I think I’m calling this one finished today – apart from finding some sort of stick to hang it from and making a label for the back, both of which still need doing.
I’ve enjoyed working on this one. It seems to have taken its own time, as all things do – a few minutes here and there, whenever we could sit down together. But these things happen, one stitch at a time, like putting one foot in front of the other. Just to keep going and see what happens. It’s always an adventure and a voyage of discovery. We always seem to get there in the end, wherever it is we’re supposed to be.
I’ll show a picture of its full length when I’ve sorted out the hanging rod. It’s about 43″ long and about 9.5″ wide.
I really like the long narrow format; it strikes me as quite practical because it doesn’t take up too much wall space and is pretty easy to hang.
I also like how the ancient cup and ring marks translate so readily to stitch, and how universal these patterns are. There are circles everywhere in life.
The summer solstice tomorrow – and there’s my northern hemisphere bias again, for which apologies – is another circle, another turn of the wheel. And so we continue, keeping on keeping on.
…after the second bank holiday weekend in a row. It’s probably done me some good to take a couple of days out, though time off isn’t quite the same when you get to do what you love for a living.
The more industrious corner of my work table doesn’t know about time so it’s still exactly as it was when I downed tools on Friday. I see now it needs dusting. Thread and fabric shed their fibres all the time.
You can also see a couple of beautifully smooth pebbles from a recent trip to the seaside. I was lucky enough to find a hag stone, a pebble with holes in it, which you can just see hanging above. It’s sometimes said that they find you. I love to marvel at how old these things are, how many millions of years they’ve been around. How much time they hold.
Also on the table, appropriately enough, is Marking Time II (and thank you, Dawn, for naming it). This is another long cloth pieced from hand-dyed vintage fabrics and stitched with motifs from ancient rocks and prehistoric marks on the land.
The beautiful lightweight cotton fabric in the section below is eco-printed by Jane Hunter and makes the perfect ground for some couched cup and ring marks. I will add more stitch, of course.
Easing myself back into the working week, and hoping your week ahead is a good one.
I gave myself a break over Easter. I’ve come back to the cloth that (as yet) has no name: the first in a small series about cup and ring marks, ancient circles and spirals, lines and basic marks.
These lines and circles seem to communicate without words. Maybe they come from a time before language; certainly before literacy. There is a kind of magic about them, a deep and unfathomable wisdom in their shapes.
I’m enjoying the earthy colour palette here, and the repeating motifs.
I’ve been invited to give a talk to a local stitching group and I’m just gathering together some inspiration. I’ll take this unfinished cloth too, mostly to see if anyone can help name it.
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.
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.
A few stitches later, they’re sitting quite nicely.
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.
Taking time to make time. All the time is already there. It’s just a matter of finding it.
Daily paint doodles have produced these little pictograms, influenced by prehistoric art and the images found on rocks and in caves everywhere in the ancient world:
Prehistoric art is something I’ve always found really interesting. Not so much the figurative drawings of the various beasts fleeing from human hunters, but more the abstract mark-making and simple patterns. They seem to crop up everywhere from the same kind of time. Shapes like circles, spirals, wavy lines, squares, short lines – basic marks. These are the marks I make most often in my sketchbooks too, and a lot of the shapes will translate very effectively from pen to needle and thread.
I’ve prepared a few long cloths, about 10” x 40-ish”, for adding timeless marks with thread. Just to see where it goes. I’m using linen or cotton as the backing fabric, and brushed cotton in place of batting. The top layers are strips of hand-dyed silk, cotton, and linen.
I’m beginning with circular blanket stitch on hand-dyed textured silk fabric and looking forward to following the thread.