Sunday, August 28, 2011

Happy Tasha Tudor Day!

I've been asked to do a post about Tasha Tudor on this Tasha Tudor Day. Much has been said about this independent, creative, wildly talented, eccentric woman. If you have never before heard of Tasha Tudor please Google her. I can't possibly sum her up in a paragraph or two.

What is it I admire about Tasha Tudor? What can I say about her lifestyle, her artwork, her independent spirit, her talent, that hasn't been said before? While I primarily admire her for forging along against the grain and creating her own reality by living the lifestyle she wanted to live; on a more practical level, I admire her perseverance and her patience.

I've been told I lead a Tasha Tudor lifestyle. Yes, I spin, knit, dye, cook from scratch, heat with wood, garden, can, make bread, raise animals, make dolls, dip candles, turn wood, etc. But I know I'm nothing like her. I am a product of a modern society who admires the skills of the past and tries to attain some of them. Tasha Tudor seemed to not even be of this time. She was a modern embodiment of a woman of the 1830's. She said so herself. And in looking at her life and some of the skills she had we get a snapshot of a mindset that is practically nonexistent in this day and age.
Yes, I shear my own sheep, wash, card, spin and knit the wool. This is fun and very satisfying for me. But the fact that Ms. Tudor (for I think it's a bit too familiar to call her Tasha) grew flax, painstakingly processed this plant into a softened fiber worthy of spinning, spun it, warped her loom, wove it into fabric, finished this fabric, cut (!!!) the resulting fabric into pattern pieces and hand sewed these pieces into beautiful shirts for her family... This blows me away. The time, the patience, the skill involved in so many areas to see this through. I can't imagine her level of satisfaction at the finished product. And the perseverance she had to see it through to the very end.

It demonstrates a pace of life and the possession of an attention span practically unseen in this day and age. Ms. Tudor's hands and mind were always engaged. I'm sure she didn't' space out in front of the television or computer, or waste time with video games.

Her level of skill and craftsmanship in all she did, her patience to see her projects through, the creativity involved in fashioning new worlds out of the things she made (I'm thinking of her dolls and all their very real lives and interactions!) These are some of the many fine traits of Ms. Tudor's I wish I could posses.
So this afternoon I'll have a cuppa tea and look over my favorite non fiction Tasha Tudor book, Tasha Tudor's Heirloom Crafts, and plan my next project...