We can all get stuck in a rut, with work, creativity and life. I was well and truly stuck personally and creatively a few years ago. In 2013 I had a visit from my Mum and Dad who noticed straight away how unhappy I was. My mums words ‘your far too young to be this unhappy and only you can make the change’ was so true.
So I started to really focus on the positive. I surrounded myself with positive, fun, people, which was a huge step towards a new happier me. It was amazing how much positivity started to come naturally into my life, especially with my work and creativity. Its like all the locked doors suddenly opened. Amazing opportunities have come my way that I don’t think would have happened if I hadn’t made any effort to get out my rut.
2 years on and amazing things are still happening. The energy from all the positivity is incredible. Earlier this year I moved house to a beautiful place, its such a creative and artist enriched place to live. I’m making good friends, artist connections and getting really inspired.
Life is wonderful again, I’m laughing and enjoying life guilt free as well as getting really excited by what I’m working on. One of which is to be featured in a fabulous textile magazine I loved to read when I lived in the UK. I’ll post details as soon as I know when it will be published.
In discussing the article, I was asked if I had any colourful work, which I don’t, I just love natural earth tones, but as I’ve learnt recently its good to step away from the rut and get out from our comfort zones!
I have been wondering if it would be possible to sculpt and shape a stitched vessel like a wood turner or potter can after making my thread bowls. In keeping with my ocean obsession I went deep into the barrier reef to inspire some embellishments for the vessel, as well as provide a very bright colourful palette for me to work with!
I started stitching, with no real direction on shape, I decided to let the vessel evolve while I stitched. My technique worked!
I stitched the whole thing in white silk.
The dissolving of the water soluble fabric was interesting as the vessel actually held water. First I put it through the washing machine and let it dry, there were still small patches of soluble left so I went to soak it in fabric conditioner and I couldn’t believe the stitching was dense enough to hold the water with just a small slow leak down one side!
The vessel and embellishments were then hand dyed, Dip dying and painting the dye to get the flow of colours.
I then had the boring task of hand stitching them to the rim. Except the rim started to droop, it needed extra stitching to support it around the narrow neck. With such dense stitching there was no way I could hand stitch through all the dense layers, I would need my fingers to become pliers! I decided to try and machine stitch them on. Some of the circular shapes I thought wouldn’t work but if I could get as much done by the machine, my fingers stood a chance of surviving a small amount of hand work. It worked better than I thought, but it took a lot of patience though, 40 needles were broken in 1 hour!
This was needle #33 being broken!
I attached corals and barnacles to the vessel sides by hand…I even found myself stitching sea corals while on the actual sea!
I love that there are no seams or darts. Approx 35,000 metres of silk and around 70 sewing needles! The amazing people who follow me on facebook helped name the vessel ‘Coral Cornucopia’ I’m thrilled my technique worked and I managed to get outside the rut to push my abilities to create something I never dreamed I could a few years ago. I will be working on more sculpted shapes in my bright and colourful future.