Colorado Network Project

Cheryl Rae of Sundancers, Wild Women & Dreamweavers fiber arts has just drawn my attention to a project she has just launched in her blog.

The Colorado Network Project will act as a complete resource for anyone who visits the state. It will be listing of what is happening, when and where and who to contact for further information. This deposited information applies to events, resources, and competitions in Colorado.

This is an excellent idea. Any traveler who has had the experience of arriving home jetlagged and exhausted only to hear that there was a fantastic event, exhibition, or even shop just around the corner from where you have just been knows the sinking feeling and frustration of ‘If I had known!’

This type of specialized information filtering, collection and publication is where weblogs as a genre may prove to be invaluable. Firstly information provided by government funded tourist departments and similar organizations often list large events and this is often because those events can afford to advertise. Smaller events and grass roots community groups are simply not listed because of cost.

In Australia small regional museums and galleries are often tucked away and hard to find if you do not know about them. The practice of textiles as a craft and as an art, is dominated by grassroots community groups. There is support from various government bodies for some elite members of the community but this is the tip of an iceberg. By far the mass of activity is local, self funded and hard to find out about if you do not know someone who actually lives there.

For instance here in Canberra as a local I am aware of numerous events and activities within the textile arts community but anyone passing through would have no idea of the hive of activity the place is. A weblog that keeps track of such events, places of interest and community groups is such a good idea I wish I had time to do a similar thing.

Toddles away muttering to herself it’s a good idea
Oh dear …
I might just end up stealing this idea and doing a similar thing as its too good
no don’t!
you don’t have time for it
but it’s a good idea
no don’t!
Will have to give it further thought
you are muttering to yourself
but it’s a good idea
just think how useful it would be
surely it would not take up too much time
just think it through
no don’t!
remember your promise to keep this stuff in check
you don’t have time
oh shut up!! Who is boss around here?
But it’s a good idea

National Gallery of Victoria

The National Gallery of Victoria is currently exhibiting Pins and Needles: Textile and technique from the Australian collection If there is anyone in Melbourne who has seen this exhibition I would love to hear about it. There is a review online in Craft Culture Pins and Needles: Inside the glory box of the NGV by Ramona Barry but that is all I have spotted.

Flirtatious Fans

Did you know that twirling a fan in the left hand was a warning as it ‘we are being watched’ whereas twirling it in the right meant ‘I am interested in someone else’. Yesterday I mentioned that how fans were held had a language. I thought I would expand a little on this for fans in the past have been more than costume accessories. In the Victorian period a fan opened wide sent a signal to ‘wait for me’ whereas fanning quickly meant push off as you were engaged. Of course this flirtatious language is no longer used but Jane Marie Malcolm has provided a brief article about the history of using fan positions as a method of signalling someone your intentions.

Hand held fans have a long history In Europe but they date back to ancient Egypt. See the Fan Circle International for articles on the history of fans including fans in Japan and China. Asia of course has a much longer history associated with hand held fans. Japanese prints and fans influenced western art

Fans can be made of fabric such as silk , paper, lace or vellum and wood. Bone, and horn, ivory, mother of pearl and tortoiseshell, are no longer used in the construction of fans but feathers are.

A data base of fans held at the Hampshire museum is online. The Fan Museum in Greenwich holds 3,500 fans in its collection and I wish more of it was online, it does however have a number of commissioned fans online. In their temporary exhibition section I found a small article on an exhibit of contemporary fans online. In the United states the Hand Fan Museum of Healdsburg has a few of its fans online.

The Fan Association of North America would be of interest to anyone who is interested in exploring this further as it is an organization which promotes the study of fans.

So the next time you have a look at all those stodgy Victorian paintings take a look at what position the women are holding a fan in their hands you may read the image differently from how the curator did!