Monday, April 6, 2015

What Size Are You?


Barn Door - Terry Jarrard-Dimond
80" x 80" - Hand Dyed Fabric

The first few fabric pieces I made were traditional quilts and as such were made a size that would fit a bed.  They were made in units so it wasn't difficult to made a large piece.....you just kept adding units.  

As my work developed and I began to think of this work as more than a bed quilt, the work became smaller. The direction of the work was less clear and more experimental.  My first large art piece, Barn Door pictured above,  was indeed large at 80" x 80".  I loved working at that scale and have since made a number of very large works.  



Untitled - Terry Jarrard-Dimond
12" x 12" - Charcoal and Stitching



As I moved ahead in my work, working small became more of a challenge for me but lately I've become more interested in what can be achieved in a small format.  The three new works pictured are about 12" square.  They will be matted and framed which is how I think works of this size in fabric look best.

This week I saw a link to an artist I did not know, Thomas Nozkowski.  Actually I had seen some of his work but his name didn't stick.  Now it will.  Here's a link to a nice interview with him.





Untitled - Terry Jarrard-Dimond
12" x 12" - Charcoal and Stitching

Nozkowski has many things to say of interest but one that caught my attention was the fact that some years ago he made the decision to work on a smaller scale than is the usual at the time in New York galleries.  He said he wanted to work at a scale that would fit in his friend's apartment.  I loved that.




Untitled - Terry Jarrard-Dimond
12" x 12" - Charcoal and Stitching


I'll bet many of you are like me in that you have a stack of large works that will not fit anywhere except in a gallery.  OK, I admit that I am sitting right next to that first large piece I spoke about but our new house has unusually high ceilings and lots of wall space.  I have sold a couple of large works but most people can't afford them even if they have walls big enough to hang them.

So what size are you?  What are your feelings about the size of work?  Does the size of a work make it more or less important?  How do you feel about having stacks of large pieces that can't be shown in many shows because of size limitations?  How do you feel about having to pay $$$ to ship these works if you get into a show?

Thanks for spending time at
Studio 24-7!


5 comments:

  1. This topic is something I have been thinking about lately as I start a new body of work. Years ago, I feel everyone thought bigger was better, and maybe in some cases it is. But as I struggle to keep my work to fill only one closet, I think there is something to be said for making smaller pieces. Also, the idea of affordability comes to mind. I like making bigger quilts but they take up so much space in my closet! I am beginning to see that a smaller piece can have an impact too, and maybe allow for a different approach. I have not made many pieces that small, but the idea of framing them sounds interesting.

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    1. Thanks Gail for sharing your thoughts. Storage is a big issue. We currently have an entire bedroom filled with art, part of another bedroom and a large storage area in what will be our big studio. I like the idea of smaller pieces having a big impact.

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  2. Thanks for posting about this. It hits on something I wrestle with. I’m currently putting together a show that features large and small work. The larger pieces are expensive and it would be a special client indeed who would purchase one of these, however, the smaller work (16” x 16”) plays off the larger work and are more affordable + better able to fit into people’s homes. In Alaska, we have our fair share of soaring walls and vaulted ceilings, however sunlight is a major issue in the summers and large textile work is like a ticking time bomb. Smaller work can be more easily placed and protected. To avoid the oversized hot pad look, I'm upholstering them onto 2” deep cradled board with a gorgeous cut tack pattern on the back. They are unusual & tactile while still maintaining clean lines & a contemporary feel. This said, you still need the larger pieces to sell the smaller ones and I find working small to be very challenging in terms of really expressing an idea.
    XO Amy

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    1. Hi Amy! The point about sun exposure is a good one. We actually had to begin parking our cars in a different spot due to the reflected light which fell right across Barn Door. I also like your idea about the larger works "selling" the smaller pieces. I'd love to see what you are doing to present your work. Thanks, Terry

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