Monday, 20 October 2008

melt down

I am exceeding Monday morningish today, threatening migraine and achey limbs. Could be because I spent most of Sunday melting plastic.
Embroiderer's Guild ran a workshop on recycling - in a creative way - via an iron, some parchment paper[is that what you call it, not greaseproof, but used for baking i think, don't know as i don't do any]and plassy bags.
Recycling is a hindrance to our gig actually as the bags with built in recycling don't melt and meld as successfully; now one has to increasingly buy the shiny, stronger bags for life, xmas tinsel, shower curtains, even plastic table cloths and doileys, great fun.
The tutor is a patchworker, which frightens the bejabbers out of me as I am so un-neat and am genetically unable to plan my work ahead.
However she was very encouraging, and we soon started chopping up with abandon and melting the bits together in what we hoped would be an interesting manner. I have done a bit of this before, but the key to more flexible creating was to use a cheese grater to shower slivers of wax crayons on the surface which would then melt into painterly shapes and squiggles.
Then stitch.
The key it seems is not to plan too much ahead but to see what happens, so i was fairly happy, if still nervous.
These situations are just endemically competitive, 16 self effacing and generous minded women of age and experience, put them all in the same room where they have to each follow the same instructions and produce a piece, the mental claws come out.
I try very hard to be laid back, absorb the info, play a bit and do it later at home if interested, but before I know it I am head down beavering away.
Now I am climbing over the additional clutter to get into my room and looking for the napalm.
The last 2 workshops have been excellent, but there is also that discipline of working and developing in the sacred "Series", and as i get older I wonder just how many side streets of different Series I can go down.
I no longer want to achieve"art" signified by the fact that it sells [in London] for thousands, but I do want to sell some so i can still get Into my room. I do want/have to keep making stuff. I find if I just piddle about making one thing here, another there it starts to feel so unfocused and meaningless.
So ......................dunno. meld all the experiences/techniques together into a series of pieces that will knock peoples socks off, or at least keep me making.


carol said...

I well remember the wax crayon grating and melting from teaching days. I must have added zeros to the ILEA bill encouraging children to reduce crayons to useless stubs!

Plastic bags and shower curtains is a new one and although I'm no artist I'd love to have a go - the randomness of it appeals enormously. I've got some bags in assorted violent colours that I bought by mistake for the shop...

No sewing though. Random would be about as good as it would get here.

Walled Garden said...

Workshops are great. They bring out the best in camaraderie, benevolent praise and well hidden jealousy. But what to do with all the Great Craft Products that result from recycling? I'm down-sizing soon and I don't know what I shall do with all those things that were going to be useful one day.
Big decisions to make about things like "the left over bits of fabric box".
Cheers Gillian

lesley said...
See especially the paragraph on the disadvantages of plastic. I wonder if you're feeling bad today because of low level carbon monoxide poisoning.
Take care

Sue said...

blimey! I never imagined textile art could be dangerous! Whatever next?