For centuries women have used cloth as a tool of comfort and as an expression of beauty within their homes. Creating cloth for warmth, cloth for shelter, our female predecessors embellished these linens with hand stitch using laborious and time consuming techniques thereby enhancing the functional beauty of objects which enveloped and protected their families. Inspired by these women I hope my creations pay tribute to and recognise the devotion expressed in cloth by our female ancestors .







''the use of traditional often time consuming process alludes to the devotion of a mother''. c K. A. Ruane 2007







Wednesday, October 10, 2007






I have been working on a new project which kind of follows on from what I based all my final degree work on. Pieces made for new designers also followed a similar theme. My main concern for what I consider my most important pieces is motherhood. How we protect our children and where that instinct/emotion comes from. For this reason my work is a combination of traditional technique using domestic reference and within that I like to give recognition to my female predecessors. This has mostly shown in surface patterns used in my work, from vintage tablecloths, lace or transfers. Recently though I have been looking at all the vintage cloths I have collected. These evoke memories for me, of my female granparents and I got to thinking how could these be made current/contemporary? Some of them are quite worn and we have the task of preserving them. So that is how my current sampling started, adding my own stitch to vintage cloths, in some cases covering worn areas. I am toying with the idea of naming this work 'reclaimed cloth', let me know what you think of this title, maybe rescued or similar would be more appropriate, I'm not sure yet. Another thing I have noticed is how I photograph and display everything hung up like tea towels!!! This has got to be an indication of something!? What I don't know!! Anyway, take a look at the images here. I am always desperate for comment.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

This peek makes my mouth water, I like the idea of it being called reclaimed cloth and it could also lead you to do commisioned pieces using other people's family heirlooms. I am also impressed as it is environmentally friendly. Yout work looks good hanging on its own merit and loose, the piece I have of yours didn't look right until I hung it off one simple hook although I would like to find a nicer hook. I have to say your work is too nice and the hook issue doesn't detract from the work

Francesca said...

hi karen, thanks so much for your comment on my blog. of course you may link to me, it's very sweet to ask although i'm sure most people are fine with you just doing it, since it leads more people to their blogs.

your work looks really exciting. I couldn't make it to new designers this year which I am still kicking myself about!

good luck with your blog and etsy.

James said...

Very nice blog mum :)...well done! xx

Helen Ruane said...

Mummy Ruane! Aw well done! I want to know how to subscribe... xxxx