Hey there! Is anyone online on such a sweet Saturday afternoon? I'm not sure it's the best moment to blog but I'll do it anyway. I'll share with you the process of my work on 'Burlap and Feather'. It's not finished yet, so I'll keep that provisional name for practical purposes.
One maddening problem I almost always have when I create is that I am not satisfied with just making something nice or pretty. (Except, probably, when I work on my series for 'the young'.) No, I also need to know why I am making that particular piece and what it means to me. Where it comes from. And it's not always easy.
Understanding the meaning of each work also influences the materials I use and the overall composition. The trouble with Burlap and Feather is that I started out influenced by the materials, the fabrics, in this case. I was not the one guiding the process but I was being guided by it. That was all very well till the question popped up: why am I centering this work on fabrics? If this is more than just a decorative piece, what is the deeper reason for the presence of fabrics in it?
I haven't really found the answer yet but I did come up with a few more questions that may be pointing to the right direction. A sequence of free associations: fabrics - cotton - laces - house linens - home - family - affection, etc. This is my free association and it is not necessarily meaningful to everyone.
The thing is, I have no childhood experiences of fabrics and laces around the house, my mother hardly knew how to sew and had no time for crafting and needlework. She was a doctor and, since my parents divorced when I was two, coping with her job and being a single mother were demanding enough for her. So there are no memories of playing with fabrics and threads and buttons when I was little.
Why on earth do I need to do it now? Well, maybe to compensate. Maybe it is that part of me who wishes she had a stay-at-home mom with time and energies to play with me and teach me how to sew -among other things. I'm not sure this is the answer but it probably is or is close enough to it to help me take this piece a little further.
I stitched the background papers together using coarse twine and gathered the materials I initially planned on using: a recycled silk ribbon tinted in vintage tea shades (on the upper left) and a skein of textured yarns and threads (upper right). I also added a couple of white lace fragments I have been playing with lately.
I uncluttered my work surface and used a length of yarn and thread to 'wrap' the feather. This way, the feather is tied down and embraced at the same time. Don't we all feel this way sometimes when we are with our loved one? The feather could actually be a representation of love: something soft, fragile and lovely. And dangerously prone to flying away!
The new elements that appear on this last picture are still temporary. I did sew the three buttons in place but they can be easily removed and the tiny holes would be easy to disguise. I think the buttons will stay though, and so will the yarns that hang from them. They feel right. The white flowers on the right are just resting on the burlap and are free to go at any moment. I'm not sure they belong here but I like them. I made them with overlapping layers of white cotton (underneath) and interlining.
Work on this piece is so slow it exasperates me. I think I'm scared of it. That means it does stir things deep inside me and if I am finally capable of expressing them through art it will be quite a feat!