As I get more enthused about spring, the garden, paper, plants, growing, paper, harvesting, pulping, processing, paper … (insert scratched record noise here …)

Lets face it, there have been very few days this spring that have encouraged any sort of enthusiastic garden dalliances. Nourished, the very title of this blog popped into my head because I desperately wanted to get outside and nourish all those sweet signposts of spring that are desperately waiting for a bit of sun to help them burst forth into life …

Plant cannot live by rain, wind and snow alone – The trunks of my trusty paper making banana plant, excitably introduced in an earlier post ( read here ) have, after standing tall all through the worst of the weather, finally collapsed and folded over in sickly decline.

Ho Hum – Spring will have it’s way – new growth will flourish (insert positive vibes here). Even our poor battered house is beginning to emerge from a period of major renovation and re-ordering. I have had to “nourish” myself, whilst my work shed became first a major storage facility and most recently the clothes airing space … neither really conducive with paper artwork but I’ve kept my itchy fingers going with some paper yarn, scissors, hook and new ideas, using addictive techniques and materials. “Crotchety Pots”, featured in the cover image are now set to be a staple for a rather exciting project, that’s also kept me busy in the last couple months … tantalisingly, the big reveal on that one will have to wait until next months missive.

Through it all, with a bit of coaxing, a bit of T L C, the right sort of nourishment … we shall overcome (well I don’t think the banana will but that’s another chapter) …



new panels

Planted, what a lovely word – feet firmly planted on a logical path … beautiful flowers planted in an inspiring garden … food planted, watered and raring to grow … and then theirs my own definition …

Some may think just creating the work is all a maker does … BUT … oh no there is sooooooooooo much more to think about. For me it starts with the looking, waiting for a seed to plant itself in my head, then once the seed is planted it needs an amount of nurturing and sustenance before little shoots begin to push upward through the loam.

I’ve always shied away from over-complicated imagery, don’t get me wrong I love a good life drawing class or plein air session but my biggest motivator is just doing … materials, tools, process. As overthinking scrambles my brain on a regular cycle of everyday activity … making helps me resurface a bit like a mole coming up for air, with competent workmen’s hands pushing away the rubble …

Sometimes I wonder why I didn’t become a gardener perhaps it was the childhood move away from the countryside to more urban surroundings but something in the blood has planted me back in the countryside and motivated me to depict elements of that countryside in all its layers, abundance and vitality. Words that explain it, framed glimpses through branches, lines and shapes formed between sea and sky, glorious colour palettes and just the very simple texture of a stone, shape of a seed or lichen on a twig … offering up my own industrious elements, that’s what this maker does …


Rus stix

putting it all together

In my quest for paper yarn perfection, I’ve been trying out a more fibrous tissue that I bought from a paper supplier. The finished twine is very appealing, comes up a bit softer in texture than the bought twine I’m used to but has a pleasing random slub effect when it’s manipulated into cord.

whilst creating my thread, twine, yarn ??? – (must try and define the difference in these terms) I’ve been introduced to some more paper making additives – the most noticeable being CMC a particular type of cellulose used in all manner of paper, textile and food! production … the science in all of this papery stuff just gets more and more absorbing !!!

So, with winter now definitely upon us, and the garden giving off rustic vibes, the more “yarn” I make the more evenings I can sit by the roaring fire in my woolly socks and ‘crochet cordage’ for my next round of papery experiments.

P.S. – thread = a long thin strand of fibres … twine = a light string or strong thread composed of two or more thread strands twisted together … yarn = yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, thread is a type of yarn intended for sewing by hand or machine … sooooooo, have decided I must be making Y-INE-TH !!!







Making objects – as mentioned in previous posts “experimenting” is my big thing, what if I did this, if this was wrapped in that, a hole there would look good … etc, etc, etc.

shapes, colours, contrasts, layers, textures, – all things that inspire my experiments leaving me with a mountain of sometimes disparate parts ! so, where to go next … that’s where the principals of collage are very helpful. Bringing elements together, trying them for size, shuffling the results, reordering the elements and voila! something clicks.

That’s the process that I’ve recently been focused on and here are some of the results. Overworking is always a danger but I’m pleased with these first few, already I’ve got grand plans for a whole range of papery neck pieces in 2018.

Some of these first few pieces have landed at HAND MADE FOR CHRISTMAS along with some boxes, wall panels and pebble pods, deep in the Dorset countryside a cornucopia of craft is delighting visitors at The Workhouse Chapel in Sturminster Newton, check out the link for more details.