Mixed media textiles inspired by rebellion and the natural world
I haven’t posted in ages. Not because I have stopped working, but more because of an excessive amount of ideas all competing with eachother. This makes me confused and disorganised!
One of the themes I have been working on is hearts and their symbolism for love. This is in combination with a continuing fascination for erosion, deterioration and the ensuing potential for rebirth and renewal.
In my last post I blogged about a little stuffed heart I had made which had been covered with holey fabric. As it was made from tattered denim I felt it evoked the grunge clothing and music vibe in the nineties, as the title of the blog ‘grunge heart’ describes.
It also seemed appropriate as the spirit of grunge is so much about being ravaged, and a defiance that nevertheless survives.
I was really touched when one of my friends on Facebook saw the textile heart and asked if she could have it. She felt it was the only object she had seen that captured the pain she feels, due to tragic events in her life.
I had made the heart to express my own experiences in love; both sublime and from hell… and the journey it takes me through. Likewise the heart in this post speaks simply of the same.
The silver fabric was heated until it melted. The quality of melting, as often used to describe the surrender to love from another eg to melt in someone’s arms, to melt in a loving gaze, and so on…was something I wanted to refer to.
In addition the idea of melting suggests heat and fire which brings to mind more challenging elements, such as incineration, burning and purging by fire, providing apt metaphors for the more painful experiences of heartbreak and torment that the path of love likes to take us through.
Sometimes the pursuit of love feels too perilous. Much like in the Greek myth, where Icarus in his exhiliration, uses his wax and feather wings to fly him too close to the sun, we can fear that the longing may well lead us to a place too powerful and we too will have our wings melted and will be left to fall to drown!
Oh well, hopefully all of our little melted hearts although threadbare, are still just about beating to love another day or two!!
This time I wanted to return to a distressed look and make a heart with a grunge look. Made in tattered denim and repaired with metallic lurex fabric and machine-stitched darning.
I worked some free form crochet while stitching it to the heart as decoration. I think that the addition of beads and sequins could be nice too.
Patched, stitched and padded heart.
I really like the idea of creating hearts that look repaired, mended and healed. Also the concept of something once broken but now repaired and somehow much stronger for it.
I love the distressed denim look as well as embroidered denim so I thought I would try appliqueing a denim heart. It’s very soft light denim so it wasn’t too much trouble to stitch through the layers.
I thought it would enhance the ‘prettiness’ of the cuffs if I used a crochet flower brooch as a fastener. This has the additional advantage of allowing the wearer a lot more choice in how they wear the cuff and also allows for it to be tailored to any size.
This is the first crocheted flower medallion I made and is very simple. There are unlimited ways in which this can be varied and I am particularly drawn to the possibilities of adding beads. Of course the brooch can just be used as a brooch alone or even a hair adornment!
This is the third cuff I made for the ‘pay it forward’ challenge I mentioned a few posts ago. It is based on the colours of autumn which are surrounding us at the moment.
My favourite part of this cuff is the red velvet combined with the stitches. I also like the contrast between the red metallic net and the crochet.
Last year I took part in a Facebook challenge to ‘pay it forward’. Basically the idea is to give gifts to people who agree to also give away gifts and so on, resulting in hopefully a very long continuation of gifts being both given and received. 3 people respond to each person taking part, but due to some misunderstandings, I had 5 responses! Anyway each person is supposed to send a gift to 3 people which could range from a card or postcard to an object of some kind or well, anything! I thought it would be nice to send things I made myself and I decided to design some wrist cuffs incorporating the ideas I have been working on recently such as crochet combined with fabric scraps and stitching. The year has progressed quickly and I have been focusing my attention on getting these completed before the year has passed!
I have completed all 5 cuffs but I haven’t yet finished the fastenings, I decided on brooches as both fastenings and extra adornment, but I haven’t made them yet so I will include them in a future post.
This was the first cuff I worked, using one of my favourite colour schemes of lilac and greens, it includes a couple of pieces of free-form crochet and small hand stitches.