I’ve just finished a piece of work and it’s packaged up and sent off for selection – hopefully – in the next 62 Group exhibition. I thought you might be interested to see my response to an item from the museum collection of Platt Hall, where the exhibition will open in January 2012.
This is the item I chose after a research visit last summer – it’s a child’s bonnet made of extremely fine silk net. The 3D form is barely visible except for the solid lines of the seams. I made some quick sketches a and took photos in the short time I had in their wonderful store room, filled with hundreds of boxes containing the most exquisite textiles. Platt Hall is only open to the public in the afternoons and 3 hours was just not enough!
My newly discovered skills of working with willow seemed a good way of describing the lines of the seams so I soaked, tied, bent and coaxed my locally grown will into lovely curved shapes. I also broke and snapped more than I bent! I take my hat off to willow basket makers everywhere.
The ‘net’ was made from stitched paper, using pages from my old school sketchbooks, recently discovered in my loft. Many pages were machine stitched together making a long surface of about 3.5 metres. Many more lines were then stitched all over to form a connecting network. This stitching created the ‘net’ after being soaked and scrubbed in the sink – I didn’t risk the washing machine in case too much of the paper disappeared.
After lots of trials of how to attach the ‘net’ to the willow and how to form an interesting shape –
(no details here but to all who have deliberated and are currently deliberating with a ‘creation’, you will know the joys of anguish and indecision) this is what emerged – ‘The Empty Nest’.
It can be suspended or
placed on a surface.