Sunday, October 31, 2010

Placemat and Potholder Observations

If it's 8" x 8" and could be mistaken for a potholder, mount it on painted gallery wrapped canvas. Everyone knows it's supposed to be hung on the wall. If it has a binding and is displayed flat on a table, confusion begins and the conversation will go something like this:

"Oh, isn't this pretty." "Thank you."

Can I wash it?" "You could wash it, but it's painted with acrylics, so you could run a lint roller over it to remove dust."

Is it a potholder? "No. It's a small Art Quilt"

Can I put a casserole on it?" "You could if you'd like to, but most people frame Art Quilts this size."

"Oh. It's an Art Quilt."

If it's 5" x 7" piece, give it more presence. Quilt a 9" x 12" background, attach the piece to the background, and add some hanging tabs to the back. Explain that it can be hung easily by putting flat head thumbtacks through the tabs or that it can be framed. Quilters will understand that it's a small quilt, and for others it's still in the placemat size range, but big enough to get it off the dinner table. The conversation then ends with:

"Wow. That's easy."

"Yes. You can take it home and pop it on the wall."

When having visitors in the studio, it's been fun and interesting to observe the reactions to various sizes of artwork. It's a learning experience for both parties. When I make the really little guys, 3" x 5", I put them on a greeting card. Packaged with an envelope in a clear bag, everyone knows they're a greeting card. "Whew."