Experimenting with different thread/ teabag quilt

I have had a sewing box for ever. This is the first time I can remember running out of white thread.

I had a go at embroidering a mandala with the same thread that I used for my most recent quilt ( see my last post). I sewed using cheap white thread that I had had for years. I was disappointed with the results. So I overworked the stitches and added some thicker cotton/ wool

I saw some multicoloured thread on a friend’s Instagram feed and thought it would be fun on teabags. I went on a shopping trip and found some fab colour ways made by Guttermann.

I also bought a heavy duty white thread and a large multi use 100% polyester white. The multicoloured reals are 100% cotton.

I love the results

I think the orange will be great as the cotton to sew the tea bags on to my substrate. The darker/ rainbow mix shows up the best. However I like combination of the three colours.

The stronger thread shows up against the tea bags very well

I decided to make my – mandala into a sample piece. I added the paper fabric as an edging

I am getting better at making my work more regular (😂😂😂)

Art making as enquiry

Jon has been writing a book for the last four years. It has finally been sent off to the publishers . During the last few weeks he has been reading sections to me, I have read bits and become immersed in the words.

He has written about ‘writing as inquiry’ ( Richardson1997 ) before and I reminded that I could substitute ‘art making’ or just ‘making’ for ‘writing’.

It’s how I think through my process. My art making could be an seen as an inquiry.

Recently I have been sewing into my mandalas this seems to form its self into definite, purposeful shapes, engendering in me a sense of solidity (Wyatt 2019, forthcoming).

Collaborative piece – my sewing into Jon’s writing

And there is a pulsing between the lines ( ibid)

The sewing, drawing, printing, making, seems to be an assemblage of times of day, space, bodies, objects, movement and more (ibid).

Another collaborative piece – we are working on ideas for the cover of his book

The pieces hold an imprint of that time of making, held within the layers of work- almost suspended -captured by the movement of my hands, my body, my inquiry.

References

Richardson Laurel, Fields of play (Constructing an Academic Life) 1997

Jon’s book will be – Wyatt Jonathan,’ Therapy, Stand-up, and the Gesture of Writing: Towards Creative-Relational Inquiry’ 2019

Living by and working with ideas around water

During my life I have lived by water. I am fascinated by how the light plays on the surface, the movement and the patterns that are created.

I grew up near the Thames at Wallingford and as a child we used to visit Abingdon where I ended up living for 25 yrs. During uni a I was in London and up in the North East at Newcastle upon Tyne. I suppose living on a small island you are never very far away from water…

Now in Edinburgh there is the water of Leith that winds its way through the city. I travel over the the Forth of Firth regularly for work and visit the North Sea at North Berwick.

Recently in Bristol I was interested to see that architects had incorporated elements of water into a foot bridge in the quay area and some railings on Temple St.

My latest ripping/ hand sewing into a mandala/ blue abstract on paper is reminding me of water this morning

I wrote into it today about mandalas, their cultural significance, how to draw them and their meditative values with Hindu and Buddhism.

I started weaving in some text from yesterday’s writing about art making

And watery concepts popped into my head. I have been making lots of layers using digital imagery this month so I needed to attack this in the Image Blender app

I attached the piece to another mandala which peeps through the gaps – I’m not sure about the text and patterned strips they might come out.

more Image Blender stripes

‘Home sweet home’ teabag quilt

I have been enjoying hand sewing very much recently, so I decided to make another tea bag quilt. A few people have asked how I made my first one so I thought I would do a step by step. My friend Fran Halperin and I have been experimenting with joining techniques. Fran has been using her sewing machine.

On the left zigzag stitch, on the right she has straight line stitched along the edge of the teabag and then jumped over the gaps.

On the left I used blanket stitch on the right for my new quilt – I back stitched the tea bag onto material. NB try and use something with very little ‘give’ – I used an old linen nappy and it’s very difficult to sew neatly on top of.

I decided to make my ‘ Home sweet home’ quilt have a more quilt like feel- the last one was a bit abstract. I printed some tea bags blue/ purple and others pale blue/ white. With my doors and window hand carved stamps .

The tea bags were a bit higgledy piggildy on the linen so I decided to add some strips of kitchen towel ( dyed with tea during the drying of teabags process) with writing on between the rows and buttons at corners. This stitching held on the back piece which is a white tea towel

I am edging the quilt with a sheet of used colour run paper/ fabric that goes in the washing machine. It needed 3 rows of running stitch to keep it flat. I used white sewing cotton throughout. I think I will print over this again when it’s stitched all around

Nearly finished. It needs a few more buttons and I haven’t stitched the edging all the way round but you get the idea.

I wanted this quilt to be a bit more obvious that it was teabags. I haven’t used any glue on the joints so that it feels much more like fabric

I think I need to do a bigger one ……

Reflecting on my Soul Restoration process

I have been working on the ‘SoulRestoration’ course by Melody Ross since the 12th of January. I am enjoying the process of art making regularly in my journal. The art seems to get looser and looser.

I have always been messy. It has been great using my stress protector mandalas as back grounds and finding a more natural ‘Tess’ process.

I am still drawn to blues and am working through the stack of gelatos that I acquired in Korea. I love them ,but won’t be replacing in-kind because of all the plastic.

Debbie Howard introduced me to them when I complained that I didn’t like working with oil pastels in my art journal. They are water soluble, highly pigmented and deliciously squidgy, the consistency’s almost like lipstick or face paint.

It’s been interesting progressing through the stages that Melody has designed . Debbie is a mentor and sounding board after training as a facilitator with The Brave Girl University last year. I think it is important to feel supported through this process. I feel held

There is a lot of industry – internal processing and sitting with how you feel. My stomach is tightening just at the thought of ‘it’.

I journal and write notes as I watch the videos, text Debbie and use Instagram and Face book to show and tell. I wanted to do this because of the regular journalling. There is less built in art journalling than I thought there would be. I need to process the ideas and feelings through art making.

My group of friends in Oxfordshire are meeting once a fortnight to do the course with Debbie whilst I am in Edinburgh.

There is an isolation from the group but I am enjoying the space to create my own ideas and images. I did go back to bed one day and hide because I didn’t want to work through some hard issues. I felt much better after I plucked up the courage to just get on with it

My pages over the last few weeks

I added a mandala sticker by Emily Lagore a long term friend on Instagram

Introduction to Counselling course – listening fail

I needed to do a basic counselling training course to continue teaching my art journalling for self- care. So I signed up for a 12 week course at Edinburgh college. I am enjoying the course very much. We are learning some theory alongside listening skills.

Part of my dyslexia presents its self as an listening/ ear / brain processing problem. So I have been a little bit apprehensive to see if I can succeed in this area.

Last week we worked in triads – we had a speaker/ listener and an observer. You took it in turns to take a role. The listener had to be in charge of the clock. The speaker talked for 5 mind about a topic. The listener had to stop and give a summary half way through and then summarise at the end.

When it came to my turn as listener I found it very hard to keep an eye on the time and listen, I fact I went completely blank at the half time summary. Then at the end I found that even though I couldn’t repeat a word of what had just been said to me – I did have a general impression of what had been said, it was more like an over view.

Being uncomfortable with public speaking didn’t help either!! My stomach was not happy and twisted itself – I felt humiliated and a failure. Interesting when we returned to the group disscussionlots of other people had had simillar problems. Rationally I could see that this was something to be improved upon. I struggled with my physical reaction and how much I was unable let the emotional response go – something similar has happened too many times before.

Journalling was required

It says ‘when I am fragile and humiliated, I have my Mandala webs and the beginnings of my soul restoration process to support me.

I am not sure how the habitual’ lies’ that I tell my self – I am not good enough , I always make mistakes , ‘how could you not remember what was said to you!?’, ‘Failure’ will be released by this process they feel too ingrained.

I am ready to do the work ……

Hospital impressions part 2

The drawing process yesterday felt like we were becoming to know pieces more intimately – we were supposed to change pieces for every drawing

I stayed with the same piece for three exercises

In the afternoon there was a panel discussion about the assemblage – here are the notes I made – my thinking is in first person

Negative spaces

Feeling the shapes awareness of if my hand fitted – some smaller a lot fitted – left handed just put them in my right hand

My hand fitted holding their hand

Rachel Whiteman house turner prize

How will my drawings be used as part of the research process ?

Another part of the projects were sheets of paper attached to the walls which were typed up with info about the people who made the impressions- what they wrote when they held and squeezed the wet clay

The impressions

Interaction with clay finger prints – how it fit in the persons hand / mood / pressure

Different types fist around porcelain – look like bones

Artifacts /teddy/ rose

Assemblage defy classification

Individual engagement

Collection components

Process

Arrangement – straight lines of white shapes on black

Become part of a larger group

Words help the interpretation of interaction

my oil pastel and Conte crayon drawing

Potter / ceramicist

Shrinkage of clay in firing

found data set weird

Finger prints fade in firing

Porcelains moves in the kiln

Before fire/ after firing

Captured moments

Transition of time

Process

Journey

600 pieces want to make 1,000

Images made in the morning – beginning of

What happens next

Medical background

Out patients – huge variety of people very different – people coming into the hospital wanted to know what was going on – people willing – nice thing to do – hospital staff deal with patients – totally different – broke monotony – what next ? Part of a hospital move – shapes going into the new building part of the old building moving forward

Tactile

Filling out forms a few moments only writing

Connection to people who one works with – may not be relevant in 2yrs/ 10 yrs time

Guess work – how did people feel just by looking

Unsaid stuff

What don’t we know?

People behind the impressions

Array of white objects

Sameness and difference

Unique and the same

Irregular / regular

Humour random

Assemblage

My number

Numbers imprinted on each shape

Holocaust

Sense of loss / scale

Fragile and solid

Here’s me in the moment

Encounters

Impression there for others

Leaving Traces of bodies stories people

Evoke

More questions and answers

Qualitative research

Hugging ceramics

Grasp

Do objects require any more narratives

Stands alone objects ?

What can one read from it ?

Data protection number / ties in to paper

Life / death

Bones

Numbers – numberless dead

Evoke – numbers become irrelevant

Always slippage

Ceramicist slippage

Transitional states

Disconnection between the objects

Personal

The personal

Who do they belong to?

Drawing – looking at shape form texture weight – abstracted from what they are

Removed from the human element looking at porcelaine its self how it was altered into shapes – ones that One liked or didn’t like

Saw hills mountains – fir cones landscape

Others saw Sea weed shells corals drawings made the impressions seem more real different interpretations

Experience of loss

Material change materiality – first time children touched clay – youngest one is 3 days old

Loss of the hand

What is there ? what is not there ?

May be active assemblages

What is this doing ?

Enabled passing of time

Haunting

Engagement

Different perspectives of people and the experience of the panel discussion

Still a folding

Still becoming

Inbetween

Inbetween intimacy and institution

Influx

Impact on a patient

Impression that patients leave on staff

Holding hands when some one passes away

Inbetween life and death human kind – universal

Edinburgh centric – conversation between

One building and another

Art versus illness

A Hurts + Heals project, as part of NHS Lothian’s Art & Therapeutic Design Programme.