Wool and People

Nalebinding – My daily Practise

Nalebinding – My Daily Practise


The hand spun yarn, Wensleydale locks and White Shetland slows down the process even more. The ends don’t felt and I knot them, which creates a resistance in the movement, and yet I persist .
Sitting in a very busy cafe in Totnes ,deeply absorbed in my movements , thought fleeting in and out……. Last night my mind needed a quite movement and soft chanting sounds to be able to settle into relaxation before going to sleep. My mind was troubled.
I had come to Totnes to attend a evening about GMO, the most prominent speaker was Vandana Shiva among a very diverse range of talks. It end with a video address by Deepark Shopra, a passioned call to action. The fact about the damage directly on humans and animals through consumption of GMO food was shocking as was the absurdity of of manipulation of science, politics and power.
Small scale farming based on traditional and organic methods feed 70% of the world population, while the remaking 30% of industrial farming is destroying wide stretches of land which becomes dead and useless.
People like Vandana Shiva advocate for the farming communities and pressure governments to take action against giants like Monsanto .
It is so easy to forget all about it, it is easier to slip back into everyday life….. And yet, everyday we make choices, where we put our money, whom we support , how we life, what we consume , how much we or how little we consume.
It is our choice to remain either part of the problem and live as if these threads as the life we know doesn’t exist and as we have no responsibility for what we leave behind for future generations. Or if we change, reassess, what are our priorities in life and what really matters; we can choose to support local and organic food producers to strengthen local and independent economy.
We can make the choice to reevaluate our real needs in everyday life. Living a simpler life…..simpler food, simpler clothing………….
I pick up my small wooden needle and thread my hand spun wool, my daily engagement with a ancient technique and and a sustainable material becomes a daily meditation, becomes the thread I can hang onto .

The Joy of Stitch

Poetry

Sometimes I see something in this strange digital world and it feels someone has put into words,

what I feel. There is a sense of recognition and knowing.
These words   from Toko-Pa and the image from Polina Yakovleva went straight to my heart:

Lightening Fires of Affection

So many of us are out at sea, looking for home. We try this way and that,

battling the endless march of adversaries, led by cynicism and apathy.

We fight them with every poetry we possess. We are gentle. We yield.

We get back to navigating our crafts.

Every once in a while, exhaustion can turn into despair.

The tiny flame, which takes our every resource to shield,

blows out on an unexpected gust.

Even then, lightless and alone, some of us remount our enterprise.

It helps to think of more than ourselves.

It helps to see the earth workers, the artists, the mothers,

the lovers, the singers, the poets and dreamers as threads in a web.

By ourselves we are fragile strands, songs with no listeners,

but together we are a relentless network.

Wherever there is depression,

there is colour made vivid by the grey.

When I feel this fog rolling in on me,

I light fires of affection in the hearts of others.

I tell them in tangible ways

how the life they live makes me live mine differently,

how precious and important they are to the rest of us.

That fire then becomes like a beacon which burns through

the grey and which I can sail towards.”

Toko-Pa Turner

Artwork by Polina Yakovleva
Artwork by Polina Yakovleva

 

http://toko-pa.com/2013/10/18/lighting-fires-of-affection/.

The Joy of Stitch, Wool and People

My Practise

“In the old days, the old fellows were sitting around, all the women were laughing , joking – so all that conversation has gone into the basket.”

Verna Nichols , Tasmania

This quote gathered to much up, how I feel about my practise.
When I look again at the cloth were people have embroidered on on now 4 occasions, it seems as if I can still her the voices, the stories and the laughter. And I see as well those, how were quietly stitching, not saying much, but listing and still part, adding their stitches.
My practise has these two aspects
– creating spaces where people can experience again a communal situation, of working with their hands creatively and being with people
– working on my own with very slow technique using Embroidery, Knitting, Crochet and very recently hand spinning as a meditative activity
– Working with my “traveling” projects where ever I am, on the train, in Cafés, with friends talking at the Folk evenings in my home town

image

Sometimes when I pick up a embroidered cloth, or a hat, knitted from my own pattern and from well chosen wool, I smile as the memories flood back.
The more I think about it, the more I realise that the underlying intend for my activities, shared and alone is Wellbeing.

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/

Uncategorized

Reading list

Deep ecology for the twenty-first century

Front Cover
Shambhala, 24 Jan 1995 – Nature – 488 pages
Every day, in newspapers and on television, we read and hear about the ongoing destruction of the environment: the greenhouse effect, ozone layer depletion, deforestation, and air and water pollution. Deep Ecology offers a solution to the environmental crisis through a radical shift in human consciousness—a fundamental change in the way people relate with the environment. Instead of thinking of nature as a resource to be used for human needs, Deep Ecology argues that the true value of nature is intrinsic and independent of its utility. Emerging in the 1980s as an influential philosophical, social, and political movement, Deep Ecology has shaped the environmental debate among leading activists and policymakers—from former Vice-President Al Gore to Dave Forman, cofounder of Earth First!Deep Ecology for the Twenty-First Century contains thirty-nine articles by the leading writers and thinkers in the filed, offering a comprehensive array of perspectives on this new approach to environmentalism, exploring:•  The basic philosophy of Deep Ecology.
•  Its roots in the writings of Henry David Thoreau, John Muir and Rachel Carson.
•  The relationship of Deep Ecology to social ecology, ecofeminism, the Greens, and New Age futurism.
•  How Deep Ecology as a way of life is exemplified by two important environmentalists: poet Gary Snyder and Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess.
•  The philosophical dimensions of this environmental movement by its leading theorist.
•  The politics of ecological sustainability and the social and political implications of Deep Ecology for the next century.

Ecofeminist Natures:

Race, Gender, Feminist Theory, and Political Action

Front Cover
Routledge, 1997 – Social Science – 260 pages
Examining the development of ecofeminism from the 1980s antimilitarist movement to an internationalist ecofeminism in the 1990s, Sturgeon explores the ecofeminist notions of gender, race, and nature. She moves from detailed historical investigations of important manifestations of US ecofeminism to a broad analysis of international environmental politics.

Race, Gender, Feminist Theory, and Political Action

Front Cover
Indiana University Press, 1996 – Social Science – 270 pages

Here feminist philosophers and ecofeminist scholars pursue the connections between feminism and environmentalism. Topics include the ecofeminist ethic; the role of patriarchal concepts in perpetuating the domination of women and nature; the grassroots origins and character of a thoughtful ecofeminism; the “ecofeminism-deep ecology debate” in environmental philosophy; deep ecological treatment of animal rights and the omission of ecofeminist analyses of the domination of animals, abortion, and nuclear deterrence; and ways ecofeminism and the science of ecology are or could be engaged in complementary, supportive projects.

The contributors are Carol J. Adams, Carol H. Cantrell, Jim Cheney, Chris Cuomo, Deane Curtin, Victoria Davion, Roger J. H. King, Stephanie Lahar, Patricia Jagentowicz Mills, Patrick D. Murphy, Val Plumwood, Catherine Roach, Robert Sessions, Deborah Slicer, and Karen J. Warren.

Women healing earth:

Third World women on ecology, feminism, and religion

Front Cover
Orbis Books, 1996 – Religion – 186 pages

Ecofeminism

Front Cover

Greta Gaard

Temple University Press, 3 Sep 2010 – Nature – 304 pages
Drawing on the insights of ecology, feminism, and socialism, ecofeminism’s basic premise is that the ideology that authorizes oppression based on race, class, gender, sexuality, physical abilities, and species is the same ideology that sanctions the oppression of nature. In this collection of essays, feminist scholars and activists discuss the relationships among human begins, the natural environment, and nonhuman animals. They reject the nature/culture dualism of patriarchal thought and locate animals and humans within nature. The goal of these twelve articles is to contribute to the evolving dialogue among feminists, ecofeminists, animal liberationists, deep ecologists, and social ecologists in an effort to create a sustainable lifestyle for all inhabitants of the earth. Among the issues addressed are the conflicts between Green politics and ecofeminism, various applications of ecofeminist theory, the relationship of animal liberation to ecofeminism, harmful implications of the romanticized woman-nature association in Western culture, and cultural limitations of ecofeminism.

Ecofeminism:

Women, Culture, Nature (Google eBook)

Front Cover

Karen J. Warren

Indiana University Press, 22 May 1997 – Nature – 472 pages

“… provides readers with a much-needed cross-cultural and multidisciplinary perspective on ecofeminist activism and scholarship.” — Iris

“… a very important contribution to the literature on ecological feminism.” — Ethics

“I think the unique collection of so many different perspectives will help to push readers out of their disciplinary views and work to bring theory and practice together in meaningful ways…. an excellent resource for scholars and teachers…” — Teaching Philosophy

Here the potential strengths and weaknesses of the growing ecofeminist movement are critically assessed by scholars in a variety of academic disciplines and vocations, including anthropology, biology, chemical engineering, education, political science, recreation and leisure studies, sociology, and political organizing.

Timeless Simplicity:

Creative Living in a Consumer Society

Front Cover
Green Books, 1 Jan 2001 – Nature – 107 pages

This is a book about simplicity – not destitution, parsimoniousness or self-denial, but the restoration of wealth in the midst of an afflence in which we are starving the spirit. It is a book about the advantages of living a less cluttered, less stressful life than that which has become the norm in the overcrowded and manic-paced consuming nations. It is a book about having less and enjoying more, enjoying time to do the work you love, enjoying time to spend with your family, enjoying time to pursue creative projects, enjoying time for good eating, enjoying time just to be.