lately I’ve been thinking and talking to people about the differences between small-scale manufacturing and one of a kind pieces. mostly as relates to clothing, of course, but it translates into other objects.
in considering this, I looked back over some objects I made in college. they are beautiful things, three books and two dolls, all layered with meaning and personal depth…each photograph or collage in the books recalls a state of being for me. the dolls were made before the books, and using techniques I no longer totally recall how to do- they are a combination of paperclay (an air-dry clay) fabric, and paint. for the face and hands the fabric has been smoothly glued onto the sculpted clay using a miniature heated iron. the bodies are stuffed over a wire armature, and the shoes and hair are sculpted clay. the clothes were sewn onto the figures so they would drape perfectly.
the books and the dolls are related. they speak of a way of working when the process was so important, so involved with the doing, that it’s exhibited in every fold and stroke.
now I mostly make things that are reproduced- even on the small scales that they are, they need to carry an idea more than a sense of process.
it’s a different kind of thing…where the idea, the design, is more important than the object, and it has to show through the object even when it’s no longer the only.
I don’t buy art- my walls are bare, and paintings I have made live elsewhere.
Sometimes I buy design, but infrequently. teapots, a chair, apple products.
but if I were to buy art, it would be things reminiscent of vemeer…beautiful, labor-intensive small objects, unreproducible things.obje