All in the Details


Mardi Gras Indian suit detail.

On Super Sunday.

I told a friend of mine that I was toast from chasing Indians around Central City. That’s not true. It’s worse. I’m toast because I’m really sick. So, I’m later than usual. Much later.

I did manage to download, back up and edit everything. But, I am not ready to finish many pictures.

I selected an image that likely most of you won’t see, even with my work. An extremely close detail of the labor intensive work that goes into making a suit. Everything you see in the picture is done by hand. Each bead is strung and sewed by hand. The velvet is hand sewn. As were the feathers.

That’s why each new suit takes about a year to make. For sure an indian takes a break from time to time. Life gets in the way. But, this is an almost daily labor. A labor of love.

Because.

For the most part, after all this work is done and the suit is debuted on Mardi Gras Day or Super Sunday, last years suit is destroyed. A few are preserved through various museums, a few indians have large enough spaces to save them. But, most suits are either burned or cut to shreds and tossed in a dumpster.

It’s hard to imagine that art like this is worthless. But, it is. Even if a suit can be sold, it’s likely the return will be much less than the investment.

What can I say?

Unless you are at the top of the art ladder, it’s hard to make money doing whatever your art may happen to be. The photography world has been decimated by “everybody is a photographer.” I get that. I don’t agree with it. But, I get that.

But, not everybody can sew like this.

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11 Comments

  1. I sometimes think that everyone believes they are expert in everything. I think we may be losing eyes for what is special and unique, and I don’t know what to do about it, except to acknowledge it. It may seem a non sequitur, but I’ve been having a conversation with my mother who is somewhat despairing of the fact that she has a home full of beautiful antiques, and none of her grandchildren are at all interested. They prefer IKEA. She is concerned I’ll sell everything at a yard sale. The point is quality. Is quality and artistry in all areas appreciated less than it once was? I really do wonder what’s driving that thought.

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    1. I believe it’s because everybody thinks they can do things that they have very little knowledge of what they are doing. I guess you said that already. I see that in my two worlds every day. Worse, they never know what they don’t know. So, yes, the younger generations have no idea of quality. I had once, when a friend of mine said she knew about working in a traditional wet darkroom. She did it for one semester… hmm… I did it for over 30 years.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I wonder if younger people, generations coming up, who may be even “worse” in thinking that they can do anything at all, with or without training and experience. I heard today that the helicopter parents are shifting to “snow plow” parents never wanting their children to struggle with anything. I had a birthday today and I’m definitely not getting any younger. LOL! Maybe there are some things about the future I don’t really want to see. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Happy birthday. We all need to fail. That’s how we learn. I suppose that because of my baseball example, none of those snowplowed kids will ever play the sport. You know, the best hitters in the game bat around .300, which means that they make outs two out of three times they try to hit the ball. That is also life in the real world.  

        Liked by 1 person

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