Sunday, March 07, 2010

Stiching Women's Stories

Ohh it has been busy, but finally feel I am getting somewhere, this week has been lots of office work [necessary for the fun side of being on tour], sorting out supplies for a few people, and grading patterns for all the designs we get produced for Leafy Seadragoon Designs That is a long slow task and the good side of it is have plenty of time for daydreaming!
I have been daydreaming particularly of my next piece of work...
I have a little bag of treasure from Marion of Beautiful Silks, it is white pre-felt and it will become the glue of a piece I have wanted to make for some time and the core of a workshop. I am working for Beautiful Silks in October
The workshop is called "Stitching Women's Stories" has been something I have wanted to explore for some while so when Marion invited me I was thrilled, nothing like a date to get the mind focused.
This is also a great theme for a workshop for The Pukka Studio [our home]- we see it as a place for groups to have a work space whilst exploring much that Rajasthan has to offer...and we have some discussions already underway for groups to come here and take advantage of a home [and studio] away from home.
Here is the bag of pre-felt calling to me...the theme of the workshop is universal we all have a story [or two] inside is a format to portray is good to reflect upon our Stories too and see the silver lining to events in our life.....
Of course so much of what I see here in India's textile traditions has a big influence in the way my thinking is going for formating the lay out. This little piece of Khatwa embrodery is a simple picture [this is the piece iIam keeping out of my stash of them as it tells the story of a group of embroderers coming to Delhi to sell their work- see Pukka Finds]
Traditioanl Kantha work tends to have something, usually a lotus in the centre to connect to the Gods, and markers in the 4 corners, again often relating to the Gods and then images to relate to their story over the rest of the field. This is all brought together with lots of hand stitching to create a very dynamic feel to pieces. Look at the front page of the book Handmade in India [a fantastic reference book by the way, for anyone interested in Indian Handicrafts and where to find them]
Contempory Sujani work which has come from that origin is vey lively and full of symbols and images relating to contemporary life, a few self -helpgroups use them as a bsis for education as well- so many things to digest...all mulling around in my heart and head....I am going to make the base for my work out of a felted silk and wool sandwich [a big step away from tradition many of which started with re-cycling]
 1. because I  like to felt and
2. thinking of sharing this in a workshop- it will give us a dynamic surface to work into, without needing millions of hours of stitching; a dynamic surface that will be all the better for our stitching and can be got to a certain point where it can be used and more stiching added as time and desire arrive.
Praveen bought back more stocks of threads from Delhi, when I stack them in my Studio I feel like the scrouge of No8 Anchor threads, sitting on a mountain of them! They will soon turn into a mountain of panels ready to go out and be transformed  with the next person's layer of imagination!
The Stitching Project has its ups and downs as you may have guessed form my last post, but on the whole is a very postive initiative.

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