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, December 7, 2011

the wrapping cloth.....

The wrapping cloth series evolved from my research into motherhood and the role played by cloth in the lives of mothers and their children for centuries. Cloth protects, wraps and envelops yet can also serve as a thing of beauty containing precious memories and traces of those who have gone before. The Wrapping cloth series is created using traditional techniques of hand embroidery and fabric manipulation giving recognition to our mothers and grandmothers. it is my wish that these pieces serve as a tribute to my female predecessors.


I needed to place that paragraph at the top of this post. I am beginning to feel a little like a one woman promotion machine at the moment. It's important to me though that you know what really drives me and that kind of sums it up. 
My wrapping cloths started life created from silk, you can see some images of those here and here. Silk both then and now signifies precious to me, for the women referred to in that top paragraph any scrap of cloth was precious so I evolved. I evolved in terms of materials and I keep the same techniques, the traditional techniques constant in all my work. The cloths I create during my embroider, embellish, create class are born from the first paragraph and I don't think that will ever change but now I use scraps. Scraps of found cloth, old cloth, mixed with a small amount of new. The first cloth was for my daughter, the second one will be for my mother. I have started that one already, it is the white in these images. The other cloth, the coloured and patterned cloth is for me, as yet unfinished. To me it demonstrates that pattern and colour can signify my motivation equally as well as white.
It is my hope that anyone taking my embroider, embellish, create class, with my guidance, will come to feel the connections I feel whilst creating adorned cloth, whether it be a white cloth or a coloured cloth. Emotion has no colour, it is only us that can see it in any form.

12 comments:

MosaicMagpie said...

After reading this description, of the class, how can anyone that can hold a needle not want to take part. With each stitch you will be creating a heirloom that will be cherished and loved. Thank you for sharing your passion and igniting it in us.
Deb

Charlotte said...

I am so itching to take part in this, keeping my fingers crossed there is still a place when the purse strings loosen in January. Beautiful cloths, as always <3

Sandy said...

Hi Karen,
Can you comment on what use these cloths will have when complete...other than just being precious?
Thanks,
Sandy in Bracknell

karen said...

Sandy, previously these cloths have been bought as gifts for infants and for use as baptism shawls. My daughter has hers draped over her bed, purely as a decorative object which is how I display my own at home. They are also used as heirlooms, not functional but merely something to hand down and be treasured.

Miss 376 said...

In a very nice way, I am jealous of your new students. I am sure they will be well motivated to create something precious, fun will definitely be had by all

deanna7trees said...

your last sentence says it all. the class was wonderful and your message was definitely there stitched right into the cloth.

Tammie Lee said...

wrapping cloths are indeed a treasure to all of us. Yours are divine.

**EYE-SNACKS** said...

Karen,always when I see your beautiful pieces I think..how do you manage ? It's a slow process but it looks like you make every day a new piece..it's inceredible !!

Tatkis said...

Your creations are always so beautiful and unique, with soul and warmth!

Hugs,
Tatyana

Rachel said...

I'm sure your female predecessors would be proud of your work!

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Silk? Ooooh - dupioni - my favourite fabric in the whole world! I must do a stash dive and see if I have any white left.

stitchinglife.com said...

thread... stitch... connection... mending. The needle is mightier than either the pen or the sword, I think. This is really beautiful work, Karen.