Saturday, March 29, 2014

- Quotidian cloth: Kitchen Towel mending and making

My frustration level is rising as I try repeatedly to get decent photography of my running stitch kitchen towel. The main problem seems to be that the colors of the needlework and ground linen are too subtle by half to be captured by the camera (which is why I like them, of course). Less subtle colors photographs just fine, as this patched repair on a worn towel shows. The patch is 1 1/8" high by 7/8" wide, indigo dyed cotton on a linen-cotton ground photographed in indirect sunlight, and the colors are true.


By way of contrast, here is one of the "better" shots of the cotton on linen towel details which almost gets the color right, but still leaves much to be desired. There are dozens more shots taken over the past few days that aren't even close to usable and the photo editing programs just make a bad situation worse.



I suppose there could be some sort of contemplative lesson to be learned from the photographic challenge, but it escapes me at the moment. In any case, also to be answered is the question Don asked when I first began the project:
"Why a kitchen towel?"
After all, what gets less respect, more abuse? Why spend the time and effort to hemstitch a towel, then add to it the creative energy of choosing stitch patterns and colors, deciding on stitch length and the width between rows of running stitch? Why bother with something that will ultimately disintegrate? Indeed, once the towel was finished, I had to keep reassuring Don that it was okay to use it. But from the start, the answer was obvious to me:
"Because of all the things I could make, this will be a a day-to-day presence during the meals that are such an important part of our lives. We will be able to touch it and enjoy it up close, not just peer at it imprisoned behind glass on a wall." 
In other words, because it is quotidian.

Now if I could just take the pictures to make that manifest ...

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