Saturday, December 28

today in the studio ... stencils

Well, today the studio is my dining-room table.  I picked up a set of vintage brass stencils. I'm doing some low-contrast gray-on-gray
stenciling that will get washed, stitched on, and defaced in other ways then put on clothes and maybe bags. I'm playing. We'll see where it goes. Hopefully I won't end up making Secret Lentil prison jumpers.

I'm also dyeing some shirts and some linen yardage, so the day consists of running up and down the cellar stairs and washing my hands eight thousand times. aka, fun.

p.s. Iron? What is an iron?

Wednesday, December 25

the sale gets bigger.

What's this? Secret Lentil sale update - everything online is now 40% off - use discount code "FORTY" when you check out. Ends 12/31

Monday, December 23

today in the studio ... meditative freeform stitching, study in gray

Thursday, December 19

a big sale, then a bigger sale

So — hello. I'm having a big sale.

On ... everything. It's ... you know, just ... one of those fussy artist things. I'm ready to stir things up a bit. It's time. With other artists whose paths I admire I look forward to those moments when they flip their tables over, leave some old ways — even good ones — and forge ahead into the unknown. I hope you do too! These shifts used to terrify me, but I've been doing this for long enough now that I can skip right to excitement phase. This week I started working on a special collection of work — complexly layered, hand-dyed, with hand-stitching — but honestly those words don't really start to cover it. I guess I'm not ready to put it into words yet. But in a few weeks I'll have the first collection ready to share with you. I. Can't. Wait.

In the meantime, scoop up what's online now. It probably won't be available after this sale, depending on where I fall on the Helen Impetuousness Scale at that time! So:

From now until December 25th:
everything on is 30% off.

Then from December 26th through 31st:
everything that's left is 40% off.

• So right now use discount code THIRTY when you check out.
• Then from December 26th through 31st use discount code FORTY.

onward and upward — helen

Tuesday, December 10

the making of a 37-inch ubersleeve ...


the experience of show prep represented by a single image


Friday, December 6

good tension

Among the many awkwardnesses of making one-of-a-kind work is the need to seal my website shut while I am at a show in real life, as I'm doing today. It violates every fear-based business rule in the book. It goes against our instant access why-didn't-someone-return-my-email-in-three-minutes modern reality.

There is so much fear lurking under the perceived need to have people's attention constantly, to have what they need at the exact moment they need it. And there is so much false scarcity built into our consumerism - so much that sometimes it's hard for me to feel sincere talking about the real scarcity that naturally rises out of my slow, deliberate, artisan building of things one at a time. Just finding a website that will work with unique pieces was a challenge - I have to do a stupid amount of tweaking that someone who sells crates of generic widgets never has to think about. 

But honestly I love the way my work creates some strain with that other sleek unforgiving world. It's good to not fit in, even though there's some resulting awkwardness. It's good tension. Now that I've done this whole weird making-dog-and-pony-show-life for as long as I have it's harder to scare me. I've looked into the pit of fear, the pit of not-enough, the pit of I-will-lose-them, and learned that the lesson is: don't look into that pit.

So I'll be off this weekend chatting with people about my clothes, right in real life, in a crammed craftshow booth with a tiny dressing room stuffed in the corner. They will try some things on, we'll hoot and laugh and have fun and if all goes well I'll send them on their way with a bag full of Secret Lentil. Then I'll come back here, open back up and carry on. The world won't end. Ebb and flow, people, ebb and flow.