Wool and People

#wellmaking Flowergarden in Penzance

image

The #wellmaking Flowergarden is popping up in Penzance!

when: Saturday, 13. December, 15.00 – 16.30

where: Archie Browns Cafe (above the Health Food shop)

The #wellmaking Flowergarden is a nationwide project initiated between Fiona Hackney from Falmouth University and Sarah Corbett from the Craftivist Collective.

Currently there are over 40 groups all over Britain taking part!

The project is an invitation for people to come together and while making flower through crafting (stitching, crochet, knitting) to share stories, ideas, memories about the connecting between craft and wellbeing.

We are collecting information / date for a survey and there is the plan to sum up the whole experience in a

” Craft and Wellbeing Manifesto”

In January will be a closing event in London were all the flowers will be on show and raise awareness how important wellbeing is.

For more information check out:

Introducing the #wellMAKING Craftivists Garden! | Craftivist Collective
craftivist-collective.com/wellmaking

Craftivist Garden #wellMAKING – Projects – Falmouth University
projects.falmouth.ac.uk/craftivistgarden/
Craftivist Garden #wellMAKING is a participatory project run by Falmouth … Craftivist Garden takes the flower garden as a metaphor for creative flourishing.

Diary Working with Wool, Wool and People

Indigo Dying with Jean Dean

Beginn of this year I became a member of the Cornwall guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers.(http://www.cgwsd.btik.com/)

The Guild is holding monthly meeting in Probus and Chacewatter, at the 3rd Friday of a month in Probus is usually a workshop or talk organised.

This month Jean Deane (http://www.cgwsd.btik.com/) shared with us how to dye with Indigo in the most natural way.

Jean is very inspired by Gracia, a French Botanist and Scientist (http://naturaldyeworkshop.com/about/) who has created recipes for natural dying particular for Indigo dyeing.

Indigo for me is now sheer magic! To see the colour of the vat (that is the dye bath), the colour when the wool comes out, still more greenish yellow and then the transformation  through oxygen into the wonderful blue!

Before hand I had hand spun yarn from the carding waste for this occasion and also dyed some fleece!

The experience gave me the confidence to work with Indigo, woad and weld at home and with my students at Camborne college.

 

The Joy of Stitch

Crafting at the Poly

“Making Things together ”
is a monthly series of workshops/talks in the context of the research project Co-creating Care

Crafting at The Poly,Falmouth with Shane Waltener:
Saturday 22 February: 10.30 a.m. – 1.00 p.m.

Trained as a sculptor, Shane Waltener’s work draws inspiration from craft traditions and processes. He leads co-creation events working with a range of materials and techniques, from Needlecraft to knitting to food crafts, weaving and basketry. Shane describes these as “a conversation through making” that reflects a shared creative journey. His projects are interactive, participatory and fun, as he shifts our attention away from the symbolic meaning of objects and materials to focus on process and the activity of working with them.

Shane will lead a workshop at the Poly in Falmouth on Saturday, 22nd February from 10:30am to 1pm. The event is open to everyone, but numbers are strictly limited, so please sign up on the Eventbright site, add link as soon as possible and bring your ticket with you.

This event is run in conjunction with the AHRC-funded project Co-Creating CARE, which aims to explore the relationship between making and connecting.
For more information about Care: http://cocreatingcare.wordpress.com/the-project/
For more information about Shane Waltener: http://www.shanewaltener.com/

For more information contact Dr Fiona Hackney: fiona.Hackney@falmouth.ac.uk and Mary Loveday-Edwards: mary.lovedayedwards@falmouth.ac.uk

Diary Working with Wool

Working with Raw Wool

Today is my 2. Day on my residency at Camborne College. I will keep a diary throughout my time here.
I appreciate so much to be given the chance to share my passion about wool,particular local and British with the students on the BA Conteporay Creative Pracises.

Friday, 10. Oct 2914
I am officially here now, with tag, email and internet log in!
Monday was my first day and I arrived with 6 sacks of wool!
The wool ranges from a Shetland fleece, I was given earlier this year for my birthday ( in conjunction with a lovely old spinning wheel), fleece from Bosigrian Farm on the North Coast of Penwith and carding discharge from the Natural Fibre Company in Launcton. Along side a big bag with spindles, carders and a niddy noddy ( skein winding tool, no joke! ).
Today, like Monday, I am washing the Shetland fleece, bit by bit, soaking with laundry detergent, rinsing, putting into a washing machine to spin and let it try.
In between I have picked out some fleece and I am carding it “in the grease” meaning unwashed. This is a very new experience for me, my hands love it, all the lanolin!
Today I will try to spin some of the raw wool.
The whole process give a strong in depths feeling to the material.
My thoughts wander to times when this was nessity for clothing people…….. Every piece of clothing we wear, starts with a spun thread….

The Joy of Stitch

And they were stitching again !

What wonderful opening of the symposium ” Beyond the Toolkit”!
It has been a great afternoon of meeting people who are going to give talks and workshops tomorrow in the context of the symposium.
I am very grateful for Fiona Hackney and her team who created this amazing event and cast the net to bring so many people together; people who bring their keen interest in the relationship of Craft and Wellbeing to this event and share their ideas, stories and experiences.
One of tonight’s speakers was Monika Auch, a visual artist and medical researcher. More about her work and her project “Stitch your Brain” tomorrow !!!

Wool and People

Tricks with Old Tools

Practice presentation College December 2013
Vicky, Christiane and Claire working with a Lucette

Some years ago, during the annual “Woolfest” in Cockermouth near Carlisle, I found at the stand off the Mulberry Dyer (http://www.mulberrydyer.co.uk/) a tool called ‘Lucette’.

Lucet
Lucite

This tool predates French Knitting and was used for braiding a wide range of everyday items.

In my research on the internet I found a very interesting range of design, some with a handle, some without like the one above.

From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopaedia

lucet is a tool used in cord making or braiding which is believed to date back to the Viking[1] and Medieval[2] periods, when it was used to create cords that were used on clothing,[1] or to hang items from the belt.[3][4] Lucet cord is square, strong, and slightly springy. It closely resembles knitted I-cord or the cord produced on a knitting spool. Lucet cord is formed by a series of loop like knots, and therefore will not unravel if cut. Unlike other braiding techniques such as kumihimofinger-loop braiding or plaiting, where the threads are of a finite length, lucetted braids can be created without pre-measuring threads and so it is a technique suited for very long cords.

Archaeological finds and a literary description of lucets strongly suggest that its use declined after the 12th century,[2] but was revived in the 17th century.[5] Its use waned again in the early 19th century.[4]

A modern lucet fork, like that pictured, is normally made of wood, with two prongs at one end and a handle on the other. It may also have a hole through which the cord can be pulled. Medieval lucets, in contrast, appear to be double-pronged, straight-sided implements, often made of bone.[6] Some were shaped from hollowed bones, left tubular, presumably so that the cord could be drawn through the centre hole.[2]

In a seminar, where we were asked to show an example of our practice, I decided to demonstrate how to use a Lucette.

Two of my fellow students, Claire and Vicky agreed to volunteer and received a crash course in “lucetting”!!!

We used wool from the Vicarage Farm in Penryn, which I had bought some time ago at the Falmouth Farmers Market.

My two volunteers learned the trick of the trade very quickly and enjoyed the new techniques.

I was inspired by the artist Francoise Dupre, whose work incorporates French knitting and participation.

Participation and FRench Knitting
Participation and FRench Knitting
Interview with Francoise Dupre
Interview with Francoise Dupre
Francoise Dupre, spiral
Francoise Dupre, Spiral
Irish Knitting at the Musuem in Dublin
Irish Knitting at the Musuem in Dublin

de fil en aiguille snaith nasc, 2004
French knitting, Four needle knitting, Irish knitting stitches, wide range of yarns including plastic, cotton and wool and digital prints
Installation at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin
The project is based on social interaction and creative collaboration between artist and participants. The design of the installation is inspired by the Museum Formal Garden and Irish knitting.
-Floor piece: 4m x 4m x 10cm-
-Wall piece: 209 video stills, 6cm x 4.5cm-
-Mixed yarns and digital prints-

From: http://nikkiwhittingham.wordpress.com/2012/09/28/francoise-dupre/

The Joy of Stitch

Glimpse of the Graduation Show

Glimpse from the Graduation show
Glimpse from the Graduation show

Here are the first glimpses from the Graduation show! what pleases me most, is that people have been in acting with the embroidery and added their stitches to the large cloth which was started at the Event at the Exchange, Penzance.

Soon there will be more photos and reflective writing. The Show comes down on Friday, 21. June.

The Joy of Stitch

Stitch or Embroidery

On theTrain
On the Train

I was spending a morning with my friend Mark Leahy, a lecturer and performance artist and pondering about the question, why I preferred the term “Stitch” to ” Embroidery”. Mark responded immediately in saying the later one is loaded with associations of decorative, historical, and expectation of skill. In a way I hadn’t really thought about it, only became aware, that I had preferred to use the word ‘Stitch’, calling the project ‘Time and Stitch’ and the pieces of the project ‘Stitch samplers’. The event was called ‘Coffee, Cake and Stitch’. Strangely only on the collaboration with a musician, I had called the documentation ‘Music and Embroidery’. Musing about Mark’s remark, I thought, he got a point; the word ‘Stitch’ feels open and freer, feels free of expectations and I often had to explain this to people, who took part in the project and the event, that I didn’t expect fanciful or skilful embroidery. My emphasis was to share the experience of stitching with other people and inviting them to share their experience with me. 

And they did! Through their writing and talking to me about their experience.

Sometimes someone would say “Oh, it is about Cross-Stitch??” and I had to say, that it was about the process and the experience of Stitching. 

Why do I use Cross-Stitch? I like to stitch with Stitches which cover the stitched surface and are simple. Cross-stitch does that for me; it gives me a framework to work in the pattern, starting in the middle and working my way to the edge. It is simple, I don’t have to think too much about it, can enjoy the rhythm and the movement. When I am on my own, I can pay attention to my breathing and be in the present moment. When in company, I can still share the conversation and carry on stitching.

I was curious what people would stitch and had no expectations. Still I was surprised that no one referred to any pre-fabricated pattern from books, magazines or websites. People really worked with, what they knew and enjoyed and wanted to share. 

On the event ‘Coffee, Cake and Stitch’ some people asked me at the beginning: “What do you want me to do?” and I just said:”Stitch!” and they did!

As having receives permission to play with cloth and yarn, it enabled them to enjoy the process and the sharing in company: quite a few said on leaving:”When you do another one (Stitch Event) let me know!”


The Joy of Stitch

ALTAMIRA – LISTENING TO THE WORLD

Screen shot 2013-06-04 at 18.34.56

http://www.tumblr.com/blog/tristiane

This a video on YouTube clip from the Altamira Project by Boris Lebong.

Here is an excerpt from the website : ALTAMIRA – LISTING TO THE WORLD

http://www.altamiraworld.net/

“Altamira is a sociocultural project I founded in 1998. I have been involved full time with it since then. 

With music as a guideline, ALTAMIRA explores through action and reflection the role of cultural issues in the processes of human development.

We think cultural resources vaporization is a mainspring of social empowerment. Our projects thus lean on the link between the art of music and the weakening art of living together.

With Altamira, we explore the link between culture and society, and how it can be a mainspring of social empowerment. Practically, we make community-based records, we set up pluridisciplinary shows as well as cultural interactions of all sorts : open mics, conferences, screenings, etc… 

Music is the guideline of these projects, but they are first of all human projects based on sharing and creating together”

I found the website, the text, the whole approach and the aims and the video work very inspiring.

P.S. I will try to figure out how to upload the video to the blog!

till then, this is the YouTube link:

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=boris+lelong+embroidery&oq=boris&gs_l=youtube

The Joy of Stitch

Thought about Music and Stitch

Music and Stitch

Music is a very important aspect in my life; I enjoy music in many forms and variations. No matter if it is recorded music (CD’s, online etc) or life music, concerts, gigs, making music with friends. I enjoy listing to music while I work with my hands , at home or when I am out to concerts or local music events. I am known for taking knitting/stitching along with me, where I go.

The initial idea to link music with my Stitching Project, came through a visit to the local St. Mary’s church. The atmosphere, up on the balcony by the window, was the first place where I filmed or rather was filmed while stitching. A Nigel Wicken, a friend of mine, is the organist of this church and we experimented with music and did some recording.

 S1230006

Stitching at the Church

In this situation the music was a beautiful piece by Arvo Paert “mirror in the mirror”.

A very beautiful, serene atmosphere was created. Something was missing. There was a distant between the setting by the window and the musician at the organ. A beginning, but not qiute the dialogue I was looking for.

The next collaboration happened with Bill Goodyear in his flat. Bill improvised on his guitar while being aware of my presence, I was listing to him, while stitching. In the film and photography the dialogue is not visible.


DSC00039

At Bill’s flat

We both enjoyed the experience and the next step was to go outside to Mousehole Beach.

Mousehole Beach February 2013Mousehole Beach

But the music was still not “visible”.

Only when I went out with Jamie and suddenly had the idea of us sitting together the quite dialogues became visible.

 DSC00054

Jamie Mills and me in the Field

After this evening it became clear to me that I wanted to show the dialogue, the collaboration in my documentation.

Bill and I spent some time at Priest Cove, St. Just and sat together, playing and stitching, it felt just like a beginning. Bill said afterwards, he felt like weaving in and out from being ‘lost’ in his music and the awareness of my presence. In a subtle way he follow my movement.

At Priest Cove
At Priest Cove with Bill Goodyear

Another meeting was with Ruth Bolton and her three daughters, Jessie, Iris and Amy.   The youngest one preferred to be behind the camera: it was a wonderful experience how the flute (Jessie), the cello (Iris) and the violin (Ruth) wove together  with my Stitching.

 Ruth Boulton and the girls

Ruth, Jessie and Iris Bolton

After this afternoon, I became to realize that I want to start a further exploration into a dialogue between Music and Stitch.

The next step would be to start a new piece of cloth and response to the music with the Stitches.