Saturday, 25 December 2010

Sunday, 19 December 2010

end of term

Here is my space at college almost ready for assessment. I've spent the week finishing off, labelling, recording, generally tidying up (as well as being poorly - thank goodness I was organised enough to have time to fit that one in!). My space is divided into two with the beachcombing project, or Flotsam and Jetsam as it is now titled, on the left and Green Solutions on the right. It is difficult to squeeze everything in to such a small space and make it look coherant and un-cluttered, impossible in fact. I did use a portfolio stand for my big development pieces, so that helped.

I am pleased with what I've managed to produce but now it's all handed in I feel rather flat. Perhaps that's because I'm very tired and still feeling unwell. However, I can now turn my attention to the rest of life for a couple of weeks, prepare for Christmas, tidy my messy house before the kids break up from school, and generally try to keep warm!

Current listening: something Christmassy

Sunday, 12 December 2010

threading through wood

Amongst the washed up items I collected at Runswick Bay a few weeks ago there were lots of bits of wood.
I particulary wanted to find things that I could use as a basis for weaving onto and into and for wrapping and threading other items around and through. In order to do this I drilled rows of holes, even and regular, systematically, in the same way that I'd laid out my previous beach-combed collections.

I could then start to thread and weave and join and knot the various ropes, threads and tapes that I'd collected.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

december garden

I have hardly been in the garden for weeks, except to gingerly pick my slippery way to the compost heap every few days. We have a brief respite in the really cold weather (just a bit cold now) and the winter sun was trying its very best today. It hardly manages to get above the hedge at this time of year, but then it is only a handfull of days until things turn from darkening to lightening.

It was tempting to gather branches and so on to bring inside and start to decorate the house but I'll hold off another week. I like to do it as near to the solstice as I can but I have to balance that with the views of the small people in my house who think we're already far behind everyone else in these matters. I think if you do it too early it isn't so special.

greening surfaces

I've done lots of stitching this week and just don't want to stop! I'm so enjoying it. The industrial felt that I've managed to get hold of has made all the difference to this Green Solutions project. It is wonderful to sew into. I struggled for a while transferring my ideas from the paper based work that I'd so enjoyed to textile processes. This project is very much about materials and bringing the right ones together: Right in the sense of sustainably produced and sourced ones and in terms of the 'look' they have and the combinations of hard and soft.

When I visited the Knit and Stitch Show a couple of weeks ago (sadly a very brief visit this year due to all sorts of snowy adventures!) I made my customary visit to the Habu Textiles stand. This is not done lightly: Their yarns are breathtakingly beautiful but the price reflects this!

I chose this very dark brown linen and this lovely blue wool with stainless steel(!), both with my green solutions project in mind.

My colour palette has grown fairly organically from the one that I constructed at the beginning of term and is really dictated now by the use of copper in its polished form and in its verdigris form.

I've cut the industrial felt into blocks, little repeated units, onto which I've stitched and embellished and added various experiments.

Monday's crit has been cancelled so we now just have to have everything ready, finished and presented for Friday. This means a week of pulling things together, neatening up, mounting and updating. I started a little of this yesterday and was pleased with how things are starting to come together. I do still have small bits of making to finish though so I really must concentrate on those and then I can turn my attendion to the presentation of it all.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

blue cabbage?

At last I'm re-gaining control of the electircal equipment in this house! Well, small steps: I managed to upload the photos that I was having problems with...

I prepared some folded bundles, just as I did for the onion skin dye bath, with a variety of different clips and clamps.

When they first went in the pot with chopped up red cabbage and hot water it was all rather pink. Then it quickly started going more blue as the metal of the clips affected the concoction...

So that by the time it had all bubbled and steeped for the right amount of time it was definitely blue (almost as blue as my kitchen wall).

Once they'd dried for a couple of days I could unfold them and reveal their hidden grids.

Current listening: Elgar cello concerto (inspired by my daughter's debut last night with her music centre Christmas concert: her C string broke just before they went on but she carried on regardless and un-phased. I'm told something similar happened to Jaceline Du Pre before her debut recital)