Thursday, December 14, 2006

I have updated my Picturetrail site with a new album entitled Works for Sale in an attempt to raise some funds for my forthcoming journeying.Whilst I did get a grant from Ozquilt for which I am very grateful it only goes part of the way to funding the travels of an exhibition. I think this will really be my last time that I do this as it impacts on my family quite heavily not only in terms of money ( because often I have to meet the difference out of my own pocket and in this case I had not quite budgeted how enormous the airline taxes would be or the cost of the forced stopover in Dubai) but also in time. I am away for weeks sometimes months at a time and it takes its toll and my family is still young and I feel has suffered as a result this year.There is also lace work for sale on my Seriously Textile blog .The funding has never run into covering a curating fee, and I don't think there are many quilt curators who actually get a fee, at least none I know of.I enjoy the work but there is a lot of things to do and things to follow up.

I do hope that any of you at a loss of what to do in January, and you are down south that you will join us in fun workshops at Samson Hill Winery which hopefully will raise a bit of funds after paying the teachers and materials. We had a meeting yesterday to brainstorming a few more ideas.All you have to do is pay the workshop fee, bring yourself and we do the rest.The workshops on 10 and 17 January 2007 will definitely go ahead.

I think part of a real problem in the quilting community is that many people think, things come for free. And there are many sharing and giving blogs and websites and groups in real life- however there is an awful lot of work that goes into these things ( just ask anyone who has been on an exhibition committee for a group), and ultimately if no money is forthcoming for bringing great quilts halfway across the world to share, or to share information in a class situation we will end up not having these things. Whilst the internet is great for showing lots of things , it is not the same as seeing some of the wonderful textile work in the flesh.We complain that we are not considered art, that we are at the bottom rung of the echelon , but in a way we are our own worst enemies- good things cost money- that is the way the world is. Friendship in groups is free, and that is why the quilting community is wonderful, but whilst many people are willing to pay out a lot of money for products and the latest gimmicks ,few are willing to support the endeavours of people who try and share the work of some of our exciting artists and add to the experience of viewing textiles. Why is it,that quilting artists always exhibit for no prizes apart from a number of big events ( because it supposedly adds to the stature of the exhibition not to have prizes) have to pay for lots of shipping but rarely receive a benefit of any kind unless they are lucky enough to sell a piece, and if you are really lucky you get to pay entry fees and don't get selected! . For example if you have a photo of your quilt used in a magazine other than a quilting magazine you get paid ( and covers of science magazines can commandd up to $500)- when was the last time a quilt artist got paid to be on the cover of a quilt magazine or indeed to be included in a quilt book? Yes you sometimes are sent the book or magazine ( not always) but you don't get paid. That is fine to a point, because it does promote your work but ultimately the magazine does make a living from its endeavour why should not the artist? Most other professionals get paid for these things as a matter of course. It is time that we do the same for our quilting arists.


Anonymous said...

Well said. It is going to be an uphill struggle, but I think it will be very worthwhile. I am constantly surprised when other quilters feel I charge too much for my work and time. I feel I underchage :)I think the only price some people want to pay is nothing.

joyce said...

At the risk of sounding like a women's libber, it's probably because most quilters are women and what they do is relegated to the puttering around in your spare time category. Part of the problem is that many quilters have this opinion of themselves. I have to confess that I am guilty myself. I don't really aspire to being professional with my quilting and therefore don't often think of money in connection with quilting, except when I go to buy thread!

Anonymous said...



Relate to the volunteer nature of show and exhibition, in a past life I was a member of and Art group and on hanging committees all without recompence.

I hope you raise your fund, I so admire you fertile imagination, and your make such beautiful qullts.

downunderdale said...

couldn't agree more, Dijanne. it's even worse when your article appears without ackowledgement and certainly no money


leanne beasley said...

Laugh laugh laugh!!! My Mum recently met a lady who follows all my work and said to her after seeing my latest book, "It must be wonderful having a wealthy daughter." Mum couldn't help herself and burst out laughing.

I am slowly learning it is up to us as designers to start being more professional as a business, if we don't we simply will not be around!

I have recently put in place a contract letter for teaching.(Would be happy to email it to you if you like) I also work out what I will do for charity each year (if I don't set a limit I just keep saying yes!).

I LOVE what I do. I am blessed to be able to do what I do. If I don't charge for what I do I will not be able to do it. I tell myself this ALL the time.

Felicity said...

I'd love to be able to put my money where my mouth is and buy from the wonderful artists I've discovered through blogging, maybe in the future, but I can't right now. I agree, there is an element of expectation that patterns should be free and copying is perfectly fine. Perhaps it is because art quilting is a relatively new genre and many quilters only discover it once they get into traditional quilting? Art quilts are rarely seen unless you know where to find them, they are hard to stumble across accidently.

Joining the QA list was the worst thing I did as a quilter - seeing how the big names squabble like children caused me to lose respect for it in general save for the few, like yourself, who are real artists and behave professionally. Certainly if that is the state of quilting in the US, things need to improve drastically and fast.

Kristin La Flamme said...

When I worked as a graphic designer, the profession was banding together to fight "spec work." This is where several design firms are approached to come up with ideas (the toughest and most creative part of the job) and then the client chooses, and ultimately pays for, the prefered design (and usually tries to incorporate an idea or two from the other designers).
The practice of producing work on spec devalues the real work of the designers which is the formation of ideas and concepts unique to the client's needs, just as expecting to be able to publish quilts and articles or display work for free devalues our work as textile artists. Hopefully as the art quilt profession matures, more artists will band together and demand recognition monetarily as well as publicly, which will add to the value of our work and prove that it is not just female "puttering."