Sunday, February 05, 2012

finally....

i can report some progress on textile-related bizzo. i signed up for karen ruane's embroider, embellish, create class but have been a very bad pupil.

part fo the problem is that the class began on 9 january when we were still in rome so by the time we got home i was already a week behind. add jet lag, going back to work, school holidays and some full-bore melbourne summer weather and not much has been accomplished.

an added problem was one i hadn't anticipated - compete creative paralysis. i did karen's button class late last year and loved it. karen is an excellent teacher and with her i conquered my fear of french knots, mastered bullions and fell in love with white on white embroidery. but confronted with making a wrapping cloth i had trouble enough trying to choose which fabrics and vintage pieces to use and then completely overwhelmed by the acres of empty white space - the classic curse of the blank page.

so i watched to karen's class videos which are incredibly soothing and clear and watched with mounting guilt as my class mates posted ever more wonderful examples of embroidery and inspiration.
so this weekend i have made a concerted effort and may just finish one block before the class ends. and this leads to what i suspect is the real source of the embroiderer's block.
you may remember i started making little shrouds late last year a a way of starting to think about all the babies i miscarried. then i found some wonderful examples of embroidered swaddling cloths in the Victoria and Albert Museum. and i thought i would make a small swaddling cloth as part of karen's course. except i couldn't. for the same reason i couldn't visit the foundling museum in london - at the moment it's just too hard and clearly not the right time.

so the only way i could start on my class work was to think of it as a sampler for when i do make my swaddling cloth.
there's quite a way to go but the momentum is there now.

2 comments:

karen said...

I think you are enormously courageous for even beginning this, putting those thoughts to the front of your mind, exploring the emotion....there is no rush...access to the class is without limit and the reason for that is because it is hard when we make emotional connections, they need time, we can't rush it....
I adore your swaddling images, thank you so much for sharing those....

Kathryn said...

Your first photo literally makes me want to reach through the computer and touch the embroidery. This is plainly a very powerful process, and I really feel your art will help you connect and "swaddle" - not suppress, but comfort - your grief. The intricate, but simultaneously plain, white-on-white also puts me in mind of Christina Henri's earlier bonnet work honouring the babies born in the female convict factories.