Stewardship: Day 26

The final Quaker Testimony in the acronym SPICES is Stewardship. When I first hear this word, of course, I think of money. The proper use of the money intrusted to us as stewards of resources is of course an important aspect of this word. But what about time…or talents…?

I began this 100 Day Challenge close to a month ago because I was concerned about how I was stewarding my time. I have only been given so much time in each day. How can I best use the time I have to achieve the vision I hold in my mind’s eye? I now feel fairly confident that it takes almost no time at all to remain “up to date” on the latest goings on in the world. I do not need to plumb the depths of each tragedy or outrage to understand how I should respond to achieve my vision.  If I see to make a world of justice, mercy and love, I can do plenty to assist justice here in my own county, Hays County, without having given hours of my life to read news articles!

“Did you know…?” says someone,

“No, but I can imagine…” I say. And almost always, I am telling the truth.

This film about Carlos Barrantes, titled Darkroom Masters, Carlos Barrantes, Artist and Artisan has made me wonder about the importance of this distinction.  As a Master Tailor (someone who apprenticed with another Master Tailor) I have long considered myself an artisan, skilled at a particular set of skills that produces a design effect but not necessarily an artist. Two years ago I realized that the distinction I was making was silly, one not being made by others, a product of my inner critical voice.  Carlos is a photographer, which he sees as his identity as an artist.  He is also a printmaker and when he prints the photographs of others, he sees himself as an artisan. This makes sense because he is focused on using all his skill to interpret the artistic vision of someone else and won’t let his own artistic vision interfere.  The use of the word artist to mean “skill in the creative arts” was first recorded in the early 1600s. This is so interesting because it places it as an Enlightenment word.

It all makes sense to us now to take the thing you do and put the word “ist” on the end, but as the history of the word scientist shows, it was a near thing. It could have been “er” easily enough since  the prior term was Natural Philosopher and so we could have Biologers and Geologers.

On the creative front….
I have purchased a 15″ plastic owl, the type used to fend off annoying birds, so that I can practice covering a shape with fabric shapes. I won’t use the scallop I designed for the Mermaid statue, a feather shape seems more appropriate. I can “feather” the edges of these lozenge shapes to make them resemble feathers and to make it easier to flatten the scraps over the details of the plastic statue.

I am going to print small sheets of my San Marcos textile patterns on an ink jet printer that has high quality inks. This won’t produce the same result as a textile printer, which uses dyes instead of inks, but once I coat the whole little statue in polyurethane, the wash fastness of the inks will no longer be an issue.

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