Many years ago now I stumbled across the website of the Motawi Tile Works and fell in love with their work. They make art treasures with tile. At that time (late 1990's I think?) I had been asked by a friend to make her a traditionally hooked top for a pillow. I wrote to the Motawi Tile Works and asked for their permission to use their design "Ladybell." Graciously, they granted it. I went off to rug camp in Connecticut and with help from Nancy Miller, my teacher at that camp, produced this pillow top. My friend loved it.
In my experience, artists will often give permission to use their designs, when asked. Not every time perhaps, but more often than not. It makes me sad when people use photos without permission, or copy designs without permission and without attribution. I'm grateful that the Motawi folks gave me permission to recreate this design in wool. I'm also grateful to great teachers, like Nancy Miller, who walked me through the process of translating this design from a hard ceramic surface to a soft woolen pillow top.
In the past, like many people, I've sometimes been anxious about wanting keep "my" things close--"my" information, "my" designs--and hope I've learned about generosity from the many artists and teachers who've shared their work and their knowledge and skills with me. When we respectfully check in with others to ask their permission and they grant it, I think we are all enriched. Designs can then be passed on, to be altered and augmented by new artists. Knowledge can then be passed on, to be updated and renewed or recreated by the students who receive it. It's how we all grow. In no way am I saying we can't be original; only that, to be original, we need the help of others.
"I invent nothing. I rediscover." (Auguste Rodin)
I'm a textile artist (traditional rug hooking, punch needle rug hooking, and other textile arts), a long-time meditator, a certified meditation teacher and coach, and focused on learning about the interplay of art, creativity, and mindfulness every day.
SITES TO WATCH:
Insight Meditation Society
Oxford Rug Hooking School
Zentangle: The Official Site
Green Mountain Rug Hooking
Massachusetts Tarot Society