I am using this blog to chart my journey as I get involved with stitched textiles again after a gap of twenty odd years. I've tried once or twice recently to get started, but time - the lack of it - got in my way. Now seems right though, and this online diary will be my reminder not to let it slip through my fingers again.
Wish me luck.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Some Thoughts

I've spent some time this evening going a little bit further with the white embroidery. I've stopped and laid it down, then started again, not sure about whether it's worthwhile putting more time into it. It should go into the sketchbook now, with the important label that it was the piece which rekindled the flame.

I'm ready to move away from monochrome, I think, but I don't want to rush into anything too quickly.

I think I'll take a little bit of time to think and then work on more samples.

Some observations from the past few weeks:

Firstly the physical. After a 20 year gap, my eyesight has got bad - no more taking for granted threading the needle in semi darkness. My varifocals mean I can't focus on a wide area at once - bummer.

My hands are also weary from years of repetitive work in our business, so there are aches and pains. (Work through the pain).

Then the mental. At first I was nervous to start again. I found my pulse racing a bit and quite a high level of stress ( yes really). So much depended on me getting over the first hurdle and keeping going, and then there was ( and is) the worry that I don't have anything left to say and do in embroidery. Also the concern that I've been left behind over the years. So much has happened in the world of textiles.

But after the frst couple of sessions, I began to feel more at ease. It became an enjoyable experience finding my way again. The feel of the needle in the fabric, the rhythm of the stitch, the constant decision making like a puzzle to solve. It became very absorbing and alternately peaceful and exciting. Maybe I have been left behind. But then it's my journey. I don't have to run to catch up. I can go at my own pace, off on my own tangent.

Memories have started to return. Like the feeling of excitement, the buzz when a good decision made pushes you on in a new direction, when things are working out the desire to keep looking, from all angles, to think hard, not to leave it.

The idea that there is so much more to come if you let it.

Other memories - remembering where I was actually going when I stopped to pursue another career. It has taken this white piece to make me realise that unwittingly I've gone right back to the start, and that I had actually progressed ten years from this point before I stopped. I wonder why I went right back to the start? To what I was doing when I left Art College? Anyway, I now remember that I had moved away from so much work on canvas. Some of it was still there, but only as accents and highlights . This only makes sense to me, I realise.

I am not a tidy worker. Threads very quickly become tangled piles. I lose needles all the time amongst piles of fabric. Mounds of stuff build up very quickly around me, and the yet the work I do is usually not at all messy. Odd.

Finally what I've learned about working today - Well, we are in a digital age now. I do a bit of work. I record on camera. I upload to the computer in seconds. I can crop, enlarge, manipulate and finally post on the blog. All while the needle is still warm from my hand.

And the internet. So many people posting images and thoughts about their work. Fascinating and absorbing. I can find articles on historic textiles at the click of a mouse. I can converse with a like minded individual on the other side of the world. I can follow the progress of other people's journeys in textiles. And of course I can waste hours of valuable time.

I also found this slow cloth ethos, just when I needed it most. So I don't like working on a machine - I don't need to feel obliged to. I like the feeling of simple stitching through fabric, and watching the slow progress.

Last but not least I have space to work now, if not as much time as I would like. Thanks to the business, I have a light and spacious workshop. I can lay things out and leave them to come back to. I can work in peace and isolation. That's good.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad I found your blog - thank you for stopping by mine and letting me follow. We sound like kindred spirits. I don't enjoy machine work either, although I like to see other people do it well. I also habitually put my needle down 'somewhere' and then spend ages trying to track it down. I wish I could remember to stick it in the pincushion. It will be interesting to see where we go from here!