‘Dawn Cloth’ nearing completion

Here is my dawn cloth with latest stitching efforts. It is more of a meditation really so it doesn’t matter how long it takes. It’s been months on and off. A friend brought me some more embroidery threads, especially the blues.  which I was grateful for. I hope to do such creative work with the sexual abuse survivor workshop participants which I have discussed on here. The touch of the cloth and threads really brings you into now. The stitching feels like breathing as the thread goes in and out. Someone even said I could frame it but then you wouldn’t be able to touch it and that is what I want even when it is ‘done’, Though I don’t know when that will be. The back is a mess but I quite like that and will share some shots soon. The lady who brought me the blue threads said the back should be as neat as the front! That is the old way, but I want these embroideries to be whatever you want them to be, there are no ‘shoulds’ or ‘ought toos’! That’s the whole point! There is real freedom here. No other peoples ideas for motifs or how to do it or approach it. This is truly personal…

‘Dawn Cloth’ further work with Munch reference

I have been adding to my cloth and remembered how Munch would treat his skies and it seemed appropriate to revisit his painting for inspiration. I have a catalogue from 1977 when I visited Oslo and the Munch museum as part of my studies for Fine Art at Leeds Uni. I was given access to the stacks and saw originals not available to the public; unforgettable. The painting I looked at for this is ‘Melancholy’ from 1892. I often look to the masters influence to take me further in a piece. I had thought to look at a little Utrillo, but his work doesn’t flow in the same way as Munch’s. I used some of my Pebeo fabric dye just to denote areas, and am seeing where it all takes me. I will keep posting as I get further on. It is still really slow but I am getting used to the glacial pace! Comforting.

‘Dawn Cloth’ progress in stitch

Well, I think I am about a third of the way through my ‘Dawn Cloth’ which is so slow! That doesn’t matter though as I find playing with the effects of hand-stitch fun and rewarding. I even see colour and texture in the sky on my walks that find their way into the cloth. It is almost meditative, and the way you can control the hand stitch so slowly is very important. It almost feels like a little sigh as the needle and thread go through the fabric! Machine stitch gets away from you so quickly! I have some ideas for the rest of it, and have been looking at images of Munch’s skies in his paintings for inspiration. I will share what I do in regard to this in my next post! Keep watching folks!

Embroidery and Puppetry workshops update

I just heard yesterday that the workshops I propose to do at a local facility that provides counselling for sexual abuse survivors have had to be postponed again due to the omicron surge. I am so sad about this, but really understand that it has to be this way. The workshops have to be as safe as we can make them. Meanwhile I will keep sewing and responding as I so believe in the way this work can help us come into the present whilst being personally creative. I will keep you posted as to any changes. Luckily the facility sees the real potential of the initiative and want me still, but in the future when it is hopefully safer.

More ‘Dawn Cloth’ stitching

I have been adding to this cloth with a variety of stitch solutions and textures whilst still referring to the colours and light in the dawn that I witnessed a few weeks ago. I now have a much better directional light in the studio which is helping. The feel of the cloth and sound of the thread as it passes though it are especially satisfying. Almost like breathing. Repetitive and comforting but it can change to be whatever it wants and frequently does!

More ‘ Dawn Cloth’ sewing

I have been making slow progress with the ‘Dawn Cloth’ I have tasked myself with making. Got to be careful not to strain my eyes on these dark days! I still use mostly back stitch, some French knots, zig-zag and fly stitch. Progress still so slow but no hurry after all which is a good feeling!

Dawn Cloth

I started this cloth in response to a dawn of astonishing brightness and colour I witnessed the other week. I wanted to create something positive in the wake of all that we are going through with the covid situation. It also links to my proposed workshops with sexual abuse survivors which are still going ahead but in the new year. Here is my beginning in backstitch mostly. Progress is glacial but I am pleased to still have loads to do if that makes sense!

Leaf Glove

I have been experimenting with this ‘leaf glove’ recently with a view to using such stimuli with the sexual abuse survivors in my proposed puppetry workshops. I enjoy turning to nature for ideas and was going to use a flower as a starting point, but found the oak leaves at the garden we visit more interesting. The colours and textures just now are beautiful and I brought some back to my little studio. I proceeded to create one leaf after another referring to different leaves I’d found. I then embellished each leaf with embroidery and dye before assembling them on a flexible twig I had made. I slip stitched the completed piece onto an old leather glove of my mum’s, and was able to move the leaves with my fingers as if rustling in the wind. This was very satisfying and resonated as the glove was very worn from my mum having used it so much. It is now reanimated in a different way! A different kind of memorial and I do love repurposing things like this.

Birksmere watercolour and pencil sketching

We visited this very special garden and lakeside on Monday this week and I was so grateful to be able to sketch and photograph it once more. The dawn was especially beautiful, and the way some clouds were reflected in the lake was mesmerising. There is always something that lights up when I’m there, and it changes throughout the day. I’m coming towards the end of my sketchbook so will need to invest in another soon. I made a large oil inspired by this garden during lockdown and will share images once I have had it properly photographed, which could be a while yet but the machinery is in motion for that to happen. I even have some ideas for my embroidery and puppetry experiments from  drawing there. Nature  is  the  master  healer.