Sidney's Ties, A Weaving of Memories

Sidney … commissioned me to make something interesting out of the ties he had worn for the last 40 years. Thus, “Sidney’s Ties” came into existence.

At 88 years of age, he no longer wears his ties. What to do with them? So many memories tied up into them… Ties worn to work, ties purchased at favorite stores, ties received as gifts, ties that went overseas… These pieces of silk represent a lifetime of woven history, thus weaving them together make an added statement of all the memories that tie us together.

The project started with a visit from Joyce to visit Sidney in Arizona. They spread the ties out on the bed, over the quilt I had made in Bruce’s memory. “Surely something can be made of this!”

My initial mock-up was quite different from the final piece. Some people plan everything out before they dig in. I don’t. I work from an intuitive level, changing things as I go. This can be difficult in a commission as the future owner of the piece has to be as free spirited as I am. When I asked Sidney what the budget was, he said, “Go until it is finished.” A mandate like that can only come from someone who understands and has experienced the creative process.

You will notice that the piece is not straight. I don’t like straight lines. Maybe I can’t even do them, but I know that the ethnic textiles that I so love are often uneven, crooked, worn and all of that tells me a story. So, “Sidney’s Ties” is also crooked. Life is beautiful, full of wonderful memories, but Sidney and his family have also had their share of grief, of the pain that can make any straight back crooked. So, this tribute to a life well-lived hopefully captures some of the dualism that propels each of us from youth into maturity, from life to death, and from need to abundance. I thank you, Sidney and Joyce, for the great pleasure this project has given me!