Archive for the ‘Craftivism’ Category

DR: 01-01-11

January 3, 2011

The first of January marked more of an occasion for me this year than normal. I wasn’t excited by champagne corks flying or New Years resolutions, instead I was excited by a new feeling: optimism about politics. Not Britain, of course, but the wider world.

The first of Janury 2011 was the day that Dilma Rousseff became the most powerful woman in the world. Rousseff is now the president of Brazil. The first was her inauguration day, I’ve been awaiting this day for some months now. She’s not just any old politician. I’m not simply excited on account of her being a woman: it’s because of her history.

When Dilma was much younger, in the 60s, she was a guerilla fighter. She fought against the military dictatorship. She was captured, declared the ‘Joan of Arc of The Guerilla Movement’, tortured, and held in a cell for three years. And now, fifty years later, she is the president of that very country that she fought to save. If any proof is needed that standing up for what you believe in is the right thing to do, Dilma is it.

And so to celebrate, I made a rosette:

dilma1

We’ve been doing whitework at school recently so I thought I’d take the opportunity to do my school work and honour a great woman.

dilma2

The centre image is a venetian cutwork portrait of her doing her peace signs which she loves to do so much. I’d definitely vote for a politician who frequently gave a peace sign at press conferences. The middle ring uses broderie anglaise and pulled thread work.

dilma3

The outer ring is a scalloped edge of buttonhole stitching so as to be able to cut it away and have no frayed edges. Sort of. Kind of worked?

dilma4

The ribbons were made with a thin muslin which I double back stitched on, in the font Corbusier Stencil, the words “Fight The Good Fight”.

I am going to wear her with pride, and a little bit of fear of getting her dirty. Wahhh, white šŸ˜¦

*the background image of these photos has no political meaning: I was taking photographs on the bus home and all I had in the way of a background was a painting of an American boy my boyfriend bought me for Christmas

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Filigree Work

November 15, 2010

We’re being taught Whitework at the moment, last lesson on wednesday, sob sob sob. Jenny Adin-Christie is teaching us Whitework and she’s amazing. Super good teacher, lovely person too.

One of the lessons covered filigree work, embroidery on a surface so transparent that the thread that creates the aesthetic is the thread on the back of the work.

whitework1

You can also apply fabrics and pictures to the fabric from beneath-

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The text on the brown paper (stitched on with feather and thorn stitch) reads “Now you have touched the woman, you have struck a rock; you have dismantled a boulder; you will be crushed.”

This year is proving tricky.

St Vince

September 30, 2010

You know that awkward situation when you start a relationship with someone and then like a month later it’s their birthday? And you don’t know what to get them, do you get them something big- would that look OTT? Would something too small look like you didn’t actually like them? And what if it doesn’t last long enough for them to get you something for your birthday? Everyone knows birthday presents are a two way street. Well I get this quandary worse than normal people, I’m sure. Cos I like makin’ shit. I can’t give presents what I bought because it doesn’t seem right.

And so, when I found myself in this very situation in July, what’s a girl gonna do? I could make him something quick but a bit rubbish? He wouldn’t really know. But you know me. Once I get an idea in my head that aint gonna shift.

And so I give you, St Vince:

vincey

For those of you wondering “Who the fuck is that?” it is Vince Cable. And for those of you still wondering “Who the fuck is that?”, Vince is a good Liberal Democrat. Remember them?

Boyfriend loves Vince. Boyfriend loves Vince so much Boyfriend has a mug with Vince’s face on. Boyfriend loves Vince and loved his Lib Dem gang so much he ran for Lib Dem Councillor in his local area in May. He didn’t succeed, but that’s because he lives in an extreme conservative area and not because he’s shit. Because he’s not shit. He’s awesome.

And so it came to me: Make him a goldwork portrait of Vince Cable as a saint. And it wouldn’t go away. And so I went into school in the summer time and set up myself a little Vince making workshop.

Turns out it was all worth it anyway because overtime I fell for him in a big way. Both Vince and Boyfriend.

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This post can also read as: “Oh hey I’m back! I broke my camera and then my replacement broke on its own but I lost the receipt and then I had to earn money to buy a third but now I’ve got a new camera so should be able to blog more now.”

PS I linked to Boyfriend’s tumblr in here somewhere. If you click on the link you can see: His bikes, his special bike sandals and shoes (I wish I was joking) Vince next to one of his bikes, his home brewed beer AND the best bit of his WHOLE tumblr, an original poem from me. BELIEVE IT.

Scarlet Work

June 3, 2010

Thankyou to everyone for your stories! I was inundated but that was absolutely wonderful- every single one of them added to the strength of my sketchbook, and every single one was a joy to read and a fascinating insight. I recommend reading them all, and furthermore- asking your friends for their own stories. It gives way to a brilliant conversation, that whilst at the beginning some may be reserved about- after a few minutes people are fighting to have their voices heard. Everyone loves it.

So on Rabia’s story, I hinted at the stitch outcome. However I didn’t say that the point of dissolving it was to dissolve it onto my thigh, like a huge trickling blood spill that supported all the stories of the women whose histories I gathered. I videoed this process, so it was a multimedia Embroidery project- which I am going to claim as being the first one ever at The Royal School of Needlework. Record breaking embroidery.

I don’t think i can show you the video- there’s probably too much nudity for youtube and my knowledge of uploading videos to the internet is essentially nonexistent. Photographs however- doable.

period1

period2

It means you’re normal

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Don’t tell Dad

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Trickling down my leg

And with that- I have finished my first year at Embroidery School.