Tuesday, November 29, 2011

wreck this cloth - # 1-3

Here is the blank beginning for the "wreck this cloth" challenge, as you might have seen in my previous post. I used a leftover piece of an old sheet that I found in my stash. It's beautifully worn in, with a soft touch after countless of washes. I cut out a perfect 30x30cm square, and nearly went for four cut edges, in my strive towards perfect balance... But then I decided to go against my own nature, as I am on a habit busting mission, and left a selvage on one side. That might become interesting later on.
#1 I got started right away and emptied my left over chamomile tea, with the tea bag, on the piece followed by some coffee grounds from the plunger, as I was doing the dishes. Left it overnight.
#2 Today (29.11.11) I placed some regular teabags on the piece as well and just left it for a couple of hours. When I had to move it I just happened to see a flowerpot with some soil and water sitting in it. In it went, with the previous condiments still wrapped inside...

It was lovely to notice how all of this was just the most natural thing to do. I'm not such a seasoned eco-dyer as sometimes months pass by between the dye sessions, but I've certainly done enough to have it in my blood forever... Oh it feels soo good! 


#3 After I'd left the piece to dry in the sun for a day I used it to wipe up some blackcurrant cordial and then decided to extract some red cabbage magic from leftover coleslaw. The carrot left some nice orange marks too.

When I got the washing in I noticed a couple of unwanteds among the flower border. These weeds (Solanum nigrum and a common euphorbia type) turned out to be perfectly wanted for some hapa-zome action. I folded the plants between the cloth and pounded gently. The reward was some very bright green marks.
It's looking rather lovely at the moment! I'm sure that will change...

I'll keep updating here on the same post for a while, so watch this space!


Haha, a promise broken or delayed?? Well, it's update time, backdated! I won't do it here, but in new posts.

Have a look here for what happened next.

Monday, November 28, 2011

R - to create is to destroy

Our R collective gathered today at Jo's. Well actually one R was missing from action since Meg is in Japan. The rest of us got together and each of us brought along generous helpings of irritation and frazzled nerves. We reckoned this was a combined result of two weeks of annoying windy weather and Saturday's election result... However, a couple of hours later we finished our meeting buzzing with excitement! Let me explain.

First a personal update. After our last meeting I got to work on my part of the exhibition project. I decided to dedicate at least 15 minutes of quality time per day towards this. I started researching archetypes and have a handwritten post somewhere on my desk waiting to be typed... When Term 4 started 6 weeks ago, my time just got sucked up by all the extra employment I had committed to. And I'm still on that track, slowly losing my mind with not enough time for myself and my very important projects... Not even 15 minutes a day?? Ouch.

During my busyness I have been delighted by two dear little books on creativity that I spotted through Brain Pickings. One of them is WRECK THIS JOURNAL by Keri Smith. 
I got this book with the intention to apply the same principle on cloth. I have relaxed my approach since I started making art and not just clothes, but still bump into the feeling of needing to be in control, being way too precious, planned and careful with how I use my materials and tools. India Flint has been a brilliant teacher of seeing bold opportunities everywhere, but I still resist putting it into action.

I have a huge respect for books and keep them well, so I love the opposite approach this workbook has: 
We thought Ronnie had lost her mind when she was doing weird moves with the book...
"Tie a string to the journal, go for a walk, drag it." must have been our favourite recipe, as we could see ourselves applying it to our projects...

After a good giggle we decided to set a challenge for the next month and a bit. Each person would start with a piece of white or cream material, 30x30 cm square, and manipulate it with wild abandon. We agreed to exclude deliberate cutting and stitching as we would nornally do these with a piece of cloth. And we agreed to keep a journal on the progress...

So here goes! My perfectly white piece of cloth on a white wall.

Let the fun begin.


i went up the hill

I went up the hill
and felt much better.
It always works.
 I may carry the weight of the World
but somehow it falls off on the way up.
I smell the grass
feel the breeze
see the horizon
the hum turns to silence.
I gently slip from doing to being
and feel such gratitude
for all that is.