Monday, December 14, 2009

In the beginning...

...Harvard said, "Let there be theses!" And there were theses.

Seriously, though, since I'm a member of the Folklore and Mythology department, I have to write a thesis in order to graduate. But scholarly writing makes me tear my hair out, so I'm pitching a Great Artistic Work as part of my final project.

Now...I do a lot of crafts. I sew. I knit. I crochet. I quilt a little bit. And that's my specialty, too - Material Culture, specifically textiles. For the big long written part I'm planning on writing about the rise of Material Culture as folklore as a result of the decline of the oral narrative tradition, with a special focus on collaborative creation (quilting bees, sewing circles, stitch and bitches...barn raisings, if I can find someone raising a barn to talk to). So my giant project is going to have to deal with that same kind of thing.

That's where you come in. I'm planning on making a truly enormous knitted/woven/felted/appliqued wallhanging depicting motifs from fairy tales, mythology, and other items of "popular antiquity" which have to do with the textile arts. So...Sleeping Beauty pricking her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel, or the weaving battle between Arachne and Athena. And I want you all to help me. Over the next several weeks, post your favorite fiber-related folktale, legend, myth, saga, or whatever in the comments. In January, I'll do some charts and sketches for my favorites. In February you'll vote on which ones you like the best, and those will be the ones I include.

This is going to be my legacy at Harvard. And I want you all with me.