With all the stres of preparing for the final exhibition at the start of this month, this blog got neglected. I tried to post from my iPad, but it seems not to have worked.

There has been something of a hiatus in work as well as blogging, although there has been a lot of thinking about work going on.

My first line of thought has been about baskets. Some time ago we went to an exhibition by Lois Walpole, which I found very inspiring, but didn’t really follow up at the time. More recently I came across this book , which is just as inspirational – especially the section on making coiled baskets with tapestry wool – of which I have quite a lot.

This is my first effort, ‘Dawn’ – tapestry wool over cotton cord, as suggested in the book. The colours were selected on the basis of ‘what have I got that I’m least likely to use for anything else plus a complementary colour’, so I’m very lucky they worked so well.

I have tried half a dozen times to move this image and the next paragraph down the page, but WordPress doesn’t want me to. Iwonder if adding this irrelevant paragraph will work?

It seems to have done – but there is many a slip between preview and post.

This is my second effort, ‘Water Bowl’, this time over a core of strips of plastic bags – you can see the knots. This was a learning experience – I learned that:

  1. I need to work out how to control the shape – this was going to be flat.
  2. I need to work out how to avoid wiggles in the coiling.
  3. Plastic bags make a slippery core – leading to wiggles in the coiling.
  4. I don’t like the hole at the bottom – but I do like the knots.
  5. The colours look more interesting if you change them at random.

Better pictures will be added to my website soon.

I am currently working on a third basket, which is even more experimental. Then I want to try different methods of basket making, but using textiles in place of stiffer materials – the last thing I need is a stash of cane as well as everything else I’ve got. My husband had a lucky escape – the book suggests using sycamore twigs, and we just had our sycamore forest hedge trimmed, but luckily for him we were out when they did it and all the trimmings had disappeared by the time we got home.

So textiles it is. Of course there may be a good reason why I cannot find many examples of basket making using textiles …

The second idea, which is much more in the ‘reading magazines in bed and making notes’ stage, is to do with the homework we were given at the end of the degree. [Yes, homework at the end. Once Sue the tutor gets her hands on you, you never escape… And I shall probably do this next term.]

The homework consisted of the single word ‘mapping’. Which led to some mind mapping – and the phrase ‘the symbolic representation of place’. The feedback from the degree included some very positive comments on some of the stitching on manipulated photographs I did, and I have a lot of photographs of places which are important to me, so the current plan is to muck about on the iPad with some of these, trying to come up with something which represents how I feel about them, and then print them and add some stitch. Exciting ideas, but also a bit scary, which may be why I’m procrastinating about it just a little.

If procrastination was an Olympic event, I’d be guaranteed gold.

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