My apologies to all the fiber arts majors

brick house fiber art

When I was in art school, getting my graphic design degree, I remember being jealous of all the other majors in the building: the ceramicists, the jewelers, the printmakers, the industrial designers — each with their uniquely messy and tactile studio/workshop spaces scattered around the building. I was equally jealous of the architecture students whose building was joined to ours by an enclosed bridge. The sole exception in all this was the fiber majors. The designer in me could at least understand those who were at the pattern-design end of things. But the fiber artistes left me utterly envyless. I never even paid a visit to their floor of the building! Much less took a class. I can remember seeing their senior shows in the little gallery near the entrance — lots of abstract woven things on giant looms, is how I remember it — and thinking really enlightened things like “What is the point of this?” and “This is the 90s, not the 70s!” Poor uptight little me.

Now, if you’ve been reading this blog you know I did a lot of macramé as a kid and now have a renewed interest in hairy purses and other “practical” applications, but it’s about 98% nostalgia-based. I still can’t look at a fiber-art piece like the one seen above — in the home of Morgan Satterfield (of the supremely envy-inducing Brick House blog) — and appreciate it in any remotely non-ironic way. But I can appreciate it in an ironic way! I mean, that is a specimen. So that’s progress, right?

But my point here is that I fantasize sometimes about going back to art school, spending more time soldering and sawing, and less sitting in sterile computer-design classrooms. And you can guess which department I’d most like to set up camp in. Mm hm, the one with all the fiber.

Me and my wasted youth.


(Photo by Morgan Satterfield)

11 thoughts on “My apologies to all the fiber arts majors

    • Unfortunately, I was just never cut out for school. But I’m at a point where I like taking random classes in stuff. Took an upholstery class a couple of years ago, and am perusing various weaving classes. I’m surrounded by pottery studios where I live, and have every intention of getting back into it soon. But anything with a syllabus and a final is not for me.

  1. well, I was one of those majors at art college, (I did woven textile design and fashion) and I have to say, that even though I loved every single moment of messiness with yarn, I sometimes look back and think,
    ‘if only I had done ______ at college’
    the blank space gets filled up with something new every week (for a while it was botanical illustration !) I too was deadly envious of other departments – you are not alone in having this feeling.
    One thing I must say though is the only thing I have never stopped doing since leaving college (nearly 20 years ago) is knitting and taking photos, so quietly underneath it all I am very pleased with myself ;)

    love your blog btw,

  2. Pingback: Ethel Mairet’s yarn specimens «

Comments are closed.