Ways to make work: Planning or intuiting

It is half a year since I finished studying. As warned by more established friends I am wandering about in hazy, boggy directionless realms, tripping over confusions of ideas and bumping into deadlines. Timelines, proposals, action plans seem forced, their language too stark and linear. So I am accepting my swampy state and slowing down to explore and dream quietly with materials, and time.

I have two works hanging side by side in the studio. They both express what seems to be a recurring theme for me, of combining disparate elements so that the qualities of each are present but together they form a whole that is more than the sum of the parts.  But they were made in quite different ways.

By planning:

Equilateral

For Equilateral I started by choosing a favourite form; a Möbius strip. The width of the kimono fabric and the size of the triangular space in the centre dictated the overall dimensions and so determined the width and length of the piece of hand spun, knitted grey mohair which is the other surface of the quilt. Two different fabrics, quilted together into a form which unites and reveals both surfaces.

Through intuition and chance:

Sometimes a piece evolves unintentionally. From an indigo pot on the go, a piece of silk and a plastic cylinder I made a (very) rough version of pole-wrapped shibori. It went into a pile of fabrics on the table until its mid blue undulations lay next to a warm brown length of layered and stitched fabrics which I’d put together with no end in mind than to  be something to stitch on in the good company of other makers. And now, after a gentle three years, I am putting the final stitches into Two journey to.

Something as simple as observing how I make reassures me that I can continue.

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