On Friday I realized it was exactly nine months until my 50th birthday (step one: put it in print) and knew that I couldn't let the opportunity pass to work on a project in honour of that. So I'm saying I got pregnant with an idea on Friday, but like any fledgling idea or cluster of cells, it's not always immediately clear what that might turn out to be.
I knew that I wanted it to be a durational project, something that I would work on throughout the next nine months, and I knew it had to have significance for the occasion. After talking with the ladyfriend, I realized that making the Turkish Coat from Folkwear Patterns would actually fit the bill. I could engage in a textile-based project that would ultimately be both an artwork and wearable. (Please note - I'm not talking about what some call "wearable art" or "art to wear." We can talk about my (probably misguided) distinctions later.)
The Turkish coat can be worked in sections, has options for hand (or machine - not my thing) quilting or trapunto, and can utilize various materials, which lends itself to all kinds of possibilities. I haven't decided on fabrics yet except that I want to line the coat in silk and embroider words and phrases that are meaningful to me on it.
I'm thinking of the coat as something that will bring me to my birthday, something that I can use to meditate on the significance and perhaps the, uh, let's say insecurities I may be experiencing. I'm also looking at it as something that will protect and comfort me, guiding me through the next 50 years (yeah, that's right - at least 50 years!).
Stay tuned for progress reports.