Back in May – turn back time for the story of an Artist Working Studio week at Walcot Chapel, Bath
Turmeric and Tea – a spice of healing and meditation mixed with a reviver and comforter…these scents drifting through the air as I dyed the cloth and watched it dry in a soft breeze
An open receptive space with fellow artists which evolves through the week – the public come and go, return and interact and the various conversations with visitors and each other stimulate work and spark directions and connections – last year it was in July
I had imagined Prayer Flags on these withies – but, in the spirit of responding to the place and experience, every morning as I placed them along the path they seemed enough in themselves – people smiled at the welcoming arms drawing them in. Such a joy to work with this – not to stick to predetermined plans, and take risks..
Catching fragments and working with a stitch vocabulary – of which more in the next post!
When I was little, this was a stitch I learned from my mother – as a functional stitch for hemming – the ‘web’ it creates allows for a bit of movement and ease.
This Autumn we needed some temporary warm curtains to keep out the chill and these charity shop finds are a treat – in burnt orange, they make the most of enhancing the sunshine. They were amazingly long, overlocked at the ends – so, not wanting to cut them incase they need re-using somewhere else next year or handing on, I decided to herringbone a deep hem. More warmth, and beautiful shadows – actually a 30 inch hem!
When I teach hand embroidery, I often suggest there is no right or wrong way to position your hand or to direct a stitch – creating a comfortable smooth rhythm is more important. This proved only too true for me, as I had already hung the 4 curtains – so was half wrapped up in them by the end! You can just see threads of the herringbone on top of the overlock stitch…
Some herringbone stitches – worked at varied sizes, textures and layers…
I never wore anything with quite such a deep hem as a child even though clothing with ‘plenty of room to grow into it’ was the usual and valued way of life – but I do remember catching my toes in the herringbone stitching rushing to get dressed!
Well , it seems to be attracting alot of interest! I find this heartening.
It always feels natural and easy working on denims – patching, mending, stitching, embroidering, creating something with a deeper beauty whilst protecting it, saving it from falling apart. It has lead a full life, shows the signs, the places of strain as well as tears.
So – in looking, suddenly I notice the full subtle colours of the threads, the softness of the cloth through wear. I want to hold on to this.
To back the tears with bursts of colour, to stitch the layers with rhythm and balance