Sunday, August 21, 2005

Degas and the Amorphous Mass of Kitten

I went to the Degas at Harvard exhibit this afternoon, spent only about 10 minutes in line getting in. When I got there just at 1 p.m. there was a fellow sheparding the line, passing out museum maps and answering questions. They're letting in 70 people per hour which was not a crowd in this gallery - stark contrast with the Museum of Fine Art's sense of the capacity of the Gund Gallery. Some folks were choosing to get tickets for later in the afternoon and going off to other bits of Harvard first.

The exhibit is in the first floor of the Sackler, the space is divided into 3 "rooms" within the space, and all the pieces are things already part of the Harvard collection (or on loan to the collection, not just for the exhibit). There are spots in the Fogg where they have notes up that the piece normally there is in the exhibit in the Sackler. Some of them are finished pieces, a fair number are studies for other works or drafts. What got me was that the artist signed everything, which seems to be a difference between visual artists and knitters. Are you operating thinking your swatches going to be worth money to collectors some day? He was.
I got in for free as a Cambridge library card holder, versus $7.50 admission for average joe. I can see it being worth that, particularly to a real fan. I've never really studied visual arts, so my appreciation is something I've picked up as I've gone along. It was interesting to see how he "swatched," especially all the bather studies they had collected in the back. Looked at in succession, you can see him doing the visual artist equivalent of twisting the cable the other way, or trying a different needle size, or wool vs. alpaca blend, to see how the basic idea changes in its permutations.

The kitten has its front legs and I'm now starting one of the back legs. Given my seaming skills, this is going to be an interesting animal to sew up. There are spots where they have you drop the novelty (fuzzy) yarn and use a second strand of wool held with the first, and I've been using a gray tweed. This kitten will be interesting when it felts.

I made a lot more progress on the French Market Bag, once I figured out my color sequence to use up scraps. So far, I'm out of red, I'm about to run out of purple (yes, there are two different purples, the bottom one is more blue) and from there I will probably continue the green (way too much left to be able to use that up) and make the top part solid yellow.
I had someone tell me yesterday I could sell these and make money. Aside from it being not my pattern and you just don't sell work from a pattern you haven't originated, I didn't ask her how much she'd be willing to pay.... So I can't tell you how much less than the cost of materials, let alone time, that price would be.

And in a side note, I've switched counter services, so the numbers are restarting. I'm curious to know how many people are coming by and how they find me. I'll let you know how it works.

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