Expectations. 1, Process

Altar : found polystyrene. Temporary. Disassembled… and what I’m learning from them.

I expected to make a huge body of cohesive, location-influenced work to bring home and exhibit.

–instead, scraps and snippets, very little of which will come home. Some of it is too organic to make it through the bio security cordon at home. Some pieces have been temporary : made, unmade, recycled.

Lesson: I have always loathed the idea of it being “all about the process” – it’s seemed like art/craft making as a filler of time, an amusing alternative to boredom. To consciousness even. It’s never that way for me. When i make, or even think about making, i always have a Big Idea, something inside me burning to get out and connect with others.

Now, I’ve had over 2 months intensive tinkering with no specific idea in mind. My Gallipoli/Çanakkale memorial work is a long way off. It deserves a really decent level of attention and engagement.

Here I have experimented with a new medium (watercolour) simply because I couldn’t think how else to get colour in the absence of my usual textile resources.

Knowing nothing of how to use them I’ve surrendered to the process of experiment and found I quite enjoy it.

The pleasant discovery is that the process-generated works are settling gently into conceptual groups, just as they would be had I begun with an Idea. They look like ‘my work’ too. Surprisingly, they don’t much look like ‘here’ Cappadocia, but perhaps I’ll see that later.

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Reflecting

Merhaba!

I’ve brought a few tools (needles, scissors, pliers) and a little handful of threads. Every other material must be found.

Here I’m patching together SHINY teabag packets. This in response to realising that my darling little stone house has no mirror to a check how fabulous i look each morning. A totally non-functional activity probably deserves a totally non-functional artwork.

Quite a few of the rubbishy things I’ve been gathering are shiny. I’m a magpie from way back! This is a fun way to use them for once.

There’s nothing like a change of location and lifestyle to bring to mind how much is automatic. I have no idea what will come out of this and most days that’s ok.

More unusual behaviour 

 pink fabrics blowing on a rotary clothesline Some people insist that pre-washing fabric for a quilt is essential. They worry about colours running and about shrinkage. I don’t usually do this. Most of my quilts are for the wall, or are for adults. Not likely to be washed often, or ever. I choose good quality materials so the risks of both problems are minimal.

For this baby quilt, I’m working outside of habit. I know it’s likely to be washed often, so there’s more opportunity for something to go wrong. I might even pre-wash the batting! or choose a non-shrinking polyester. They dry fast, could be the best choice anyway. 

Pre-washing also removes the manufacturing dressing from the fabric. This stuff can be irritating to sensitive skin. Remember, it’s All About The Baby! and its Mum.