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10 October 2010

New points of reference

A whole new direction. This summer it felt like I was made to look at a map or compass to find out exactly where I am in relation the the world and people in my life. I am now carrying a compass, almost subconsciously referring to it more often and thinking about place, community, and time.
How to value a person's life, whether young or old. Somehow the end of a life lived to the full, for several decades, it does not seem so hard to comprehend. But one cut short that has potential, with promises of a future full of action and positive contribution to the community. I have found almost impossible to take in that it is gone.
Learning about 'Slow Making' and all it implies, the energy and value of a life and how resources are used in living still takes me by surprise.
Working on Wind Mapping on West Runton beach with Liz McGowan was akin to steering an unknown course in a well known boat. Exhilarating and reassuring at the same time.

05 September 2010

More colourful stories

The Story Quilt project in Reading proved to be a really inspiring and colourful project all the way through.It demonstrated how inter-generational learning is almost impossible to restrict or restrain in boxes. and preconceptions. Community learning at it's best.
While working on it a friend staying needed to be distracted from everyday and mundane. Stitching colourful, tactile materials and images was exactly the right activity.

16 August 2010

Summer and willow acitivities

I have been doing more making, being in the physical and not using my blog to record or comment on work. The result is a gap to be acknowledged or filled. In the time since May I have become more aware of the multiple activities that FrostArt is involved with, they overlap and often take too much time, which does not fit into the Slow Making approach. How to resolve this is always an issue. The glut of fruit and vegetables at this time of year is a bit similar, they take time and energy to tender and maintain during the dry spring and summer, then they are all at once demanding attention!
Images are of willow activities over the last few months, in schools and for the The National Trust's Angelsey Abbey story telling space. 
For willow workshops this season go to this link for the Google calendar and online bookings

30 July 2010

Drawing with willow

Aiming for local projects, I had not expected a commission 50 yards from home. The logo of the local school is a heron, and they have new buildings and grounds to renovate. After spending a few weeks making the large heron, I worked with the whole school over two days, drawing birds using one piece of willow. So at the end there were about 400 birds stitched onto a background and displayed on the boundary fence. This proved to be a surprising demonstration of Slow Making, combining fast learning and experience. Using a material both local and traditional for centuries, it is a new experience to these children.

12 July 2010

Waterways: Walking: Stitching and conversations

At High Tide Mersey the Waterways Work was really examined and extended by being placed alongside other work addressing climate change, the social and environmental challenges that places on areas like the Mersey Basin. 'Weaving a Walk' Mersey produced responses and opened doors to more events, in June the work went on show in North Yorkshire as part of Chrysalis Arts 'Slow Art' project
There are more images on Flickr.

31 March 2010

A more colourful spring

In this really cold and belated spring, the daffodils are only just coming out and the wind is freezing today. Helpfully I am starting on a project with RISC and have been dyeing recycled blankets a whole range of colours. Colour always cheers me up and seems to provide an energy that nothing else can.
After what seems like months of planning this is the first practical phase of a Generations Together project.
More to follow very soon I hope.

28 February 2010

Tide and time

Thinking and working in preparation for High Tide:Mersey began a new phase of Waterways:Walking:Stitching

I have now printed the first of what should be a series of postcards of sites that are significant to individuals or communities, or have environmental importance for research or historic reasons. They are laid out like the most ubiquitous holiday postcards, except the reference is in longitude and latitude, not the name of the place. The first is where the site of 'Sea Henge' was excavated on the North Norfolk coast.
As always I am never sure that what I make and what people really see have anything in common, so the opening at Liverpool John Moore's provided lots of good conversations and feedback.
The selection process to make a clearer and more coherent show is all part of the slow making. Interesting to realise that what is shown is not really what, how or why it is made.

Travelling less, making more

This year seemed to start slower, the marmalade made, the process, colours, smells and resulting rows of filled jars on the shelf very satisfying. The same feeling is produced by completing a good piece of work.
An order for 12 willow plant supports was
similarly seasonal, repetitive work on the allotment.
I am possibly growing into the pace that I have thought about for the last few years, at least when I make work. This includes the multiples, the aim for craft skills in each piece. The pace of making multiples is both slow and fast at the same time.
Learning to make exact same forms takes time, the making of each pieces has to be fast, or the work is neither elegant nor cost effective!
However, the pace of working on multiple tasks and commitments still seems to be other than slow and although that is my aim, time does not seem to stretch to fit them all.