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Not so much knitting …

December 29, 2020

I woke well before dawn and worked on a small task that will become part of my final piece. It is knitted; I learn as a child and been knitting complex patterns for decades.  However, knitting in the traditional sense will not form part of my final. Until then this person, sports a rather dashing sweater in indigo and of the Aran style

the Waiting …

December 28, 2020

Lovely frosty morning; quiet here there is no sense of life in my locality.  So these two people who represent the Waiting by Degas sort of say it all. 

Rest and renewal with Matisse on the couch …

December 27, 2020

Although the weather is notably dreary; I am still in the holiday mood and reluctant to get back to the jobs in hand. For instance, household tasks and of course the MA and its required study. So, I am thinking … another day of R&R. 

These two people again inspired by Matisse and called Two women in yellow and tartan dresses.  Both dresses are made of silk; the yellow is dyed with onion skins and the other batik printed. In the film they dance when they get bored with sitting on the sofa. 

Odalisque …

December 26, 2020

Nice quiet morning; no news reports or weather forecast to sully the pale sun and stillness. 

This person starred in a recent film called the Charity shop and part of my submission at the halfway point of my MA.  Her character inspired by the painting by Matisse called the Reclining Odalisque.

Happy Christmas Fabio …

December 25, 2020

What a lovely Christmas morning; it was especially beautiful this today notwithstanding the ankle-deep mud and the gathering of soggy leaves in the woods, the world belied the ‘other’ goings on 100%. While I am careful that my ‘people’ stay in a realm of their own; some have crept into the human psyche. This one for instance from the 2nd incarnation is called Fabio and could represent a Carioca; someone from Rio and seen usually on the beach at Copacabana or Ipanema. I haven’t met the other Fabio; he is a friend of my daughter and doesn’t live in Rio. He might enjoy the beach and he is, I think a film maker, stage and costume designer.

So as my Fabio has become human in name only, he is characterful and can dance perhaps not the samba yet.

Happy Christmas to you and my family in Rio xxx

the saga continues …

December 24, 2020

I have not looked at the weather forecast or the BBC news so I am blissfully unaware of the calamities or not that might beset me. So, until I venture out, I will continue the saga of the coat hanger people. These are coloured but not dressed.  My people do not have skin; they are made of the fleece from a sheep and felted. They do not compare with humans as regards  human ideals of flesh tone; Using any natural materials available that produces colour; such as onion skins, rhubarb, flower heads, nettles, woad, weld and turmeric; my people are more vegetable or animal  than human. Without going into the finest detail of dyeing and felting and to be honest it isn’t rocket science or a big secret, but it is tedious, and requires basic knowledge of natural dyeing process and meticulous planning. This know-how can lead to further shenanigans, with different and complex outcomes. It is then perhaps, when the craft becomes art. Perfecting the bits that seem so tedious and time consuming is important and in time does become fun. However, this a MA and the perfections have to become constant or a mere walk in the park, before I can consider myself as an artist and proverbially ‘run’

Coat hanger people…

December 23, 2020

As promised by the BBC rain has set in; so, having walked as the not promised sun came up, I am now confined to my little studio for an hour or so.  Bereft of good news and noting how awfully dull the bad news has become; I thought I might tell you about my coat hanger people. The characters I am working with at present are the third incarnation.  In the beginning using dry felting they were rather Neanderthal.

As they have developed using wet felt, different wire and improved methods; while they are no more attractive, they have morphed into something less primitive.

  For coat hanger people that is.   

With a head no more refined than coat hanger hook, no hands and huge feet and a six pack to die for, they have no redeeming features.  They are without gender, without mothers or fathers, they are to me brothers and sisters, no lovemaking or define procreation, but they dance and materialise.

So, if you understand that then you are ‘cleverer’ than me … for me it is just magical. 

It was to be the longest night …

December 22, 2020

On Saturday while not attending my Berkshire Spinners, Weavers and Dyers group Zoom Christmas Party and while our PM was announcing the new stringent restrictions since the Mutant Covid19, I was meeting with a friend on WhatsApp; I won first prize in the raffle.  The afore mentioned annual Christmas party is usually not to be missed; with party games, a raffle,bran tub, fine food and fun; it seemed to have continued in the same way in the newfound Zoom; unbeknown to me, my name was added to the hat for the raffle. The joy was short lived as the prize was in Tier 3 and I a few miles away in Tier 4.  So, I began to resign myself to eating Christmas goodies in March or regifting them to a needy family in Tier 3. 

However, by some magical strategic method into which I will not question, the parcel arrived last night as we went into our longest night and to my delight.  

I thought that me and my long-suffering husband were going to have a quiet Christmas and we still will but with some extra treats; for which I am grateful and beginning to believe in Christmas magic.

While the words Berkshire Spinners, Weavers and Dyers will take up all the syllables in a Haiku they will become … Friends

Taught me [to] spin, weave dye,

who even in my absence,

didn’t forget love.

new beginnings with pitfalls …

December 21, 2020

As the year comes to an end; I have almost completed my mid term essay and research journal.  It has been an ‘interesting’ journey, not as I expected; being a student in isolation is not a comfortable option.  However, it did allow me to indulge in my love to create and research/read endlessly with copious results. Not always pleasing; but, mostly fitting a student’s remit. Nonetheless, without peer contact and student banter one finds herself baffled at every turn. Self-criticism is often mismanaged, doubt and delusion set in, in equal measure.

I hear the call to adventure, feel the positive conditions and the opportunity for a free spirit; but I also fear the lack of direction, control and dispirit in and of the present situations.

So, a little poem for this Coat Hanger person with no name as yet and her story to evolve.

Dress of silk and wool,

shades of weld, iron, alum,

swirls at her ankles.

A prayer …

December 20, 2020

From earthly chaos,

Above the worldly chatter,

heartfelt songs and praise.

This morning out of the silence I hear prayer. I have not heard this beautiful sound since the first lock down in March.  Someone being prayerful or singing in their garden in my neighbourhood is not unusual, but it goes unnoticed when the trains are running full pelt to Paddington or Gatwick, the traffic on the motorway is up to speed and flights to the US are on schedule.  This morning his song and that of the birds was beautiful and welcome; yet somehow it was sad and less hopeful. 

I am not religious, or did I vote Tory but somehow, I did hope this ‘natural’ disaster unlike Brexit an orchestrated disaster, might have been managed, less politically, less left or right, with more humanity. We have been failed.  The money tree that produces when there is political gain has not borne fruit.

Thank you to those who keep the faith in multiple capacities I am less hopeful.