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, May 30, 2011

a superfluity of french knots

Or....more French knots than you can shake a stick at!! (for the non English that's one of our quirky sayings)
Yes, it may have gone wrong...the initial plan for this piece but not being one to be beaten, nothing is wasted, pulling myself up from failure, I give you a gorgeous, no wonderful.....fragment. O.K. maybe a little too much gushing but hey, I'm allowed occasionally! This piece is now residing in the shop and I go onwards towards my goal of a 32 x 32 cm piece of ruched muslin embellished with French knots. 



It is perhaps just as well that I have this to put in the shop as my plans for the other things have gone a little astray. Products!!! AAArgh....my heart isn't in products, my heart is in embroidery and cloth. For me it's enough. It doesn't have to be ''something'', have a purpose, a label, it just has to ''be''. I am constantly thinking about a quote I read a long time ago,. I have it written down somewhere....but as I don't know exactly where I can't give proper credit to the person who wrote it. I can't claim credit for it,  these are not my words but I truly believe them and they inspire me daily...or even hourly...It goes something like this,
''that which is wrapped and carefully put away for another time remains precious even if never looked at again.''
Back to my words now, if something exists, is loved, adored, cared for, protected...it doesn't matter if it has no purpose. It exists...that's enough for me.
A very deep way of expressing my personal aversion to products but I hope you get my drift!
With all that in mind..remember the pink patchwork? That is a small part of something which will be a gift but whilst working on it I have become inspired and new work will evolve from it. I hope to be able to finish and damp stretch that piece today and will show you next time.
As for my collection.....that will be ongoing but in all honesty I am struggling a little. It is hard to create thirty pieces of work for an opportunity which, because of its scale, will not arise for months. I need the diversion of making other pieces, at least for now.



19 comments:

Miss 376 said...

Absolutely wonderful

deanna7trees said...

all your pieces have 'purpose' in my mind. they inspire, give joy to those who see them, encourage embroiderers to try something new, etc. etc. etc.

Julie Shackson said...

Gorgeous knots! Really lovely.
I've just been looking at your sketchbooks and they're fabulous too. Such beautiful drawings compilings and workings. Very impressed I am!

connie said...

Well said, deanna7trees!!! Your work and your words are inspiring to all of us. Your work speaks for itself in or out of the drawer. I love the new piece!!!

Rachel said...

Love the texture of the knots. I can't imagine you developing a "product line", but maybe you could develop some design ideas that people could pick from. They still get a one-off, but you can guide their imagination a little...

Debi From the Pacific Northwest said...

I adore every piece I have of yours. They aren't put away, but are front and center where I create when I have the time... and when I don't have time to create, they just make me smile. So, purpose is in the eye of the beholder. Everything you do has "purpose"!

Elizabeth said...

Your quote reminded me of this:

It doesn't matter whether we meet next weekend, next month or never again since that is only time, our love is forever.

Don't create too much diversion, be careful.

Love your french knots but that is nothing new.

Now our computer is very ill and I am at the library. So don't worry if you don't hear from me. I'll check in later.

Have fun girl.

e.

Carol Q said...

more yumptuous French knots. don't they look gorgeous with the muslin? and if you love what you have created gush away. it's so exciting when you are pleased with the result. I know exactly what you mean about something having to "be."

Tammie said...

yep, gorgeous!

helena frontini said...

I agree with you. Nice week.

Doreen G said...

I love the quote Karen--and so true.
I have a friend who whenever we in our group are making something that isn't "useful" asks "Yes but what am I going to do with it" aghhh I could choke her-literally that is.

Suztats said...

Beautiful, Karen! Because I believe that creating something is giving a piece of one's self, the process alone is a gift, and the result exists with the heart and soul of it's creator.
Hugs

Gina said...

Pleasure is a purpose. Probably the ultimate one. Don't we all love to please someone else and don't we all love to be pleased? So performing something pleasurable that gives someone else pleasure - can't really beat that!

Gina said...

OH, and I'm not too keen on "products" either. I prefer one of a kind, unique, special - whether giving or receiving.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Don't you wish you had a dollar for every french knot you've made? You'd be a very rich woman! You have to be the Queen of French Knots. I must admit that I struggle all the time with the thought that each thing I make must have a real purpose and find it really hard to just do for the sake of doing.

stitchinglife2 said...

I have this very same issue with 'products'. I know I 'should' make something useful that people will want to buy - but I wouldn't enjoy making it, because it would have started out with the wrong intentions. Part of the beauty of a thing is in the maker's integrity, I think. So, I think you're right - no products. Just beautiful embroidery. It will find its own way.

Sheep Rustler said...

And to think I used to hate French knots - making them, never looking at them! And then I learned to love them. Though yours are so much neater than mine - probably because you must have done a bazillion of them by now!

Boxoftrix said...

Lovely piece . I love french knots they are my favourite stitch, I could french knot all day !!

underatopazsky said...

The french knots on the ruching are wonderful. I love the layer of rough texture over the smoother folds and pleats.