This is Week #7 of my Power Builders creative links. If you’d like to see last week’s, you can find it here.
I call this series “Power Builders” because that’s what these little items do for me. They make me more powerful in my art and in my life. I hope they do the same for you. Some of the links will be about how other creative people use their time, structure their work, find inspiration. Some may be videos, music, or podcasts to inspire you. Some of it will be directly quilt-related but much of it will not. What you see in Power Builders will depend on what I find. Feel free to link great things in comments, too.
1) Do you still write personal letters? Take a look at some fascinating letters from artists and designers to friends, colleagues, and loved ones. This article in the Huffington Post reviews a new book by Liza Kirwin called More Than Words. Kirwin’s book contains more than 90 works of art, sent by mail as correspondence. The article highlights just a few, and they’re spectacular.
2) Kirwin’s source for these items is the Smithsonian Archives of American Art. “With over 20 million items in its continually growing collections, the Archives is the world’s largest and most widely used resource dedicated to collecting and preserving the papers and primary records of the visual arts in America.” The Archives are searchable for your use.
But the use is not necessarily for free. I was of the understanding that images owned by the federal government (including Smithsonian images) were in the public domain. However, I looked at the page on Rights and Reproductions. I was wrong:
NOTE: Documents, photographs, art work, microfilm, recordings, and transcripts owned by the Archives of American Art may be protected by copyright, trademark, or a related interest not owned by the Archives: it is the responsibility of the applicant to determine whether any such rights exist, and to obtain necessary permission for use.
3) Last week in a comment, my husband Jim reminded me of Project Gutenberg. This site “offers over 46,000 free ebooks: choose among free epub books, free kindle books, download them or read them online.” Adult fiction includes mysteries and detective stories, science fiction, and historical fiction, among others. Perhaps you love children’s myths and fairy tales, as I do. There is a whole bookshelf of them, with tales from all over the world. In fact, besides books, there are a number of periodicals available, including two issues of Godey’s Lady’s Book.
4) Have you ever used cyanotype to print fabrics? It’s a chemical process to create impressions and was first used in the early 1800s. Anna Atkins took note of the new technology and ran with it. She authored and illustrated the first book with photographs, actually cyanotype photograms. This article from Vox tells you a little about the development of the book, and includes some fascinating pictures from her volume.
5) So much to see in the world! I hope these all make you feel powerful. And to end today, here’s a very powerful figure Jim and I met two weeks ago.
What has inspired you this week? Let us know in comments.