Sunday, 30 January 2011

Newborn Knitting.

I've been commissioned to knit hats for newborn babies for The Finishing Touch Photography which is owned by my mum's best friend (my God Mother).
Newborn photography is clearly a massive area, there is so much online!

They were a bit of a mission actually, they were on 3 1/4 needles with Sirdar Crofter yarn.
Crofter knits up lovely, it gives a beautiful fair isle effect without the intricacy!
Only one more to go. but maybe more, i've quite enjoyed knitting them!

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Preservation and the woman's role within the home

I'm feeling really stressed about this presentation i've got to give on Tuesday. Normally i find it really easy to talk about my work, but this time, i seem lost for much to say. I guess, in my mind, i'm translating the recipes from Grandma Jessie's book into stitch, and it is what it is.

I think i'm going to have to really play on the idea of preservation. Preserving her memories, handwriting and all the things that were important to her (providing for her family, and being mother) in stitch. I guess the problem with that is that i could have just as easily photocopied the pages of the book and stuck them in a folder, and they would be better preserved than in my falling-apart old book.

I'm always drawing on the idea of traditional female processes and the role of the woman within the home. I feel that i can't get away with talking about the same subject again. Although it is really relevant, and i can bring 'The Subversive Stitch' and the oppression of women through traditional textile processes into it.
I don't want it to come across that my Grandma was oppressed by her role in the family. Perhaps she was, but I wouldn't like to think of her like that.

Embroidering Recipes

I've spent the last few days making a start on my embroidered recipe book. It took me a while to find the perfect old book to hack apart and be the recipe book, and to find the right colours of embroidery thread.
I'm now beginning to layer down fabrics and different materials and embroider my recipes on top. It's taking so much longer than i expected.
Here are some of the first images.

The Ward Project and a technical crisis

This years Ceramics has almost entirely been based around The Ward Project and the line of investigation into my family translated into clay.
I've been embroidering faces with interesting features and them pressing the embroideries into rolled slabs to create slab pots. I've been struggling to bring them to life.

It was Claire's idea to try attaching ears, I had a go, and to be honest, it made my pot look a little bit like Prince Charles (Perhaps not a bad thing?) . I knitted a little bobble hat for him, that was quite fun, but not an idea I'll be taking forward!

I really wanted to do something more exciting, and bigger... and I'm not very good at working big. Claire had already pushed me to do big drawings, and now I'm doing those, and feel confident enough, I'm finding it hard to downsize again. I also felt a little bit that just pressing the stitch into the clay was not giving the life and personality to the people that I wanted.
So it was time for a change of plan.

I realised that the problem was that, mainly because I'm on this half of my course my by myself, and partly because I discovered ceramics late in the game, I feel that I don't know everything there is to know about ceramics, and actually, I'm restricting myself and my ideas by not really knowing all that options of things I can do with the materials and the firing.

Claire told me to drop the ward project for a couple of weeks and just experiment with the things I can do.
So that's what i've been doing. I've been making massive pinch pots,
and throwing little bowls, and this week, i'm going to smash up existing ceramics and inlay them into my own work, to see what happens in the firing.
Hopefully this will help and give me a but more confidence to be free with what i do!
I'll keep you updated!

Residency at Lyndon - Week 2

In November I returned to Lyndon to run another week of workshops with the year 8s and year 10s. I had a lovely week, the kids were so receptive and really really interested in the ceramics. I get the impression they've not had much experience with clay.

We did experimental mark making in clay, pressing, embossing and then eventually tile and slab building. Over the week we made hundreds of pots! I can't wait to go back in a couple of weeks and see them all fired and beautiful.

With the year 10s i was helping them with free machine embroidery. They were embroidering shells as part of one of their GCSE projects.

Happy New Year!

Well now it's 2011 and I've realise I've not posted for a full 2 months!

We've got a lot to catch up on, so I guess i'll have a to back-track a bit, there's been knitting, craft fairs, another residency stint, lots of new pots, and so much embroidery my fingers ache!

These are some cosy little hand warmers I knitted for my best friends birthday. I went wrong with the 2 colour pattern, but i don't think it's that noticeable!!