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







Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Sampling a swaddling band

When I was doing my degree one of the things I researched and which informed my work was the practice of swaddling infants. I don't mean like we do now, with baby blankets and such, I mean from way back as far as 1700. I found a quote for one of my essays from a leading physician of that time on how to swaddle properly and I have to say that today it would be considered child abuse, the infants were so tightly wrapped and contorted. In many cases they would be left with physical deformities or have their internal organs crushed the wrapping would be so tight.
Anyway, the point of this little lecture.....as I was creating the paper work from my last post it reminded me of swaddling bands because of the way I had decorated the paper with strips of technique. So here is the progression from there, sampling a swaddling band. This piece is in it's early stages. The edges are unfinished, it hasn't been damp stretched, I haven't even finished the embroidery yet, but I like it. It is lovely to stitch and reminds me of the effort and hard work I put in to gain the knowledge I have which always informs my work. I feel like I am back at Uni!




I'm not 100% happy with the image quality. It is so dark and rainy and it's late by the time I get home from work. These are the best of about 60 which I took tonight, I did my best!

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

27 years ago a Jamaican nurse gave me the highlights of what swaddling was about. Compressing the umbilicus was part of it in the first few days. Beyond that, babies were comforted by being made almost as snug as they were while still inside.She showed me a technique for wrapping my son up much like a burrito and it helped him calm and focus on feeding & sleep.

debl

Threadspider said...

You have taken so much inspiration from your course and it is wonderful to see how your thinking process has lead you here. It's clearly your work, even though it is a lovely new departure.

Miss 376 said...

This is beautiful, love the flowers to add colour and the words are there too. Really pretty. Wrapping my two up always seemed to calm them down, shame they are too big to do it now!

Gina said...

This is such wonderful work as always Karen.

tommy said...

I think its just darling, even if you think the images are poor. I kind of want to look into swaddling now, to tell you the truth I have never heard that term before, but the concept is intriguing, if for nothing else wondering what they did!


By the way, I was wondering what the words under the flowers say. I love the sewing, but I am intrigued to see your message to them!

Jo said...

Once again, Karen, this is absolutely beautiful... I'm completely in awe that you are managing to continue to be soooo creative and inspiring, despite being back at work!!!

Like Tommy, I'm intrigued by the wording... does it correspond with your thoughts on 'swaddling' or something entirely different?

jude said...

wow. i love your work so. this one has a freshness with the splashes of color.

sparkle jars said...

This is beautiful.

Melissa said...

Hello,

I just found your blog and your work is beautiful! I'm looking forward to reading more.

Camilla said...

Of course I still read you! I read in bloglines and i'm so lazy that I have become terrible about commenting. I have been really inspired by some of the recent images you've been posting- I would love to see more of the bands- your attention to detail with the hooks (or are they eyes?) is astounding!