Eclectic Threads

Welcome to the first blog from Strands of Common Thread.  I look forward to sharing stories behind my work and how my artistic work links with my own spiritual journey.  I begin with the prologue.

As I note in my artist’s statement, most of my professional life has been as an academic criminologist.  I taught criminology and criminal justice for more than 20 years, before changing my professional path to one in labor negotiations.  I recently left the work of labor negotiations after six and one half years and, after a short sabbatical, will begin work in interdisciplinary health with a focus on holistic health.

No matter what my professional career, creativity has been a staple in my life.  Indeed, at times, it has been a real life-saver.  Working through my doctoral oral examinations, I created a quilt for myself, made out of 960 2” x 5” pieces of cotton fabric.  That well-worn quilt is on my bed yet today.  I have always had a designated space in my home for my creativity; at times, just a small table, today a small area in my basement.

I have explored a wide variety of art mediums, including drawing, painting, collage, sculpture and ceramics.  I have always been drawn to the power of words and incorporated words in much of my art work.  In late 2007, I was seeking a way to get words onto fabric, and in January 2008, took my first printmaking course, and found my artistic niche.

While I found my niche, it continues to have an eclectic bent, as my work transcends any one particular style.  Most important to my art work is that it expresses something central to my own core and will likely tap into another person’s core – the as-yet unknown owner of the piece.

Why Strands of Common Thread?  My emphasis on the thread stems from two sources.  The first is Mark Nepo, who shares the story “The Work of the Worm,” in his book “As Far As the Heart Can See.”  In that Ojibway story, we learn about the role of the worm in weaving the web that connects all life:  “For the worm was not clever or brilliant, but simply devoted to being and doing what it was put here to do: to inch through the earth, spinning from its guts a fine thread that holds everything together.”

The second influence is from emma’s revolution, in their song “Same Rain”: “In a many colored garden we are growing side by side.  We will rise all together, we will rise.  …In our many colored fabrics made from strands of common thread, we will rise all together, we will rise.”

emma’s revolution helps me see the interconnectedness of all things and “The Work of the Worm” helps me see that connectedness as well as tap into the importance of being and doing what I was put here to do.

Strands of Common Thread represents the place in me where I work to express my most authentic self and to allow beautiful work to move through me into the world.

Posting on this year’s solstice, anticipating the return of longer days, may all of us be open to more opportunities to observe the light glistening off the many threads that connect us.

Stay tuned for the next chapter.

Peace, Sue