On 1 May Karen Ruane's 'Embroider, Embellish, Create' online course started. We had three tasks to complete and I was only able to finish one but Oh My! Did I enjoy it!
Sunday afternoon. I come home after nine days of almost complete dedication to the Exhibition Hall (yeap, opening again on weekends), feeling exhausted but also very eager to dive into my new project: assembling pieces of fabric to create a cloth for the course.
Tired as I was, it was harder for me to discern which fabric went well with what and it took me more than an hour to finally make a decision. In my fatigue-induced dreamlike state however, I also felt as if an inner force prompted me forward and helped me make choices. I happily let myself be guided by my subconscious. If things came out wrong, I could always blame it! I think they didn't go very wrong.
This is a 30 x 28 cms cloth made out of 5 different fabrics (cotton and linen) and 2 lace strips. The pieces are still held in place with pins and my next step will be to tack them and then proceed to join them either by sewing or by embroidering the edges together.
While I was at it I couldn't help thinking about the word 'cloth'. I have a thing for the etymology of words (their origin and the history of changes in their meaning over time) and it seemed to me that 'cloth' may come from a Greek root. Just like me. So this morning I looked it up in my Dictionary of Word Origins by John Ayto, published back in 1990 by Arcade Publishing, Inc. I bought this book in 1994, a full 18 years ago! But I'll leave the time-passing woes for another entry.
According to the dictionary, [...the history of the word 'cloth' is not known, beyond the fact that its immediate source is Germanic... The verb 'clothe' also goes back to Old English times, although it is not recorded before the 12th century.]
Now how can I not relate 'cloth' and 'clothe' to Clotho, one of the three Moirai or Moerae in Ancient Greek Mythology, also known as The Fates? The resemblance of the nouns cannot be a coincidence, especially if we consider that Clotho was The Spinner. She held in her hands the thread of life and while she did so, the human grew and became a part of society. Clotho was the eldest of the three Fates. Lachesis, the middle one, held a spindle and spun the yarn of life, deciding whether it would be a good and happy one or a life burdened with problems and anxieties. Finally Atropos, the youngest of the three, held a pair of scissors and cut the thread of life, thus deciding the moment of death.
Inmersed in my newly-found cloth-making endeavour, it felt so good to be part of such a long, ancient story, that wisely puts life in female hands. If you hop over to Karen's blog, you'll see that her way of relating to cloth and embroidery has a lot to do with this old tradition, that extends its threads to the present and our contemporary view on life.
I have other interesting things to blog about and I'll try to post a couple of entries more this week. New friends, new creative projects! Lachesis seems to have spun a good year for me!