Making time

This cloth is the first in a series exploring the timeless marks found on ancient rocks. Circles, rings, spirals, and lines – all quite abstract but eternally symbolic and full of meaning.

Cup and ring marks in progress

I’ve used hand-dyed silk bourette yarn for couching the rings. It has a lovely soft texture and, unusually for silk, doesn’t have so much of a sheen. It looks and feels more like very soft wool.

The rings on the grey silk band are made with very fine silk tulle, which weighs almost nothing but has a strong will of its own and can be quite tricksy. You have to work very slowly with it and pin it down as you go, otherwise it tends to wriggle away and wander off. This is not a great photo but was only intended to show myself where the rings needed adjusting a little before committing to stitching them down.

Silk tulle rings

A few stitches later, they’re sitting quite nicely.

Silk tulle rings on hand-dyed silk, in progress.

It’s taking its time, and I’m sitting with each mark to see where it needs more. These plain running stitch circles may or may not be finished. The cloth in this section is textured silk, similar to silk noil but slightly heavier and thicker.

Running stitch circles on textured silk

Taking time to make time. All the time is already there. It’s just a matter of finding it.

Cloth in progress

Author: Karen

Textile and mixed media artist

18 thoughts on “Making time”

  1. I just gifted myself some tiny applique pins, which are a bit more than half an inch long … I’m thinking you might find them useful for the fine work you do

    1. What a kind thought Liz, thank you. I have some already, from when I used to make miniatures. I also have some ultra-fine silk pins, which I *should* have used for this tulle… Note to self – get All The Pins out instead of reaching for the nearest thing… 😊

  2. Oh, yes, the “tricksy” fabrics. You seem to have wrangled these very successfully, but I know from experience how much muttering and grumbling sometimes goes into a successful result!

    1. More surprised than grumbling, to be fair – who know such a tiny thing could creep so far away from where it was placed 😆 it’s a bit like silk velvet, just doesn’t want to go where it’s told. I think I beat it in the end 😁

    1. Thanks Janet – no need for glue in the end, though that’s a good suggestion.

  3. Love you ancient rock concept, the colors are simply beautiful as is your stitching. I have worked with spirals and labyrinths in my embroidery.

  4. Looking lovely even with the work. You know how I love your old marks with my two iron age villages each side of my house. Very grounding.

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