Wow it’s been a year since I added to my blog. Time really does fly when you’re having fun! I’ve just celebrated my 1 year anniversary of my new life in my new home and I’m loving it.
It’s been a very busy year for me and my sewing machine.
In January I was asked to make some new pieces for an exhibition at Circle Craft with some very talented artists, 2 of which I exhibited with as part of the ring show in 2015. The exhibition was for September which in January seemed a long time ago. The exhibition opens this Thursday!
I needed a vessel and wearable art. I decided on necklaces for my wearable pieces and well the vessel was going to be tall and thin, trying to make it different to my recent vessels.
A few months passed and I started a vessel. At this point I had no idea of the size or embellishment.
Another invitation to exhibit my seascape work at the Landing Gallery with Ruth Rodgers in August allowed me to learn all about the very rare sea glass coral found off the sunshine coast where I live… We decided to ask CPAWS to come and talk at the opening reception to raise awareness of their work with the sea glass. I did not know anything about the coral, but researching it and seeing pictures I realised this was going to be the inspiration for my vessel.
The finished vessel shape looked great, very organic. I made a decision to keep the vessel plain undyed silk. I did finish the vessel shorter than I wanted and so I then added a few more inches to the height. Finished it looked great, but needed something, Maybe dye….or a light! I decided to turn the sea glass into a lamp.
The seamless vessel made entirely from silk thread….or sort of …unfortunately lighting up the vessel highlighted the join to the finished edge (I always stitch very heavy and dense around a finished edge.) It looked ugly, but really liked the light effect so I cut out the dense row of stitching and joined the 2 pieces together, that just created another join for the light to highlight, in desperation I did it twice trying to make it look purposeful…nope it just looked ugly
So rather than get rid of the light idea (the quickest solution) I decided to re do the whole vessel! And to make sure I would be happy with it, I dip dyed the coral to add a bit more interest to the sea glass when the light is off. A lot of work to repeat, millions of stitches and thousands of metres of thread…however…..
The exhibition is called Hammer, Cut, Stitch, Repeat focusing on our art practises of repeating one action over and over; something that would drive most people mad. For this group of artists, repetition becomes a vessel for creativity and it is within that place that they push themselves further to explore their craft.
I’m really pleased with the 2nd finished effect. The pictures of some of the sea glass show a lacy pattern to its structure and I did emboss this design to the vessel background for the light to subtly highlight.
The vessel was delivered 1 week before my Landing gallery opening reception when CPAWS brought an actual piece of sea glass that they removed to study. He’s named Mr Stinky; he was beautiful and only slightly stinky! He is very fragile and few people get to touch him, but since I was SO enthusiastic to see a real piece of coral I was allowed to hold him.
The neck pieces are also sea inspired. These also started off white silk thread, embroidered.
Mermaids Pearls, started out being solid white silk thread ready to dye. The shape and size happened naturally as I sewed each ‘pearl’. Just when I thought I was finished I decided to cut away a few pearls to leave holes. Yep looked great, but the small holes left tufts of loose threads I couldn’t clean up….so just like the vessel I re did the whole thing…it could have been a waste but I was grateful to have a ‘spare’ piece to experiment and practise my dying! Oh and I also added some 3D coral!
Sea Spurrey was inspired by the coral reef, the long organic spurs were an experiment with a new shape and became really fun to make. So much fun I made about 30 of them! As you can see only a couple got used, but at least the necklace is aesthetically much better! The centre piece is a pin, so can be placed anywhere on the stitched band or removed completely to so the look of the necklace can change each time you wear it.Both neck pieces have sterling silver clasp and chain at the back.
Weird I keep trying to look elsewhere for inspiration, but the ocean always wins!
All pieces will be at circle craft until October 8th and I’m honoured to be exhibiting with such talented artists, Rachael Ashe, Su Foster, Patsy Kolesar, and Simone Richmond. All of us will be at the opening on September 8th from 6pm.