I keep coming back to fragments of knit lace retrieved from Herbert Niebling charts. Or they keep coming back to me.
In silk fabric strips:
In hand spun silk and flax, suspended in a web:
Revisited later, in fine merino, in a hand made bobbin lace cage:
Alight, 2013. Photo Josh Wells
And left in a birch tree at Rud Artist-in-Residence, Dalsland, Sweden:
Lately, reconsidered in crochet cotton, with mulberry paper.
Cut up Kangaroo Paw roots, some leaves, and rue sprigs on wool fabric
Hastily made into a multi-layered bundle and, with a smaller silk bundle, put on the fire:
Smoke gets in your eyes: the old plough-disk barbie.
Now, the hardest part – resisting temptation and waiting before unwrapping.
Second-hand kimonos, especially the neutral-coloured cotton ones, sometimes have lovely lining fabric, even occasionally patched and indigo-dyed.
Partly systematic and partly random, this cloth was part of an assessment last year. Too hard to find my own words, I liked this from Rebecca Solnit in As Eve Said to the Serpent: On Landscape, Gender, and Art (University of Georgia Press, 2001, p 58)
“the artist as collaborator or midwife for a world that already has meaning and order, rather than an autocratic creator imposing meaning upon an inert, waiting world or making a better one out of nothing.”
Looking for a distraction, and needing to stitch, I delved into the bag of materials and samples from John Parkes’ July workshop (see this link and scroll to the bottom). I had left the top R pinned, without stitching, as the fine brass pins looked beautiful with the transparent fabrics. But now I’m going to stitch, both around the reverse appliqué and into the whole cloth.
The hanky was a gift, the red fabric is thick wool cloth salvaged from my old dressing gown and there is also part of a favourite linen shirt and a fraying silk scarf. The colour and thickness of the red wool argues with the other materials, which feels appropriate right now.
Lifting a dusty lid I found autumn’s pomegranates, well soaked. Fortunately the smell wasn’t too terrible.
The resulting colour was dull gold on silk, but wool wrapped around a log with scavenged gum leaves (as learnt from India Flint) appeared ochre and dark grey and reddish purple.
Cotton, linen and woollen fabrics; old, salvaged, saved, remnant.
Finally, I’ve arrived at an overall idea for the final project.
Layers of fabric, layers of memory; some detailed, some transparent, some barely there.
How to present the project will, hopefully, occur to me as I work on the pieces of cloth.