The Terror in Creating

The Terror in Creating

Terror.  That’s a word they never mentioned in art school.

Color theory, art history, figurative drawing, these were all pre-requisites; considered the very foundation of any good education in the arts.

Terror?  Fear? Not so much.  Neither of those words or any words like that, were ever uttered.

And yet… who doesn’t feel fear and even terror, at some point, when creating?

As children, we run headlong, without thinking, without concern, without fear, and we create.  Using mud and sand and sticks and our fingers. We don’t pause and reconsider.  We don’t think – but maybe this isn’t a good idea.  Yet somewhere along the way we learn to be fearful. We learn that being creative opens us up to criticism, anger, even rage and perhaps violence.  Suddenly what came naturally to all of us, no longer feels natural.  We tell ourselves that we aren’t “creative types”.  And yet, I would argue that we are born creative.

Every. Single. One. Of. Us.

Creating doesn’t have to be on paper, it can be an idea, a vision, a way of thinking.  Each of us has a unique mind, shaped by our experiences, our interactions, what we love, our passions, where we were born, the families we were born into, the land upon which we were raised.

So where does this terror come from?

Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of rejection, fear, fear, fear.  We are taught to be “sensible”.  We are taught to not “dream too big”. We are taught to not “waste time”.  We are taught that to create is a luxury.  But what if what we were taught is wrong?

Moving through fear, even terror is one of the most exhilarating, transcendent things I’ve ever experienced.  It is what connects me to other human beings. It is what connects me to my creativity.  It bonds, unites, and can bring me to my knees.  It’s what causes me to rediscover the unadulterated beauty and joy of my innocence, that exquisite time before I learned to feel fear.

If any of this resonates with you, consider enrolling in my new workshop: Finding Your Voice where we will use various prompts, words, exercises and even stitching to break though our fears and find ourselves in our work.

 

This Just In: New Workshops for 2022!

This Just In: New Workshops for 2022!

A little humor first thing in the morning is like a little gift of joy.  So I was thrilled when my friend sent me this video.  Too funny and exactly the sort of thing my mother used to send to me.  She would have loved this.  This one’s for you Mom.  Please know this is silly and meant to be funny.  If you don’t find it so, move right along.

In other news, my new workshop line up for 2022 is up on my website!  If you’d like to take a look, click ‘here‘.  I’ve added a couple new workshops that also have both fabric kits AND thread kits that will be a lot of fun.  Both the Dorset Button Scissor Case and the Dorset Button Glasses Case workshops have both fabric and thread kits that can be purchased when signing up for the class.  These kits are only available to those who sign up for the workshop.

An Example of the Scissor Case Fabric kit

Another Fabric Kit for the Dorset Button Scissor Case Workshop.  Notice the little mirrors!

One more Scissor Case Fabric Kit

Scissor Case Thread Kit

And here are a couple of examples of the Dorset Button Glasses Case fabric kits, which include two different linens for the main case and the appliqued “wave”, a cotton lining and and a microfiber lining that is specifically for using with glasses, the wool for the shapes and a fleece interfacing.

Example of the Dorset Button Glasses Case Fabric Kit

Another Glasses Case Fabric Kit

And here are the threads for the Dorset Button Glasses Case. Aren’t they beautiful?!

And then there’s The Basics Workshop, which is really for those who are somewhat new to all of this.  We begin with the basics, literally.  We discuss needles and thread, thread weights, and the different types of fabrics one can stitch on. I’ve put together lots of really beautiful kits for that workshop, which has everything, literally everything that you will need for the workshop, including needles, the wool applique threads, embellishing threads in 8 wt, 5 wt, AND 3 wt as well as a skein of Stef Francis’ Texture Selection and so much more.  I also added lots of fun things to play with, ribbons, beads, different types of fabrics, dupioni silk, my own hand dyed silk velvet and other things in lots of different colorways!  Here are just a few of them.

The Basics Kit

The Basics Neutral

And finally I managed to make my favorite cookies: Ginger Cookies, not to be confused with Ginger Snaps.  These are chewy and fabulous.

Ginger Cookies, which everyone in my family said they didn’t care for, but I made them anyway and they all changed their minds!

Here’s to changing our minds, savoring new things and enjoying one another.

❤️

 

This Too Is Grief

This Too Is Grief

Stitch, put on the design wall, evaluate, consider, take down, add a new element, stitch, put back up on the design wall, take a photograph, consider, have an idea, take down, thread up a new color, take a chance, take a risk, take a breath, stitch and then the tears arrive.  Not a few drops at a time, but a torrent soaking the fabric and the thread I’ve just stitched.  In the midst of this I briefly wonder whether the thread colors will bleed. They say grief comes in waves.  The threads don’t bleed, I’ve learned.  At least not yet.  Stitch anyway.  Stitch through the grief.

It catches you off guard.  That’s the thing.  That’s what makes it hard.  It’s unpredictable. Erratic.  The violence of it when it arrives, unannounced, suddenly, swiftly; how do you prepare for that?

You can’t.

“How are you?” people ask.  I’m surprised because I’m just fine.  I’m busy, I’m working, I’m teaching, my old energy levels are returning, they aren’t back to what they were, but really, I’m just fine! 

“I know you had a strong bond with her” or “I know how close you two were”  or “I know…”  And the pain slams into me, taking my breath away. No, I’m just fine, I think, but I’m not.  I’m not fine.  I’m grieving.

Pat Pauly and Inspiration

Pat Pauly and Inspiration

First things first… Pat Pauly!  I just posted my interview with Pat Pauly on my YouTube channel.  For those of you who may not be familiar with Pat, she is a brilliant, multi-talented artist, who also hand paints and dyes fabrics that she sells on her website, is a sought after teacher and does the most beautiful art quilts.

Pat’s hand dyed linens are what I’ve been using exclusively for my latest improvisational stitching pieces.  They are unlike, and far superior to anything I’ve found anywhere else and are endlessly inspiring.

My improvisational stitching using Pat Pauly’s hand dyed linens.

 

Improvisational Stitching piece using Pat Pauly’s hand dyed linens and inspired by my Africa trip.

If these pieces are interesting to you, you should consider enrolling in my Improvisational Stitching Class, which meets for 5 consecutive Saturdays beginning Saturday, September 25th.  In this workshop I cover the elements of design, use of color, incorporating other elements into the background, using things that inspire us and making them apart of our work, creating abstract as well as representational elements into a piece, finding which threads and stitches to use to create different effects and so much more.

https://arianezurcher.com/workshop/improvisational-stitching-2/

 

Working & a Working Studio

Working & a Working Studio

Wait, what???

I know, I know. You’re wondering if you stumbled upon the wrong blog. You’re thinking – what has she done? Where are all her beautiful threads that I so covet? What’s going on around here?

Never fear. My threads, and everything else hand stitching related, are all, somewhat, neatly stacked on the floor out of view and then not so neatly shoved into various corners, like just to the left of my sewing machine.

It kind of reminds me of Santorini where there’s one view that one can capture by photograph that is exquisite and magical and just beyond beautiful, like a fairy tale, really.

But then, if you turn just a little, you get a very different view where things aren’t quite so glistening and white, there’s garbage, the houses aren’t all pristine, and the land isn’t landscaped, but rugged and without flowers.

That’s what my studio looks like right now. There’s only one shot where everything is neat and tidy. Everything else is pretty haphazard.

The reason for all of this is that I’m taking a 2-day workshop with my friend, Pat Pauly, who is fabulous and a really wonderful teacher! I’m not much of a quilter, so this is definitely a stretch for me, but I love her work and she’s pretty terrific, so here I am, preparing for her workshop, which will begin in just a couple of hours.

Pat Pauly is also the one who sent me this piece of linen, which I’m working away on…

Wish me luck!

❤️