Knotted diamond stitches and more thoughts on beauty

I’m on my way to learning more about knotted diamond stitches thanks to Julie, Carol-Anne and Mary Corbet. Samples are below.

And I’m learning so much as I think about what people have been writing to me in response to the last post on the concept of beauty. Here is a link to view the comments. As I was listening to what was being said, I threw out some more questions in an emails to a couple of people.

How much does our training and knowledge of a field or lack thereof color our ability to see the beauty of a piece? Is that factor part of what enters into our saying ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder“?

I think about other times in history when some cultures have had very distinct formulas for what is or is not beautiful. And it seems to me at times in some cultures it has been fashionable for the artist or maker to fly in the face of those formulas. How much is our concept of beauty influenced by our own times and the culture we live in?

I loved the way Lynn’s comment already brings out some of those considerations due to her studies. If you have additional thoughts please do add them to the discussion via a comment.

Now turning to the samples on the knotted diamond stitch, it looks like more practice ahead to get better control over the knots and tension.

Trying out different widths above and below.

Couching here and in the last photo.

Testing erratic lines.

Trying out a number of threads.

4 Responses to Knotted diamond stitches and more thoughts on beauty

  1. MargB says:

    Elizabeth – the queen of the curly questions! Well here are my thoughts – I have studied neither philosophy or much art so I guess it is “where angels fear to tread”!

    As for training and/or knowledge – I feel that can be a double edged sword. The old story – the more you know, the more you know you don’t know. However without either training or knowledge I feel the response to anything can only be emotional – and I am not suggesting that is a bad thing – just different! Surely appreciation of a ‘thing of beauty” – “a work of art” – depends on emotion as much . if not more, than on knowledge or expertise.

    Do we judge our own work more critically than we would judge another’s?I think it can be very difficult to make an objective decision about the quality of one’s own work – it can be too personal, one can be too close to it or the self critic can kick in and say ‘I made this – therefore it can’t be all that good’.

    I think we have to be influenced by the times we live in whether we go with the flow or rebel against the norm. Nonetheless it is amazing how so many beautiful things have
    passed the test of time. True beauty must be timeless.

    And after all this – you make me begin to wonder what I define as “beauty” – sometimes something I can call ugly is so powerful that it has a beauty of its own – if that is possible to understand. But then we are into semantics! I do think your questions are much too difficult.

  2. MargB says:

    So busy answering questions – i forgot the important thing I wanted to say – I love the knotted diamond stitches – esp. the erratic linesand can’t wait to try them . Thankyou Elizabeth yet again!

  3. Lynne Braga says:

    Hi again,
    I agree with Marg when she says: “True beauty must be timeless.” Indeed, according to Plato, abstract qualities such as truth, goodness and beauty exist independently of our world of senses–outside time. I am reminded of the writing of C.S. Lewis in regard to this subject. First, his description of “Sehnsucht” (a German word): the “inconsolable longing” in the human heart “for we know not what…” The following from his sermon “The Weight of Glory” tells us how this longing is connected to beauty:
    “…we cannot tell it because it is a desire for something that has never actually appeared in our experience…Our commonest expedient is to call it beauty and behave as if that had settled the matter…But all this is a cheat…The books or music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not ‘in’ them, it only came ‘through’ them, and what came through was longing…For they are not the thing itself, they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.” Beautiful things, he says later, are simply the messengers that give us fleeting glimpses of what we so desperately yearn for.”
    Since this discussion came up in relation to a hobby, here is a section from Lewis’s “The Problem of Pain”: “…Even in your hobbies, has there not always been some secret attraction which the others are curiously ignorant of–something, not to be identified with, but always on the verge of breaking through, the smell of cut wood in the workshop or the clap-clap of water against the boat’s side?…”
    These excellent descriptions may be helpful, I think, in our attempts to understand our conception of beauty and the uniqueness of every person’s “secret” desires. This to me is a very important (and misunderstood) issue in our Western secular world where so many seem fascinated with and embrace morbid fantasies.

  4. MargB says:

    Linda- that is so interesting. This reminds me of a comment made by John Venard – “Happiness is an inside job!”

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