cloth and stitch…

…working on a large scale cloth, just within my reach in width, enveloping..gauze like quality of gaze through, filtering the view


The kantha rippling and texturing the top edge. Edge, only just within reach and challenging physically (as was balancing on the scaffold for me some days)

Scale, volume, reaching to the edge – a working studio such as Walcot Chapel can give this opportunity


In the second week I began to attach the small meditation studies to the panels. The petals are barely caught down – much looking, thinking, sharing  thoughts during both weeks about work, processes and embracing the ‘here and now’ trying out of ideas 


And finally on our last day we shared our work and opened the doors wide

Angie was inspired to write poems on the floor – the to and fro of dialogue and ideas is a very special quality of these weeks

Mandala sweeping…

 There are so many ways, many paths, many strands, many ceremonies across the world, weaving connections …   





My thanks to Kay Swancutt for being part of the process, for the photography as well as inspiring discussion, understanding  and friendship .. 

mandalas, alpona, alpana, sand painting, chalk, rice powder, crushed flowers .. art, ceremony, healing, harmony, visual meditation, balance, celebration, rosette, SO much to fascinate, absorb and contemplate 

Mandalas outside..

The careful measured precision of the small drawings was not as easy outside but actually the shapes just flow differently drawn on the ground 


And the rain poured down.. I recorded its sound and the thunder claps and watched the mandala fade, but it remained faintly on the stone until I washed it gently away at the end of our fortnight making work at Walcot Chapel 


My research took me across so many cultures, systems, beliefs, traditions – past and present… rich and fascinating 

Tomorrow I will post about one made on the chapel floor inside and how we filmed brushing it away… 

Watching and waiting…

field  Walking in the fields near home, the dusk and twilight time

I made recordings of sounds – the blackbirds calling, wing beats as they fluttered fast into the trees. An owl – its first call – I held my breath and stood silently though I could hear my heart beating – still beating.

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Not the moon but the paper lantern in my home  – a globe shining out to guide me

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I am waiting for the full moon and planning some new stitch work – some walking meditation maps in the language of stitch

 

So why?

So many images to share..

the meditation piece I worked on from a scaffold at Walcot Chapel in September

the mandalas in chalk on the Chapel floor

So why the silence especially when I wish to share? I shall during November, but first this…

Knitting – that’s why… 3 intense bereavements in one year, and I have returned to regular, rhythmic, repetitive knitting alongside my other work. The colours of yarn, the texture of wool, an emerging structure or form. It has woven into the pattern of my days – special time which balances me, holds me together.

I find the constant counting patterns very supportive – I need to focus, to concentrate exclusively and this then, is for me like a counted meditation. No other thoughts can be held in my mind at the same time – my thoughts cannot wander for those precious moments. And look what flows from my hands! This for me is healing and the focus then continues into the day… The mistakes remind me when I lose concentration, and the fixing of these brings some measured self belief ..

So…

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A lace pattern shawl – this is the cast off picot edge – and for lace knitting SUCH concentration was needed! I made this for my beloved niece. I have one too and the lace part has some mistakes – I kept these in – they reflect my mind at the time!

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Yoga socks next – and a first attempt at my own pattern. I wanted these to be snug and fit another dearly loved one in my family who gives healing aromatherapy massages and teaches yoga in a yurt.. they winged their way this weekend.

And these….

imageThe shawl pattern is Nurmilintu by Heidi Alander and the socks are Hermione’s Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder

 

 

 

 

 

 

unexpected…

it’s too long – I love printing and don’t do enough.. I liked the idea of layered lino, cutting away after each print

Its not what I expected but that’s fine, it is a start again..

I remembered the process, the sounds such as inking the roller and hearing when you have the right amount of ink, the registering of the prints (forgot that bit!), the beauty of layering colours, the colours mixing when not quite dry…the way I also enjoy the simplicity of the drawing marked with an awl onto the lino… I will do more I think..

something new and still the same…

 

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…new work, and yet a rhythm, a continuation… The leopards bane is full of energy, a golden buttercup and kingcup yellow – a ‘Leo’ colour and life….

Last year I was observing the bees visiting and thoroughly, carefully working over the flowers.

The cloth is the solar dandelion dyed from this post here

 

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Playing with woad silk background… natural dye is so subtle, it changes in the light.. and a background that enhances it can be a challenge to find.. I will make squares, in a 9 patch and see what happens..

This year it is the butterflies I am watching – more of that later

 

Preserving the fragile petals

A few years back I experimented with this idea, was inspired, and loved it … and the thought returned this week with a call out for artists to support the local hospice that worked so beautifully, carefully – oh, how caring and considerate and expert when my mother was dying, and we managed ‘hospice at home’… 40 years of Dorothy House  and a show at 44AD next week in aid of this special place…

Tulips, dried naturally so the petals curl, the musky scent remains and the colours mature.. The still skeleton shape is fragile and beautiful, the scent pungent from the Spring and from my Bees Knees kantha work at Walcot Chapel

susi bancroft tulip 1

 

Tissue paper, dyed and stitched and embellished onto the natural tulip – but the subtle quality for me is to add a breath, a petal or two, a thought

susi bancroft tulip 2I can place these in glass preserving jars as before, when to lift the lid releases that scent and allows a closer view. They are ephemeral and fragile – I found that in time the scent will remain though gently recede a little, but it evokes so much. The colour fades, however much we try to hold it, but my dyed petals stay clear and bright..

susi bancroft tulip stitch