It has been a long pause since the last time I wrote here, but that is because there comes a time to start to ‘make’. A time to begin to resolve the experience and practice of walking, observing, drawing, taking images, documenting – and begin to make samples. Most of these are lines of thought – some pressed clay pieces, some cyanotype, colour patterns, tiny patches stitched in thread, knit with wool, all sorts of experiments which hold value in themselves but cannot all lead to resolved pieces. Sometimes what comes alongside this is also a kind of ‘stalling’ or a need to wait before I can begin to make work which I will share.
The Exhibition coming up is very much about process – and talking about all these themes
After much deliberation, some frustration, some questioning of what on earth I think I am trying to say, the path cleared and 3 pieces of quilt work formed in my mind and sample-books.
I have a box filled with cloth I have dyed with plants from the garden, fields and kitchen. Coloured pieces folded and still scented from the flowers and leaves that made them. The designs take more time to decide upon, this kind of work can be years in the making. The cloth is organic cotton, the thread is too, the dyeing process needs me to work out natural mordants, as little water and energy as possible – I spend much time thinking through environmental issues, researching, worrying even. And in the end, I begin – and everything relaxes into the concentration on the flow of making…
My grandmother’s Singer sewing machine operated by turning a hand wheel. This part is slow and I love the connection through time, the quietness of working, the repetition and rhythm…
A nine patch – blocks of 9 squares – a colourful mix – all blending with each other in a harmonious way only natural dyes seem to do. Hard to capture on camera.
And so the first piece is ready. The next post will show it outdoors in the natural world in the field and footpath from where the ideas germinated.
Each piece will have a sound recording of birdsong made during those long walks in the early morning or at dusk.. The balance of slow hand skills from across time and cutting edge (for me!) technology excites me and I found a sound artist to work with to realise that dream…. part 2 will follow soon!