Friday, 16 October 2009

Rant about agism

My mother in law sent a link to a Woman’s Hour segment, because she knows I’m interested in embroidery. Perhaps I’m just showing my age, but I do get a bit grumpy when people talk about a ‘new generation’ making embroidery exciting. IMHO, these people are just expressing their ignorance of embroidery and other arts and crafts in general. I’m not an expert on embroidery (just an enthusiast), but I know people of all ages are innovating, and also following well established paths. And they aren’t mutually exclusive groups.


It didn’t help my mood when Twisted Threads (who did the excellent quilt show this summer) sent out a picture of happy people at the Knitting and Stitching Show who all looked younger than me. It’s great to see them enjoying the event, but I can’t help thinking the image excludes a lot of older people who also had a great time there.


One of the great things about handicraft is that age doesn’t matter. I remember an embroidery kit I did as a child, a paint pony and stylized sun on light green canvas. Straight stitch and satin stitch in big, chunky threads; simple, effective. No idea where it is now, but I still enjoy the memory. And I fully intend to enjoy embroidery for the rest of my life. Maybe I’ll even get good at it!


But before I sound too negative, I do have to agree with what Ms Gardiner said on Woman’s Hour- I’m not interested in debates about art, I just want to embroider and enjoy other people’s work as well. As a guild member, I ought to be more concerned about promoting embroidery, but thinking like that makes my brain hurt. I don’t really want to argue a point; I want to play with string.
starting rings
At the moment, that means wrapping plastic rings from drinks bottles.
The plan is to use them on a larger fabric piece for the embroidery
display this spring, pulling together lots of scrap fabrics, but all generally red.



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