Thursday, January 19, 2012

Package project update 5

A year ago I embarked on a project to make bundles or packages every week.  I had been intrigued by reading about bundles as a popular format for early fiber artists in the 1950s and 60s, and thought it would be interesting to explore this method of working.

My rules were simple: find some stuff lying around, bundle it up, and label the package.  I had to do at least one bundle a week, but more would be OK.  The stuff could be lying around in my own home and studio, or someplace else, such as outdoors.  The only times I incorporated new material were occasionally to cut a length of thread, cord or wire to tie the bundles, although many times I could find preexisting cord lying around to do the job, such as this big wad of tangled fishline (given to me by a frustrated fisherman).

As with any daily or weekly art project, it took a little while to find my rhythm.  Some of the early packages were a bit awkward and self-conscious, but I gave myself permission to move on, knowing that they'd fade away in the large collection of better work. 

There were 53 weeks in 2011, and in 33 of them I made only one package.  In 11 weeks I made two packages.  I did three packages twice, four packages twice, five packages twice, six packages twice, and an impressive eight packages once.  Total for the year was 99 packages.

Of course, themes developed.  Many of my packages were made from packaging materials, testament to our insatiable consumer appetite for stuff, inside of other stuff.  Many packages were made from leftovers from quilts and other fiber art projects -- all those strips of batting and quilting sliced off the quilts in the final square-up, all those selvages sliced away at the start. 

Although my rules allowed stuff lying around outside, I was choosy in what I used for the project.  I didn't want my art to bring bugs and critters into the house, so I rarely used plant materials (once some acorns and maybe a nice bare stick). 

But I found ample supplies in the pencils, plastics and metal bits that litter the streets.

Travel always yields debris that makes neat little bundles.

Now that the project is over I realize I want to think about it more analytically.  I'm taking photos of every bundle, and plan to also photograph theme groupings, and hope to have everything documented and posted soon.


  1. I started following our blog in part because of these bundles. I am glad to see them again.

  2. Just this morning I found myself thinking "whatever happened to Kathy's bundles, and her cooperations?" while I was searching through my shelf. Thanks for the update on this.

  3. I'll have more to say about the bundles in the next week or so.

    The last of the collaborations has been sidetracked as both of us have been ambushed by health problems. When we manage to get ourselves together I'll bring you up to date. We're hoping to have our respective projects done to enter a show in April.

  4. I say that your blog is awesome! Happy New Year!