I have owned a sewing machine for more than 20 years, and I’ve only used it a handful of times. I don’t know how to sew, but on occasions when I’ve needed to hem something or mend a tear I’ve preferred to hand sew the item. I’ve always found the action of stitching to be meditative.
Only recently have I discovered that “slow stitching” is a thing, a movement. Now I’m fascinated. Slow stitching is an antidote to the chaos of modern life for anyone who is interested in slowing down the pace of their life. A mindfulness practice based in simple stitching by hand with an emphasis on sustainable materials, reuse of old materials and rhythm.
And so, in addition to my digital photography work, my intention is to create life balance by incorporating what I will call “slow art” into my practice. One of a kind cyanotype prints on paper and fabric are a natural outgrowth for me as I move in this direction because they are one of the oldest photographic processes. Slow stitching on recycled fabrics and fabric cyanotypes will be a new learning experience for me and I’m looking forward to the journey.
Above is my first slow stitch project. One evening I dyed some white sashiko thread in some red wine. I found an old piece of cotton in my rag bag and started stitching. When I “finished” I thought, let’s spray some water on the thread and see how the wine will leach out into the fabric. The stitches are imperfect as is the stain, but I think the piece is beautiful - wabi-sabi!