In the middle

I don’t feel very productive at the moment. It’s not really a question of being stuck, since I think I know where I’m going next in terms of creating a new series of art work. Nor is it a matter of not knowing where to start, because I think I know that too. It isn’t lack of energy or motivation either as I have plenty of both. It isn’t even the unrest and terrible conflict out there in the world, I don’t think. I wonder if it is to do with the season. We have just passed the spring equinox, where day and night are perfectly balanced, and I wonder if the temporary desire to stand still, to look and think for a while, is an expression of that pivotal moment of poise, standing between two halves. I see a lot of people calling this the first day of spring, but in fact the equinox is the mid-point of spring, since it falls exactly halfway between the midsummer and midwinter solstices.

Despite the hesitation in starting something big, I do like to keep busy and I usually find myself in the middle of something. At the moment it’s a useful thing as well as a decorative thing – and it’s interesting that I feel the need to make the distinction between useful and decorative. It’s that old establishment-driven art/craft chestnut, isn’t it, where art is purely decorative and craft is useful. I like to think textiles work confounds that over-simplified distinction.

Anyway, here I am, finally getting to the point after a bit of waffle and introspection. I’ve started making a cover for the stitch journal, which will be a cylindrical bag. I’ve made a start by layering strips of ribbon and tape onto a piece of hand-dyed cotton sheet.

cover for the stitch journal in progress

The strips of silk are from a hank of white sari ribbon that I dyed and ironed flat. I’ve turned the edges under by about 1/8″ and attached them with very simple straight stitches. I will probably go back and add more hand-stitching. It’s an intuitive process, and I will know when it’s had enough.

strips of hand-dyed silk sari ribbon, ironed flat
hand-dyed silk ribbon ready for couching

When all the vertical lines have been attached, I will add this horizontal band of silk expertly and beautifully eco-printed by Jane Hunter:

strip of eco-printed silk by Jane Hunter Textiles – see link in text above

This will keep me busy, while I think about where I’m going next. I find the mind ticks over nicely while the hands are engaged in some quiet stitching.

Author: Karen

Textile and mixed media artist

12 thoughts on “In the middle”

    1. Thank you, I don’t normally do such straight lines but the rhythm of it is quite calming

  1. Beautiful and thoughtful. The increased sunlight makes me feel as if I can start new things–but like you–I did spend yesterday at a standstill–letting the twitter of new birds fill my ears and the new plant shoots –fill my eyes. They make me think and feel–a lot–of possibilities

    1. The change in the light is more noticeable now I think. Everything seems to pick up speed after the equinox but until then I agree it’s good to stand still and enjoy the view.

  2. I’ve been fighting off a cold (I’ve done two LFTs, it’s A Bug, not The Bug!) so it’s one step forward, two steps back at present. I have good, progress-full days, and then crash for a day! One of these days, that will change.

    1. Phew, glad it’s not The Bug. Look after yourself and hope you feel better soon x

  3. love the soft spring greens … and the silk that mirrors the light that increases with each passing day

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