Resonating Objects

From cave wall drawings to cocoons
I have loved textiles for as long as I can remember and yearned for a spinning wheel as a child. The appeal of making, for me, comes from starting with a fiber, a plant, a yarn and transforming those basic materials into a textile. I use natural fibers and dyes for the vast majority of my work. I love the results these produce and I am also waging a personal war against the pollution that the manufacture of synthetic fibers and dyes creates
I start with an inspiration—found object, an image or even sometimes a few words that resonate with me. I start to work on the source material, in a sketchbook most often, and isolate the various elements that make up the inspiration into color, form and texture. This may take a few hours, days or even months and looking through old sketchbooks often gives rise to new ideas, so it’s rare that a source is completely exhausted
Below is a sampling of my process.
GA and yarn 001 shows Giant Atlas moths with a complete discarded cocoon from one of them. The other cocoon has been degummed and is shown as both unspun fibre and a small skein of spun yarn. The coloring of the yarn on the spinning wheel bobbin was inspired by the colors on the curved tip of the wing. The dyes used are madder and pomegranate, alum and cream of tartar mordant, on tussah silk.
Woad and Walnut is a detail of a blanket created from a desire to create as small a carbon footprint as possible, The fleece. a Blueface Leicester, came from a farm close to me. I spun the yarn and dyed it with woad grown on our allotment and walnut from a friend's garden. I wove it, then exhibited it at a venue 20 miles away, which was the furthest any of the individual elements had travelled. It went on to be exhibited in Cornwall and then in France, so it's carbon credentials were somewhat undermined!
Dyes 020 Is indigo dyed yarn and a woven, silk scarf, indigo dyed warp with a handspun weft, inspired by the sea
C Council 06 is a rug, dyed in indigo and weld and is inspired by a visit to St.Ives, Cornwall.
St Ives master is the photo I took of the town
St Ives mastercrop 1 is the area of the shadows and lichen on the roof in the foreground. I love how the design would immediately recall the sea and the sand but is actually part of the equally appealing roofscape of the town
Mammoth was inspired by a visit to Lascaux in France, though the image is from another cave. This is an exploration of using mordant pastes, in this case of titanium, iron and alum in various strengths, to make a design and then dye the whole piece in one dye only.
Amaryllis was dyed as a warp, using acid dyes on tussah silk. The weft is natural tussah silk. Clematis uses the same technique as Amaryllis
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