pure silk twist


susi_bancroftsusibancroft_techsusibancroftThe set up – tricky to capture! The middle image shows the amazing Poorman Project laptop Stevie made especially for the show, from which the images ran on slideshow and the audio played – a little, fragile, organic being – ‘made from bits of nothing’ he says – showing the inner workings like the inner thinking in my mind…

insignificant? …. potent?

susi_bancroft_buttonhole1A humble buttonhole – hidden by a bright button or a discreet one

Do we glance at, appreciate or pause to admire a fine hand-made buttonhole and acknowledge the craft and skill in it’s making?

What is our relationship with tailoring? What do we value and cherish in our clothing?

What of mass-produced fashion –  the skilled seamstress, the home-worker, the factory worker? Safe conditions, trade unions, care and compassionate attention?

These buttonholes are randomly stitched, uneven, deliberately stitched with a line across the centre

Closed mouth, closed eyes, stitched shut in vibrant thread

susi_bancroft_buttonhole2The art of tailoring I learned much about during this work

Exploitation and ‘throw-away’ fashion I thought about constantly – there is work for me to follow through here – a responsibility as an artist to find ways of promoting discussion and awareness.

The tragedy in Dhaka, Bangladesh happened at the end of this body of work and I grieved – I will not forget or lose the opportunity to work more on this….

made by faeries?

The waistcoat for the Mayor – made by faeries? Whose hands worked so hard to make such exquisite beauty?

susi_bancroft faerie dressA skirt of silk dyed with turmeric, seed beads, paper bodice dyed in tea – machine and hand stitch – and winged shoulder details made of garlic bulb leaves….

detail from Suited exhibition sketchbook piece

One and Twenty at Suited!

At Suited I was brave, a new direction – my sketchbook of work on the ‘one and twenty buttonholes’ was shown with audio pieces and a slideshow. I will show the ‘set up’ and some images over this week…

I didn’t want to show finished resolved stitch only – my jam-packed sketchbook of sampling, of thought, of ideas was the work itself..

susibancroft_suitedaThe slideshow was made up of images of sketchbook work – dilated images of stitch – powered from a wonderful deconstructed laptop by the poorman project – of which more later!



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!!

pattern piece doodle two!

A follow on today from ‘pattern piece doodle’….

Looking at some of my beautiful vintage sewing manuals – both for buttonhole stitch variations and for the pattern language. My mother taught me how to do some tailor tacking – we were both so nervous of the cutting out process and often put pieces the wrong way round and checked a dozen times! I loved the sound of the large scissors cutting long strokes and of the tissue paper with threads pulling through it!

My inspiration also lies in memories of a Beatrix Potter story, The Tailor of Gloucester – 120 buttonholes of cherry twisted silk – of which more at a later stage and some research to be done!

Suited 2013 will be a Brunel Broderers Exhibition in Stroud and part of Stroud International Textiles Select 2013 at the Lansdown Gallery, Stroud

For more on the Brunel Broderers see the Brunel Broderers Blogspot

Pom Pom Tree

Just finished this today! Wrapping a Pom Pom Tree – So exciting – a real first so a bit glitchy but hey – what a learning curve and that is so creative!!  Have put in into the Pairings II Video Open see here

Credits to Alison Harper, Jane Barker, Victoria Carpenter and Susi Bancroft and thanks to Tim Martin at the Brewhouse, Taunton where the TFSW Exhibition Mapping the Future: Where Are You Now has just closed.