Weeks 19-20: A Big Decision

I fund the group critique on 25th April really helpful. This was only partly because of the comments from Mel and my fellow students, positive as they were. Seeing what other people were preparing [and how big it was] made me realise that there is no point in  making new stuff just for the sake of making it, when I already have more than I can expect to exhibit – at least 6 pieces which I think might be worth showing, 7 if I make the planned but rather scary video of one of the pieces, and 8 if I make a Blurb book of all the pieces..

So I’m not going to make any more, not even finish ‘Saga’.

Lest anyone think this means I have nothing to do, I shall continue with POT, and with photographing everything weekly. I also have to think about, and prepare, the presentation of ‘Lost Words’ and any photos I show. I will keep up with the blogs. There’s all the paperwork [in its broadest sense] – business plan, contextualisation, sketchbooks and work book. And we are going away on holiday for a fortnight – so I think I have enough to keep me busy.

However, I have given myself some time off, apart from the photos, POT and blogs. I’m using the time to do some completely non-college related and unoriginal embroidery, [I’ve found it very enjoyable and relaxing] although while I’ve been doing it I’ve been thinking about where I’m going.

I like making installations, and I like environmental art – but I think I’ve gone as far as I can with paper tubes. I need to explore how to use fabric and stitch in environmental installations – outside or inside. I’m not planning anything yet – but it is where I see my future work developing, perhaps if the top-up course comes off.

We shall see!

Weeks 16-18: the Saga continues…

albeit very slowly. At the end of my last post I wrote ‘provided my motivation survives the disappearance of the lovely weather’ – it didn’t. I decided I didn’t like the crud on ‘Saga’, so re-sanded it,  and soaked the tubes in coffee, then started to string them together with some coffee-soaked red thread – and decided the whole thing was boring. What looks good on a small sample doesn’t always work en-masse.

After more procrastination I decided to try the Kaffe Fassett solution – if it’s not working, add another 20 colours, or in this case, a sprinkling of several different coloured inks. Spotty – but still boring. Finally I soaked them all in ‘black’ Brusho [which is really a nice dark blue – and they are definitely looking more interesting.

I also decided that they would be better strung in series rather than in parallel, which meant I needed  some sort of end stops. I had a collection of big wooden beads, so they have now met the Brusho as well, and when they have dried out they will be strung together. Probably.

I have started two more pieces – one I’ve been pondering on for some time, the other on the spur of the moment. ‘Foil’, the spontaneous one,  started as a vague idea about more dipyramids, until I realised that I didn’t have enough wine box lining foil to make more than a few. I liked the look of the tubes, even though they were dreadfully sticky to make, so I decided instead to add chocolate wrappers and throw them around like food litter. There are still not enough, so my husband is drinking red wine and I’m eating chocolate to make a few more. We suffer for my art.

‘Lost Words’ has been in my mind since I started making samples. I have a tiny, decrepit copy of ‘Nuttall’s Bijou Dictionary’, bought in a charity shop, and when I rolled and waxed the pages as samples they reminded me of bone beads. The dictionary is inscribed ‘Miss Mollie Clarke Xmas 1910 from Louie Jerome’, which inspired me to look in the 1911 census to see if I could find either name. There were relatively few Louis/Louise/Louisa Jeromes, and as I bought the dictionary locally, I thought the most likely candidate was Louisa Hilda Annie Jerome, who lived in Portsmouth and was 18 in 1910.  Based on this I guessed that Mollie may have been Margaret Woodward Clarke, a couple of years younger, also living in Portsmouth, also the daughter of a craftsman, and also  and also still at school [quite unusual in 1910] . These are all assumptions, but I like the idea of the piece having a back story like this, if I can somehow work it into the final piece. I have fastened the pieces together using some vintage ‘artificial silk’ thread which belonged to my mother. However I’m not sure where to go next. It seems far too tiny to hang just as it is, but I ma not sure about whether – or how – to frame it.

Apart from these unfinished pieces,  I have completed a first draft of the business plan. After spending far too much time on Google. I found  a site for small businesses, set up by the UK government, with a template for writing a business plan, so I have based my ideas on that. Now I want to check with Sue how much detail is needed, and whether I need to say how the suggestions in the plan might be applied to my notional business.