making and unmaking

Posted: June 19, 2017 by Mo Crow in Braille for the Soul, It's Crow Time
Tags: , ,

I was given this old hand stitched wedding dress to do something with… and it’s very confronting! I have never believed in marriage and don’t like wedding dresses but there is wonderful details and the heaviness of the satin in contrast with the tulle does ignite a few ideas about building castles in the air with dreams or planting it in the garden and growing a meadow of wildflowers through it… and brings to mind my fabulous sculptor friend Bronwyn Berman’s great reply to a conversation we were having via e-mail about making it in the art world;
“And what is made it or almost made it? My experience is that we make it then we unmake it. I think I’ve made it more than once but thought I hadn’t made it so kept wanting to make it, then when it had been unmade again I realised that I had made and not appreciated it, then think that really what I have now is making it then think I’m a deluded ‘has been’ who is too old to ever make it, and in any case couldn’t be bothered with too much of making it. I think we’re probably always making it, as soon as we make it the unmaking begins and when we’re unmade then we start making again.”
button detail, love the loops & the stains on the satin
hand stitching on acres of tulle for the train
unmaking this dress and transforming it into the stuff of dreams, perhaps even art will be a challenge but this is a start !

  1. THIS! is exciting!!!!! Have no idea what, but a strong sense that it will be amazing….EEEEEE!

  2. I have missed so much popping by to see your blog and as I read my email tonight your post was there and the subject line said Making and unmaking..”i was given this hand stitched wedding dress…” and so i had to look and see this post and your words of when you have made it and the begins the unmaking. Your works always resonated with me and it’s just nice to pop over and see that you are still making and loving your making. I miss all those followers of Jude. Sadly I have not blogged in over a year. I am still making and posting on FB and Instagram but I miss the blogging. I’ve been lost to the words. I hope to get back to the words with the making. I hope I get to see what you do with the dress.. i love the image of flowers growing up through the dress. I still love to stitch and paint .. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the weighty satin with all those stains and buttons. Hope you are well ..

  3. Nancy says:

    Oh my…I’d have no idea where to begin! I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  4. In India the bride wears red. Marriage is a legal contract with the State.. Relationships are dictated by individuals. This cloth has possibilities. Looking forward to your decisions.

  5. shemann says:

    working on a creation from a wedding gown myself, took me six months to cut into it, it just felt wrong or something. I wish you luck with yours

  6. beth says:

    “The long white dress of love”, as Joni Mitchell called it. “Some girl’s going to see that dress
    and crave that thing like crazy.” Much potential there for the wear and tear of marriage after the fantasy wedding day!

    • Mo Crow says:

      that’s the song that is on high rotation in my head (((Beth))) !
      this verse
      “And when I went skating after Golden Reggie
      You know it was white lace I was chasing
      Chasing dreams
      Mama’s nylons underneath my cowgirl jeans
      He showed me first you get the kisses
      And then you get the tears
      But the ceremony of the bells and lace
      Still veils this reckless fool here”
      “Song for Sharon” Joni Mitchell Hejira 1976

  7. Judy Martin says:

    OMG Mo. Everything! The first photo of the heavy beauty hanging there with the skeleton image of that big bird – my breath stopped. And then the beautiful writing about making it and unmaking it and not realizing that one had made it – well I think I have to copy that into my journal. I would just look at this symbol of dreams for a long long time and let it tell me if it needed anything further than just to be. Made. love you x

    • Mo Crow says:

      (((Judy))) Bronwyn really nailed it & yes to letting it just hang there in the dream space for as long as needed. The friend who gave it to me (she’s not sure if it’s her mother’s wedding dress, it may have been her sister in law’s mother’s dress she has to look at some photos & is happy to get it out of the house) has said she will make the first cut which is good ’cause the first cut is always the deepest
      the crow painting “A Matter of Time” is by the queen of the edge, Glenda Fell Jones

  8. coloremartine says:

    This shiny satin and soft tulle together with the bird makes me dream. I would like to know the dreams of the woman who wore this dress. I would like to paint and stitch her dreams into the soft cloth and then let her wear it again. Would she want to dance or would she be crying over tears after kisses?
    Just dreaming Mo………….this is so wonderful………….
    lucky you with such a beautyful gift. Enjoy working on it…..

  9. Hazel says:

    What brilliant ideas you are conjuring for this! I have very mixed memories of my dress, made by mom. It holds a lot of anxiety & guilt (not about K, of course!). You’ve given me the first few threads of courage in imagining remaking it. So looking forward to seeing where you take this.

    • Mo Crow says:

      (((Hazel))) am loving all the comments yet still feeling very conflicted and uneasy about it… the satin is so lush & weighty, that sort of cloth doesn’t get made any more!

  10. the dreaming, the wishing.. all those tiny buttons and loops, heavy folds of satin and the clouds of floating tulle – wow – what dizzying stuff!!!!

  11. Ah now, that’s one of my most favourite films in many respects!!!!

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