isn't going to work, like some sort of grid-like pattern or a large, straight line running through it - anything I'm fairly sure I won't want in my artworks. And then it comes down to size. But how tiny is too tiny? Some of my artworks are only 2 x 3 inches. Do I keep it all? No, it's too much. After doing this for nearly 20 years, I have had to let go of many of my scraps or my entire studio would be nothing but fabric storage. Still, I have to decide.

Here's a very tiny scrap, but I saw possibilities ...

Fab scraps2

Here's another one ...

Fab scraps4

The last few bits I am pondering over.

Fab scraps3

Eventually, I manage to get through it all. I'm sure I keep more fabric than is necessary but so far I have (just) enough room. 

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keb@kebrown.com (707) 223-3037           © Kimberlee Ellen Brown 2016