Friday, June 11, 2010

A powerful tool

It has been a busy week with no hands-on progress but lots and lots of thinking. I do have a length of silk/linen prepared, that is washed and with the torn edges over locked/serged, hanging on my display wall and I keep glancing at it, placing the ideas and colours I am envisaging. It is always exciting starting a new piece, the expectations are high.

The over-riding reason for making work is to test myself and my commitment. I think that is what keeps me going; the next piece is always going to be 'the great one'. On looking back over many years of working, however, I feel that approximately one in five pieces actually 'hit the mark'. The other four range from (my own) rejection, okay, and pretty good.

The remaining piece, the fifth (and they don't come in any consecutive order) stands out as a milestone, it pleases, and makes me feel pretty good.

Amongst all this there is that good old fashion gut feeling. This is alway my best judge. Being able to recognise what it is saying is a skill worth nurturing and accepting.

A few moments ago I hadn't any idea what I was going to write about in this blog. But, as always, just starting is enough to come up with something. Just starting is indeed a powerful tool.

This weekend I will be attending the Costume & Textile Association of New Zealand Hanging by a Thread conference, to be held at TheNewDowse here in Lower Hutt. I have not attended this conference before so it will be interesting to see what they have to offer. I shall report next blog.

No pics this week.....

Monday, June 7, 2010


Since completing my latest piece last week, I have been doing some 'housework' in the studio. This means that I have been cleaning up and making my work surfaces vacant for when I start the next piece (see photos).

I have disposed of any unused dye mixes, made sure all the equipment is clean, and washed the drop-cloth on my large printing table. I am always reluctant to tidy up as I go, or tidy up too soon, just in case I need to return to check something out. The unused dyes would have become inactive but then I could, if required, use them as a reference to match a colour or mix up more. Design scribbles are glued into my workbook, but not the failed scribbles! Paper and freezer paper templates are thrown out or saved for recycling.

Finally I have documented my latest piece, using a format which includes size, date, inspiration, materials used etc. This is really essential and a godsend when this information is required at a later date; it certainly saves on getting the work out again. The final job is to get the piece professional photographed, and I usually like to take two or three pieces at a time.

And now it is on to thinking about the next piece. And that is chiefly what I do, think, and then think some more. Occasionally some reference is jotted into my workbook but mostly it goes on in my head.