I am in the progress of creating a long-term low-maintenance life for myself. Will that work, who knows? But what is low-maintenance anyway? Does that mean you hang a piece up and don’t think about it? NO and maybe YES. You have to find a sweet spot between having a maintenance level you can easily deal with and the imagery and quality you want. So take a look at your lifestyle and think about what might be 10 years down the line.
Are you a person who likes to change things up every two years or one who has long term commitments to pieces and you can’t see how you would live without them? There is a lot of space between these two different ways of looking at your home and while most individuals find themselves somewhere in between, you must sit down and realistically see where you fall.
Think about traffic patterns - sticky little hands, do your children use everything as a jungle gym (this has happened with one of my tapestries), dogs, cats, dust and the ever present bugs. If your dogs come in after a swim outside and creates a mud storm in your house then I would suggest sealed low-e acid-free framing. Then when your dog shakes the water and mud from his coat you will only be upset about the spots of mud that you can’t easily reach on the ceiling.
So what are your options? Unframed handmade tapestries go in low dirt/traffic areas where as digital or machine made tapestries are not that limited. Art quilts, depending upon how they are made, can go almost anywhere. Felted, constructed and relief textiles, depending upon how fragile they are, can go almost anywhere and that should be determined by how they are constructed. The artist, that created the piece, should be able to discuss with you a realistic plan of how often you should check the textile and what you should be looking for. Of course, low-e framed artwork can go anywhere.
This decision making should not deter you from having a textile piece in your home. A textile brings more to an environment than just the maintenance. It has a different sense or life to it than other materials have. Even if you are one of the individuals that love changing your home every two years it is easily storable to be brought out again….. at a later time.
Next: Thinking About Cost............