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.
Paper twine … LOVE IT ! … I actually bought my first lot of paper twine after reading the book Paper Textiles by Christina Leitner (published by A&C Black, London) about four years ago. I’ve played with small weaving’s, shown in my making-books blog and I’ve used crochet and french knitting, to accompany paper rings and paper pendants on jewellery, also pictured in the blog – now I’m starting to combine knitting and crochet with my new pebble pods.
I’ve always enjoyed knitting squares ! – there is not always a reason, I just like the knitting activity and squares are as good as anything … naturally drawn to plant based fibres, cotton, linens and slub silks are my favourites, now the discovery of paper yarn has just got me clicking away and not just in square’s … I just have to have a small box of scissors, hooks and needles nearby all the time, for that itchy finger feeling.
The next lesson in my papery education will have to be making my own twine, I’ve been doing a lot of traditional and online research into this and I’m almost ready to give some of the techniques a try …
I was looking through some old photo’s recently and came across these window shutters. My goodness that was some while ago …
Some friends, where we used to live in Devon, were updating an old house – the dusty attic rooms were, somewhat dangerous a climb to get to, and the floors were being replaced, so the view through once we had climbed up, was a bit scary – but when I saw the little boxy attic windows, I could have happily turned into a cat and jumped up into the space to gaze out at the views all day.
Whilst I was happily daydreaming about being a cat, an elbow caught me in the side and I realised I might be missing an opportunity for my first commission. Shutters for both the little windows, soft colours in a sympathetic material, with a design that flowed into the countryside when open and captured the natural vistas outside when shut …
Mmmmm – I can do that, and I did. A thoroughly enjoyable job and our friends were so pleased, plus when I went back to fit the shutters, there was actually a floor to brace myself on for the tricky assembly ! so pleased I found the photo … and now I’ve got a digital copy, fifteen years ago I was still getting films developed by the local chemist !!!
You could be forgiven for thinking this blog post was all about gardening … it isn’t.
It is however, about the connection my garden is increasingly having with my work – A theme I expect to explore more in 2017. Not just the connection between inspiration and work but the actual working practices, recognising and considering the impact of processes I work with, colours I use, materials I choose – how these elements relate and interact, enhance or harm, my garden, my surroundings and the wider environment.
Water for instance is a big issue, papermaking and drying my work has always been a big challenge. There is also the thorny subject of plastics, paint, glues, varnish and polish.
Starting in the New Year, there will be more blogs about my interaction with the garden. The banana plant (amongst others) How I could utilise leaves, branches and berries in the garden more effectively. How moments, glimpses, snatches of activity .. like the nine colourful finches finding seeds in a small teasel stand recently – it wasn’t about capturing this image on camera, or in a drawing, it was just the joy of the movement and chatter the companionship in their rival quests for the most seeds …
And so to bird boxes – what is my fascination with boxes ??? – a pebbles form, a trunks bark, my obsession with mark making – the stories (marks) left in my surroundings by animals scratching, tools digging, machinery cutting … the emotions that colours instil … don’t know where it’s all going but I intend to enjoy the story.