Where next?…

Another spell working at Walcot Chapel this week with some artist friends. See Kay Swancutt’s post here

I have been preparing today. Some fine woven washed muslin in a dye bath of turmeric and tea. That fragrance filled the air again all around and through me it seems, and I decided on the warmth of sunshine and buttery golden yellows as the seasonal changes are on my mind..

Susi Bancroft natural dye 1Susi Bancroft natural dye 2One of the special qualities of Walcot for me is the volume of space filled with light streaming in through the windows. So why not use this to explore working on a large scale – beyond my reach – so that the cloth surrounds me and the stitching needs my whole body to move.

Susi Bancroft selecting 1The cerise pink muslin was chosen for me by 2 of tomorrows friends and it seems a joyous addition.

I will thread 2 needles and work left to right, then right to left – stitching both left and right handed ( I am a left hander but I use both and teach using both). Will rig the cloth as high as I can.

I have my yoga mats to lie on as a contrast to standing – maybe I will place them under the cloth so I can look up at it – I will wait and see what happens.






Thinking in Stitches…


Shadow lines, layers and loose threads are characteristic of my work and I talk about them often – click on the tags to have a look at past images and words, or pop the words into the search box…


Stitch vocabulary or iconography such as buttonhole wheels and French knots


They are all personal reflections and my own mark making on cloth – so:

Knots feel like and represent thoughts like prayer beads

Herringbone is a journey with steps along the way

Feather represents my connection to the natural world

Buttonhole – whole thoughts or partial ones

Loose threads reach out and float, even melt into the atmosphere and connect with the viewer

susi-bancroftI think I will photograph some close ups for the next post! The above are all from Walcot Chapel where the walls, light and space are exceptionally beautiful…

Walcot Chapel – turmeric and tea



Withies looking like stitches in the landscape!


Cloth drying on the line – prayer flags in my thoughts – looking through the cloth and dreaming of the tea and turmeric drifting into the atmosphere..


Table laid, piece in progress


Catching thread thoughts and fragments


Pinned gently to allow for movement, shadow and spaces to breathe!


Over the course of the week I thought about what each choice of stitch reflects – what iconography.



wheeling in thoughts..

IMG_2618a susibancroftA dilated view – the camera lens reveals so much detail and I like the way the light catches the thread – it is the thread I want to focus on – the beauty of it’s substance as twisted silk as well as it being my intervention into the cloth – my stitches / my thoughts

What I most notice about this is the shadow – being able to see the stitches at the back of the organdie fabric – the running stitches, the buttonhole stitch, the tiny tufts of thread.. Catching the layers – not hiding but revealing all

IMG_2625aI have travelled between the tailor’s wool and a translucent fabric or tissue with the buttonhole stitch. It confirms where I feel more naturally at ease. I have deepened a view of thread and stitch being integral to thinking – I think / I stitch – there is no separation – one flows with the other.

IMG_2630aThis week I will share work on the tailor’s wool suiting – the sketchbook is filled, overflowing – and I am selecting images to share at the exhibition, and which written reflection to record on audio.. hmm – much to be done!

For detail have a look at Select 2013 



catching thoughts…

Catching thoughts…. the buttonhole stitched wheels seem to represent thoughts with a trailing line connecting them…

IMG_2569bIMG_2571It is an early morning practice – like meditation… I observe, I notice, I stitch with a gentle rhythm until, as in meditation and breath work, my concentration drifts away and cannot be held longer… I find the work on cloth remains with me all day, peeping through into my mind…

IMG_2578I journal too – another way of noticing what comes into my mind – it is quickly noted – no refining! And I photograph – the lens providing a dilated view – a deeper look to connect with.

There is a whole sketchbook to share – of buttonhole making, of reflection.. this just seemed like the place to start!

See this Brunel Broderer post for another view of where the work is!!