A compendium of craft masquerading as art, art masquerading as craft, and craft extending its middle finger.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Needles and Sins

Podcasts rule. I teach a couple of classes at Columbus State University, which is a two hour drive from Atlanta. Aside from burning through a bunch of dinosaurs, it gives me time to kick back, think about craft, and listen to a podcast or two. One of my favorite podcasts is Studio 360. Although the stingy bastards only give me an excerpt from each show, they make sure that the podcasts are all killer, no filler. One of their first podcasts alerted me to the existence of Ray Materson, an ex-convict who started embroidering in prison.

You read correctly. Can you imagine the stones that it takes to start embroidering in prison? Materson disemboweled a pair of tube socks to put together a jury rigged University of Michigan visor, which led to all of the commision work he could handle (the man must've had a veritable tobacco warehouse!). He's out of the joint now, and still embroidering. He's retained his predeliction for destroying gym socks, preferring their thin, elastic threads to commercially available embroidery floss. He's even written his own book, Sins and Needles: A Story of Spiritual Mending. How many references can you pack into one title? He manages to cram in heroin use, embroidery, god, and a reference to socks! That's crafty!

LINK to Studio 360 story LINK to Raw Vision article.


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