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, April 22, 2009

A new diversion

First of all.....I apologise! my brain must still be in holiday mode as I forgot to say when I would draw the winner of my holiday give away. It will be drawn some time on sunday so there is still time to get your name in the hat so to speak.
Before I went on holiday I had a moment, you know, one of those moments when you question what you are doing, what's the point and all that. I call it creative angst, creative insanity, Karen's curse. It didn't take me long to discover the point of it all however, all I had to do was pick up my essay's from Uni, re read the words I had written and that had inspired me to a degree show, exhibitions and lots of work since that time. Those of you who have been hanging around here for a long time will kind of know the motivation in most of my work, blaah, blaah, mothers, children, cloth as comfort, cloth as memory, cloth as history, cloth as a connection to our children and on and on and on, sorry if I am boring you. Anyway, with that in mind I popped on the plane with a burning desire to start this piece. These prairie points are for the edge,

This has been a work in progress all day, well the construction and finishing has, the embroidery has taken a couple of days. Hence the different tones of my images, all taken at different times today, some in good light some in not so good light.

Initially it was my plan to use applique on this piece, I seem to be over doing the cutwork. The cloth I measured though seemed too small for applique so I intend to use that next time. And here is the result of all the soul searching, my interpretation of a plantation doll. Plantation dolls were made during the American Revolutionary War using knotted mens handkerchief's as a way of keeping children quiet during long church services. (If any of my American friends have more info or different info on this I would be really interested.) Anyway, I think she fits perfectly with the concepts that drive my work. She doesn't have a face, originally she wouldn't have had a face and if I gave her a face she would not look nearly as appealing I can assure you. It's my understanding that Amish dolls don't have faces either so this is not so unusual.
I am so delighted with her, she is gentle, soft and comforting. Technically her head should be tied tightly with thread but me being me....I didn't like the idea of throttling her so she has luxurious ribbon instead and down her back hangs a piece of tape which reads '''the use of traditional often time consuming process alludes to the devotion of a mother''' This quote belongs to me, I created it for one of my pieces of written research and I feel it is appropriate for this little girl. I have put her in the shop tonight, just to test the water but if she doesn't sell it definitely won't be a hardship keeping her close.I hope you like her as much as I do because I am going to start another one. First though I think I should do some housework. I wasn't kidding on sunday when I said I had no intention of doing any but my house truly is like a tip and I can bear it no longer!! Tomorrow morning, dusting, hoovering, ironing, washing floors, then I will be all set for more stitching.

23 comments:

Miss 376 said...

She's adorable. Such a shame it gets to the stage when the housework won't wait

jill said...

She is gorgeous and what a lovely way to present your work, such a different idea.

Anonymous said...

beautiful!

Kayla coo said...

Karen do not do any housework, just sew! xxx

connie said...

She is beautiful. So soft and comforting. I love the prairie points they are so nice.

Jackie said...

Delightful.What a great idea.

pdc said...

Your work is always so lovely. I just went through a storage trunk with a daughter who was visiting for a while. We uncovered a similar doll that was given to her by her grandmother (my mom). My mom called it a "church doll"--a doll little girls could take quietly to church with them. This particular doll was made by an acquaintance of my mother's from a man's white handerkerchief, but otherwise was very similar. My daughter passed it along to her new little niece (my grandaughter), who welcomed it with much delight and a gentle hug. So--from my mother to my daughter, to my granddaughter. Right in step with the philosophy behind your beautiful work.

Ulla said...

Lovely doll! With no face, the child could imagine the doll to express her own feelings, happy or sad.

Gina said...

Karen, she is beautiful. Forget the housework... sew!

Diane said...

Well I think she is just adorable. So simple and so sweet. She makes a wonderful showcase for your artistic touches. Bravo!

Swirlyarts said...

The doll is beautiful - really pretty.

Hotter Than... said...

She is gorgeous. It reminds me of a hankie doll my gran made me sometimes.

I have some news for you too! Guess who got into Uni to study Textiles!!!! I'm so excited. I get to sew and knit and print all day every day for 3 years!!!!!!!!!!

Threadspider said...

Simply lovely-what a great idea.

Ingrid said...

she is beautiful!

jennyflower said...

Karen she's beautifull! What a gorgeous doll and perfect for a christening!

Jacky said...

Karen I love your prarie doll...she is just beautiful and your quote is perfect!
Love the prarie points at the bottom of her dress.

meplusmolly said...

Amazing work, so inspirational and so much depth, history and understanding to your pieces. I feel they all have stories to tell.
Thank you for such a lovely comment on my blog about my work and the tip about vista too.
enjoy your weekend ;0 x

Elizabeth said...

She is so beautiful, what a shame I live in a house filled with lovely guys.

Enjoy her as long as you can.

Miriam said...

Wow, beautiful! Everything you do turns out great!:D

NV06e is my class, and NV-estet is the program im in. (Science+arts/crafts). I painted it on a piece of cloth which im going to sew (or glue..Don't know yet) on to my student's cap.:) Then I just nag about boring school-stuff.;)

I could do some translating on my next post, but I strongly suspect that you're my only english-reader.XD

Dee Beale said...

I also suffer creative angst...
... beautiful work.
Dee

sparkle jars said...

Such a sweet little doll. The prairie points are a perfect touch.

Anonymous said...

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sa said...
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