critical reading for the rude


Cross stitch is too often and too easily kitsch. What else can be done with it? You can imitate other art works. You can homage. You get a little traction from putting the bullish, violent, crass, and crude to cross stitch; but this is a relatively short-lived joke. What endures? Cross stitch renditions of Thomas Kincade (Painter of Light, you know) gingerbread cottages fit sweetly, sugar and spice. Cross stitch covers of Hellboy or Warren Zevon lyrics are incongrous in a delicious (if not sustaining) way. Kandinsky in aida cloth? Redundant! Steranko’s flexing heroes? Lin’s “Wave Field“? David Byrne’s PowerPoint experiments?

You can always work up original designs, but usually the drawings themselves are more powerful than any stitched versions. (Original design is where it’s at, really. The rest of this is almost moot.)

So what’s it good for? I was browsing through pics at NASA, and came across this one of glaciers in Bhutan:

I thought to myself, now there’s some meat for cross stitch. It’s nearly abstract, but it’s really specific too. It’s stark and fun to look at as a photo. It’s charged up. It’s a hot spot.

So now I’m not talking art so much as magic. Needlepoint as working. Fine, mindful attention, stitch by stitch in the eternal now. You work the glaciers of Bhutan, and you work them with a number of increase. There’s your kitchen witchery. A tiny act of tikkun olam.

I can’t shake the feeling that cross stitch is loaded with some kind of energy that shakes out in waves like that. You work an image, you render it, you might bleed a little bit making it, and you usually give it away.

Why do teddy bears? Why not do teddy bears? Either way, what’s your image, what’s your color count, and what’s your intent?


March 23, 2007 - Posted by | making, occult

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: