Sunday, 20 November 2011

Encapsulating textiles

Catherine Carr glass
Came across this lovely artwork on my travels this week - crochet and knitted lacework trapped in glass. This mixing of medias is something I thought about a while ago when I shared a workspace with a glass artist friend. It seemed to me then that the fusion of thread and glass couldn't work as the fibre would burn out in the high kiln temperatures, leaving only a ghost impression if anything at all so I abandoned it regretfully. But now, wow, this glass artist has perfected the fusing of the two. And how lovely her work is too.

Her website gives us a little information on her processes:

"Catherine Carr Crochets & Knits with Glass.
Each piece has been individually knitted or crocheted by hand. They are then heated and manipulated through several firings at a very high temperature, eventually emerging as a formed glass vessel. Because of this hand crafted process, all the pieces are original and individual with no two being exactly the same.

By applying these traditional skills to an innovative process of recycled glass products she produces beautiful and delicate lace structures in which each individual stitch can be seen and where the openwork design casts striking dappled shadows."

The problem for textiles has always been one of strength for 3 Dimensional forms and for my filigree vessels I've played with wire as a core, varnish, pva, starch and am now considering resin - with varying degrees of success. But if the delicacy could be trapped in glass..... well now, that's a whole new avenue to explore. My mind is awhirl with the possibilities!

Now just how does she do it?? If anyone has any ideas, please do contact me while I go and ask my glass artist friend if she has any solutions:) If I find out, watch this space;))

elaine x

Friday, 4 November 2011


One lucky day

I've been thinking a lot recently about where my work is going. Creatively, makers are always analysing their work, developing and refining ideas as they go, progressing onto the next exciting path that suggests itself and fires the imagination and creative juices. Maybe me more that most? As I do love the journey just as much as the outcome, hehe:) On reflection, I think I've spent most of this year seriously considering the 'why' of making, doing what I do. Not that I could stop - no! It's too much a part of me, who I am, but more a question of are you doing what you really want to do - truly, honestly? You can be enjoying the creative journey but suddenly realise that you are still compromising on the dream. Still not having the perfect 100% fit that suits YOU, that unique individual creative path that is just right for you. And ultimately that is the point of being creative, being true to yourself, the 'why' to creating, whether it's music, art or the written word, that connection from the soul.

Not that what I've been creating is not me - it's all an evolving process - but it's more like I'm changing my perceptions of what my dreams are, or who I want to be as a creative person, and my ideas for my work are correspondingly changing too. Like stepping outside the box and realising it's just one box layered inside many other boxes :) We do so many things in life on automatic - grocery shopping lists that don't really vary much, the food we cook - our habitual routines tend to get somewhat fixed, rather than thinking about what we would like to be eating or doing with our creative time. And on a larger scale, actually looking at and considering what you truly want out of your life. The gradual realisation that you need to get out of any ruts and recognise things that are holding you back from being the most authentic self you can be.

Which can lead to all sorts of interesting thoughts like what really are your dreams and aspirations as well as those more damaging ones that creep in like self critical thinking about time lost, self sabotage, blinkered vision, lack of self worth or self belief - all negative and not helpful to the positive mindset you need to be truly creative in the first place. But it's good to take stock in life, and sometimes change is needed to help get out of those self-imposed ruts:) I like to think this means I'm gaining a little maturity in my thinking rather than having a mid-life crisis :))) 

Well, this post went off on a tangent I wasn't expecting! All because of synchronicity. I was reading a post today about why we blog and how the balance can get skewed where we end up serving the blog rather than it being a means of expressing who we are - another habit, another rut to lift ourselves out of:) Interesting reading if you are a maker and a blogger. And synchronicity because it occurred just as I have been considering artistic direction and giving things a good shake up;) The consideration of why do I blog has now added to the thoughts of why do I make? And more importantly who am I making for? Me or the market? Am I compromising my dream accordingly? It's that old chestnut any artist/maker considers at one point or another and my answer has always been that the work should reflect your passion, your uniqueness and that love will come across in your work. Keeping the faith that with skill, uniqueness and a little market savvy, your work will sell because of the heart and soul in it. Maybe idealistic to some but that's what I think it has to be for me anyway so I don't feel I am compromising myself or my work.

Ok, lightbulb moment - I've just answered my own question about blogging:)) And the same philosophy applies to the bigger picture as well. How to live your dreams. Sometimes I make it more complex that it really is and discover I knew the answer deep down all along. Now I've just got to master the trick of recognising and being authentically true to myself!

It will be interesting seeing how this affects the direction of my work, life and my blog;) over the next wee while. I've been blogging less - you may have noticed! - when there was no work to show or little creative mojo going on, which, to be honest has been most of this year, on and off. And I miss blogging, talking and interacting with you all. So, times they are a changin:) Maybe less actual work to be shown at the moment but there is more to talk about here than just that - fab work others have created that is truly inspiring, inspiration from many people and places, maybe tutorials, as well as music, films, sunny days and hot chocolates, and the odd philosophical musings and meanderings on life (which turn into very long blog posts:)

Thank you for listening my friends ;) I would love to hear your thoughts and musings on this too. Till next time, elaine x


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