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







Monday, January 4, 2010

white

new piece as promised. To be fair it doesn't really look that interesting does it. A little uniform, ordered, regimented even. If I am feeling brave enough next time I may show you the sketch that inspired this piece, no courage today sadly. Trust me though, it will look very different when it's finished. This is one corner of what is a quite large piece of silk, maybe 14 inches square. I have plans for the rest of it but wanted to damp stretch and photograph this part before moving on. Ingrained in my brain are the words of a senior lecturer from my Uni days, ''embroidery of a high standard should be damp stretched at every stage'' and since this person is a highly respected, accomplished embroiderer who am I to argue?? Aspire is what I do, aspire to reach her exacting standards even if I no longer have her critical eye cast over my work, although who knows, she could be lurking online as we speak.




you will probably see this piece develop in stages interspersed with other things. That's because my hands need to be busy when stuff is damp stretching so I have already started something else, something colourful actually. Again inspired by sketch, woo hoo, the power of a pencil, who would have thought!
Yesterday I cleaned, cleaned like the world was ending even, windows, everything. Washed curtains, ironed curtains, re hung curtains. Tomorrow I will take my christmas decorations down with a heavy heart. We have had so much snow and my outdoor lights look so pretty with the winter backdrop I shall really miss them. Wednesday is back to work, darn, drat, expletive, expletive and on and on. Now I know I have been off for three weeks and I shouldn't moan but I am. Report me to the moaning police...see if I care...
So....work it is...embroidery continues though, another full evening, another full day, another full evening before reality bites.
Oh and I mustn't forget, check out Amelia's plans, what a woman, I take my hat off to her really I do.

20 comments:

Threadspider said...

Ha-I am following your lead on the cleaning! Winter light really shows up the dirt on windows....
How can you manage to make white on white look so fabulous. It does.It really truly does. Happy New Year!

Gina said...

This looks so pretty and delicate. I look forward to seeing the drawings... be brave... show us!

Miss 376 said...

I do like this, your white on white is always stunning. So glad the drawing is working for you

avomeri said...

Always beautiful, Karen!

Amelia said...

Aw- thank you Karen, you too are an inspiration to me, and I love your white on white as you know! I am probably a little crazy, but it was an idea inspired by something I came across and I thought: I'm going to DARE, because it meant much to me in the past when others supported me! Bonkers, but committed!

Thanks for the link and your supportive comments on my post, and I will keep a little something in reserve for you when you are ready! ;)

Happy New Year!

A.x

Sue said...

Happy New Year. I love this piece - the textural contrasts in juxtaposition with the regular patterned elements, the freshness and deceptive simplicity of the flowers with their complex components..... And a reminder of the snow and cold and that spring will nevertheless eventually supplant the frozen chill. It's beautiful - as always. xxx

Claire said...

Ohhh this looks lovely! the straight lines and rows of dots.

I do embroidery of the lowest standard and never damp stretch my work. I think your lecturer was onto something!

Joei Rhode Island said...

You really are your own worse/best critic...You do manage to make the white on white glisten and this is a gorgeous piece. Now to check out Amelia's.

50sgal said...

I am linking your blog our the new site www.theapronrevolution.com under vintage links, I hope that is okay. Lovely new piece I adore white on white, subtle, to me, speaks VOLUMES!

Diane said...

If you like the lights so much...keep them up! Life is short, enjoy what you can while you can.

karen said...

looks like the lights will have to stay up, they are covered in around a foot of snow! It really is very pretty. Thanks so much for these great comments!x

Jackie said...

This is a lovely piece, I love the second picture. Have a great few snowdays.

Victoria said...

What you are able to do with just white on white. Amazing and beautiful.

Elizabeth said...

Your pieces are stunning. I am a little late but not too late the first week of January is over yet.

So I wish you a very happy 2010 and I hope that all your dreams, hopes and wishes come true.

Hope your day at work wasn't too hard.

Phyllis said...

Hello,

My sister introduced me to your site and I've bookmarked it. I love to embroider but not very good at it. That doesn't keep me from doing and enjoying it though! :)

Phyllis said...

Hello,

My sister introduced me to your site and I've bookmarked it. I love to embroider but not very good at it. That doesn't keep me from doing and enjoying it though! :)

MarieE said...

It's amazing what professor's comments and rules stick with us long after art school! Have you documented your damp stretching process on here before and I just missed it? You mention it all the time, but I've never done it.

karen said...

Marie, I think I've shown work damp stretching before but never the whole process. I will think about that but am not sure it's that interesting, it's certainly not very scientific!

MarieE said...

Just in the interest of education. It's probably really obvious, but I love to see process stuff, even if you think it's boring.

Lzyjo said...

WOW, Truly stunning work, Karen. It doesn't matter what the professor said, the results speak for themselves. I think I would go blind trying to do that much white work.