Wednesday, 31 July 2019

rainbows and storms

I had to stop on the roadside outside of Tamworth heading home about 3pm yesterday to take a picture of this rainbow.

I had to take Doris to Tamworth yesterday for a service. The old girl was seized up from overwork. Doris is my Janome 6600 sewing machine I've thrashed like sweatshop slave for 10 years and she is still going strong. Like most of these electronic machines the computer chip will likely die before I can wear out the mechanism. And when her eye blinks out I'll be forced to buy a new sewing machine because the manufacturers won't provide parts for an older model and this kind of forced obsolescence is relied upon as part of their business model to keep profitable. No point is making a sewing machine so sturdy it will last for the lifetime of the buyer!...though it would be entirely possible to do so.

I'm fed up and depressed about so much cynical capitalism in the world. My kneejerk reaction when I'm mugged and robbed like what those Chinese manufacturers are doing to small artisans is to fight back. I'm disgusted at all the energy and planning these fraudsters put into keeping themselves ahead of being stopped by having maybe 50 different business names. In this way they can duck, weave and re-invent themselves every week. Even before one "business" is stopped advertising on social media due to their copyright infringements another business has already spawned itself selling the same product. If they put all that energy into creating their own designs then they wouldn't need to appropriate the creative production of others. Or how about buying the design and paying for a license? (neither of which I would do anyway because I don't support the mass production business model).

Here are pictures of the completed skirt I was upcycling from used sheets, front and back with some close ups.







Meantime, here I sit in my pyjamas at 10am in the morning wondering if I should bother to get dressed and go down to the studio to create another design they can steal? Will I see my Freda Jacket for sale on Instagram next month for US79.00 $38.00! 

My annual insurance premium is due, which I need to maintain because I have an open studio so that members of the public can come into and watch me work. It also covers me for when I teach at outside venues and for having market stalls. I get a really good price for artist insurance through NAVA (National Association of Visual Artists) it is only about Aus$300. But I don't have that much money at this time to pay for it. The other thing I'd like to spend money on this month is to do the online sashiko and boro stitching course with amazing Japanese textile artist Atsushi Futatsuya, but I can't afford that either.

When I got Doris serviced the repair lady said all I needed to do was use better quality thread on my bobbin. There wasn't anything wrong with Doris, just the cheap shitty thread which is all I can afford was breaking all the time. With great relief I choofed off to Spotlight to get some good thread. Sadly, in Australia, we don't have much choice in the field of good quality sewing thread. The Birch haberdashery supply company has gradually eased out most of the competitors and operates a virtual monopoly for high quality sewing thread with their German Guterman product.



The very patient Spotlight employee added this up several times to keep getting the same total as I nearly had a heart attack that these 1000m reels of Guterman thread are Aus$23.00 each. FUCK!!! 3 cones of overlocker thread (which was the crap thread I'd been using on the bobbin that was making Doris seize), 1 small reel  and 9 spools of Guterman added up to $293. Its a good month when I make that much money.

How much do people pay for a 1000m reel of Guterman sewing thread in other countries?

So no wonder I get all queasy and despondent when some lazy hyena in China is visiting my blog to steal my creative output. I might even be better off financially being a sweat shop slave in one of their factories!

Though I'm now spending money on my credit card I indulged in a bit of shopping therapy spending $45 buying that great stack of unused fabric remnants from my favourite charity shop in Tamworth. Perhaps I'll make some gorgeous thing that the Chinese fraudsters can copy to resell as one of their hideous rags.



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If you are interested in buying an artwork or booking a commission, please email me at pearl@upstairs-art.com.au