Thursday, July 12, 2012

(in transition)

Crochet lace on wet felted object

Many people say they need a deadline to be productive.  I always find deadlines very limiting and to be avoided as much as possible.  I am so much more creative, and just as busy and productive, when I don't feel pressured.   I take more risks, I play more, I'm more imaginative and experimental. I write and draw and daydream.

This post-South Island winter (with only a couple of of low pressure deadlines) is proving a fertile season with new ideas almost every day, some in my dreams, some in the half sleep of dawn, some as I learn techniques or see other people's work.  My journal pages fill fast with sketches, scrawled notes, lists and stories and samples of stitches.

There are too many ideas for me to ever take all of them up but it is not difficult to know where I want to channel all this fecundity.  I came back from my South Island trip with a very clear sense of what's next.  The coal of Stockton Mine, the flora of Denniston Plateau and the rock and ice of Franz Joseph Glacier, together with the sense of transformation that each place is undergoing are proving very powerful influences.  

It's not just thinking, writing and drawing round here. As usual my hands are constantly busy with needles, hooks, threads and wool. My work table is a jumble of multiple projects all  in high rotation.  But it is too soon to talk about what will come next as I float 'Extraction' out in a new direction.  Sometimes is dangerous to share too soon, when the ideas are still so malleable, my confidence in them not quite firm enough to withstand 'helpful suggestions' or critique.

If interrogated, perhaps I shyly mumble words like:

I will say there won't be blankets-I've been wanting to wean my work away from them for a while, despite the sensual pleasures. Instead, I'm teaching myself to make lace which is about the hardest textile skill I've ever tackled.  I'm also teaching myself to wet-felt which is easy in comparison. Both techniques are extremely enjoyable ways to extend myself. Embroidery (in various textures with the unlovely name of stumpwork) has also reasserted itself into my practice.

Alongside the new developments, I'm still spending more time that I would like finishing off prior obligations. I'm also waiting to move into a much bigger home and studio on 31 August.  I've postponed tackling large scale projects while I am cramped into this increasingly claustrophobic space, with the weather too inclement to work outside.

Snuggled among the clutter of my busy studio, this last winter before I move is proving a time of exhilarating inspiration and steep learning.

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