I relish the time that I have to spend sitting in my toy room, surrounded by the material things that I love. I don’t say the word ‘material’ lightly – these are the things that I treasure – the antique knitting and crocheting thread, antique Silkateen and Lily are my favorite. I love to knit and design little fine clothes on little fine needles for my Luvly Bears using these antique threads with the beautiful age spots being a highlight.
Like us they take a long time to acquire these beauty spots! they are loud and proud and should be embraced, as they really enhance my work and never disappoint - its like alchemy. I find that the smaller the knitting, the more the spots show and I love it. Somehow they always show in the most perfect of places.
It”s the same with the antique lace that use and collect – I love the workmanship and history, ambiance and drama of knowing that this piece of tambour lace, or embroidered netting has been worn in a time so different to us sends me down the ‘imaginarium’ path. I love to mix the antique crochet thread with the antique lace and make little ‘new’ antique dresses and clothes.
I sit in my room, and I am surrounded by a few of my favorite things antique lace, thread, old silver containers (that will never get polished), cut glass containers, old cotton reels, knitting needles, color, texture, calm, Zen and tranquility – and then it happens, thoughts come into my head from a colour that I have spotted – or a fabric or piece of lace that I just looked at. And a whole process beings.
When I first started playing with fibre – I was amazed at what you could actually do with such a simple supply material as wool. I saw first hand back when I was a child that recycling (through necessity) was an exciting and endless design possibility. My arms used to practically drop off from holding yarn ‘hanks’ up while my mother wound it into balls after unpicking a jumper. Then the balls were plopped into a big cane basket – and it was a visual feast!
I remember mum couldn’t unpick a jumper once as it had started to shrink, so she boiled it, shrunk it some more, and cut the most amazing pair of felted slippers for me! So – I never take things that I see at face value – its always the journey of ‘what if’ and ‘if I’ for me.
I can only liken creating to doing a jigsaw puzzle. Ideas form, you gather the ideas – the fabric, the color, the lushness, the shape. So you have a corner stone (or puzzle piece) to build on – and grow like a bouquet of flowers – too descriptive? Never – its how it works in my head, and I am sure I am not alone. Its truly amazing how a new project grows from a small acorn.
One of the most rewarding experiences is when I know that other people ‘get it’. The design process, and opening up your mind to possibility, and ‘seeing’ that they can do it, they can ‘get it’. I love to inspire people – to see for themselves.
Like most artist, I find my creations are evolving, and changing. I shorten legs, I fatten a body, I widen a head – and its so exciting to see a little fur baby emerge – who has always been there anyway, I just haven’t fully seen her or him yet.
I am beginning a new journey each creation, and am about to go down the mixed media road with a few designs that are rumbling around. I just have to look at the beautiful mohair and viscose fabric out in the marketplace and in my stash now , and I’m away….bliss.
I enjoy dabbling with different mediums too, wool, fabric, mixed media…but somehow for the time being, the lushness and richness of the bear making fabrics available today have me captured!