The Vitality of the Stuggle

The other night while looking for something in a box, I found several old sketchbooks/journals that I had written and drawn in throughout my twenties. I soon forgot what I was looking for as I sat down cross legged on the floor in the middle of my kitchen and poured through these relics of my past. At the time I had worked in these blank books, nothing profound or even really interesting seemed to be of note. But as, I thumbed through them so many years later, I looked back at myself from a more mature lens and realized, I was a much more interesting, and cool person than I had ever thought or felt I was at the time. Surprising to me! In one journal I had made several lists, drawings and wrote extensive passages about my plans, my thoughts on books I had read and designs with detailed notes. One entry from nearly 9 years ago stuck out, I wrote that I very much wanted to visit Peru and the Coast of Maine someday and focus on fiber arts in some capacity. I suppose I can check those off the list now.

(A photo of my new loom coming to the studio today. Each loom in my studio gets a name, an identity. This one will be called Nowy.)

This summer, Herron Clothier is experiencing it's first growth spurt. It's been nearly 3 years and things are starting to change. Today, another loom is being added to the studio for some big upcoming projects slated to begin in the coming summer months. All of which are still quite a secret and confidential, I am bursting at the seams to share. With this in mind, I take a bit of stock today. Those old journals full of lists, descriptive passages and detailed sketches, have me thinking over the the slow, steady development of my studio practice as Herron. I am reminded of something I heard earlier this week: There are two important days in a woman's life, one when she is born and the second when she figures out why.  Writer, poet and feminist Gertrude Stein wrote about the 'Vitality of the Struggle' between what is to be expressed (in written word) and what is both outside of you and inside of you.  I apply her words to the struggle of the artist, designer, craftsperson. From the time I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to devote my life to art making. The reason I was born, was to sign up for a life of unwavering devotion to truth, vision and creativity--a vital struggle indeed. The beauty of artistic pursuits is born out of ugliness, stages of under developed tries that lead to the stretching of comfort zones and an unrelenting desire to push forward despite failure.  Forming Herron and all of my artistic pursuits leading up to Herron, have been challenges that have allowed me to expand my own self definition. "A man's reach should exceed his grasp" to quote Robert Browning.  That willingness, I believe, is the foundation of the vitality of struggle. I am grateful for my failures, because if something is worth doing, it is worth doing badly first. I believe this is what Gertrude Stein meant. Cheers to failure and growth.

Happy Monday.

Herron ClothierComment