Thimble research

I am amused at myself. This might be a very boring post – unless you are into a rant about thimbles …..

When I was making my Boro-inspired mini quilt and sewing very intensively recently – I hurt the skin on the ball of my thumb pulling the needle through the fabric. I wanted to find something to protect my skin so that I could continue quilting regularly. I thought a thimble might be just the thing.

For some reason I always thought that you wore a thimble on your thumb. Must be something to do with my dyslexic brain and the ‘th’.

I have struggled to find one big enough because I have large hands (I need to wear Men’s gloves …. ) partially because of the size of my thumb and partially because they are not designed to fit thumbs …. I have not been deterred. One of the annoying things when purchasing thimbles is that they come in sealed bubble packs so you are not able to try them first.

I have been on a thimble hunt online and in haberdashery departments in Edinburgh,London and Newcastle and Amsterdam

I have bought several adjustable ones that cut off my circulation – thimble review below

On my thumb is a Hemline thumb thimble which is very uncomfortable – I had to file the corners because they stuck in my skin – would not recommend

Index finger is a Clover adjustable ring thimble – it digs into my thumb- I think it’s supposed to be worn on my middle finger to push the needles through the fabric

Middle finger is a Prym soft comfort thimble – which is very comfy and soft but doesn’t fit my thumb – you can try these on – I thought I might use it to protect my index finger on my right hand ( I am a lefty) I keep taking it off absentmindedly when I am sewing – if I could find an xtra large I think it would do the trick

Ring finger – adjustable finger shield again by Hemline – it says its adjustable to fit any size ………. not my size

Little finger – traditional metal thimble – nope feels horrid

When we were in Amsterdam the other week I was reminded that the Dutch are tall larger than average- and that they may have larger hands and feet. My step Mum has size 10 feet and she could always find shoes off the shelf when she and my dad lived in the Netherlands. May be they would have larger thimbles?

I visited a quilt shop and had a quick lesson looking at how to do big embroidery using a traditional technique. I have not been doing it properly but when I explained to the shop owner what my problem was -she agreed a thimble would probably be the best option.

Correct position – ( showing the rocker technique ) https://www.threadsmagazine.com/2008/10/29/perfect-your-hand-quilting-stitch

Bird Blocks had a selection of brightly coloured semi hard plastic thimbles in a jar and metal ones to try on in a box – typically the largest sizes were sold out. I did however buy a pink one – that reminds me of Spangle sweets – it’s not very comfortable because the plastic doesn’t let my thumb breathe.

These are available in UK as a Hemline – ‘light weight soft pliable thimble’ it will need me to cut a hole in it some where – they come in packs of two in Scotland and in a bubble pack so no trying on again ……

There is definitely an ergonomic problem – thimbles are just not designed to go on a thumb. However they are not very comfy for my middle finger either….

I bought a leather thimble – which I think will need unpicking and restitching to give me a bit more room. I think I might use it for a bit and see if the leather gives.

Luckily the thimbles have been very reasonably priced so my research hasn’t cost toooo much. I have to say the most effective one so far has been a home made one that I constructed using a gin bottle lid and some plasters ……..

I’ve got a thing about derricks

Wandering around Bristol wharf today I realised I have a thing about derricks.

I like the size, the fact that they move, the solid tapered shape

The mechanical nature- that we made them? It’s making me smile – how can I have a thing about a wharf side crane?

I like their reflections, that you can walk around them – underneath them – though the view isn’t much when you look up at the wooden cab. I was hoping to get a look up through the arm…….

I like them from all angles.

May be it’s because I like the knowledge that they refer to a time past for Bristol? They remind me of the Firth of Forth Bridge which I love travelling through on the train – that’s Victorian engineering (1882)

Derelict derricks – these were built in 1951 and still work. There is an older one somewhere that has been restored. It was built in 1878. I will have to back and have a look.

There’s something that reminds me of the Star Wars ‘All Terrain Armored Transport’ as if they are left behind by some science fiction film ………. still smiling

I also like the size of the various metal knobs that are on the quayside near their bases and the metal tracks

The tips of my toes left in for scale ….. yup still amused at my self that I am writing a blog post about derricks 😊

I’ve also got a thing about manhole covers, bridges, stairwells and scaffolding ……….

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.

A concertina book about me

I am making a concertina book about me – I had a Freudian slip on the cover – I put Me , UK , born Blonde – white Middle class –
Am I still so shallow that I would accidentally put my hair colour first? I meant to leave a gap and put 1961 – to label my self in a temporal setting – I must have stopped thinking and my dyslexic brain added another b word – what about female- educated ? Western? Feminist? I am horrified and amused at my self at the same time – to be Blonde , tall and having a small dark haired sister was important in terms of competition and getting boy friends , when I was growing up ….. I am prematurely white now and revel in it – no more hair dye – it is a statement – and my sister is almost the same colour aging has levelled the playing field

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Working along the book
I used gesso and blue acrylic patterns with collaged paper as a background

I added as many words I could think of that described me at the moment

I commented again on the blonde issue and the fact that I am full of contradictions

Jon bought home an academic book and flipping through it reminded me of the vocabulary I used during my MA so I added that I am a post structuralist …….

At the end I added lots of pictures of me and my family – concentrating on the female representations of me – and relationships with mother / daughter – partly because I forgot to put female on the front of the book and also because of there importance

I also added a fiery, rainbow semi nude self portrait – that I found empowering to do a couple of years ago – it is very small and when I asked Jon if he could see a nude figure in the layout he said no – ( good luck finding it)

I am thinking of doing some journalling teaching so I will be working through Some techniques that I have learnt over the past couple of years in the next couple of posts