celebrating the old stuff

22 Aug

WEEK THIRTY THREE (august 14-20)

The week started with Monday rolled over as a continuation of my weekend.
The bloke had been at a conference for the weekend and I was free apart from dinner time so I chose to indulge myself.
For some gals that would mean shopping, or coffee, or a spa experience.
For me it was giving myself a good run at a low priority project.
Hmmm.

That project was/is the Handspun One Block Wonderz ‘rug’ that I have mentioned in previous posts – (30/9/15 was the start of it but I did have a good weekend run at it on 4/7/17 and again on 17/7/17).
I wanted to empty and clear a pile of boxes and to finish this truly cosy covering for ourĀ  very cold ‘little house’ before the end of winter.

I have been reveling of late, and I think for my entire life, in a celebrating the past and ‘the stuff’ of my heritage, that I have forever been attached to without a clear view of why.
Until recently I didn’t have a road map of how to make use of this reverence.

This ‘rug’, made of handspun, handknitted jumpers knitted by either my mum or me, worn by me, the bloke, my mum and our now grown babies and sometimes hand-dyed from natural sources was a way for me to create warmth and to celebrate family.
It epitomises my choices of turning family items, precious or not, into something that I can continue to live with and love. Whether I do that by physically altering the items or whether through photographing or simply referencing them in a recognisable manner does not matter.
I know that when I eventually exit, much of what I am attached to and know the stories of, will not hold any appeal for those charged with the chore of cleaning up after me…

SO,
I no longer spin or weave – but have the equipment still.
I no longer dye naturally – no longer my colour palette is the true reason.
BUT I do cut and stitch.
It was with a perverse sort of pleasure then that I cut up these garments to stitch them back together.

The work – it is a ‘craft’ work not an artwork – is now being edge-stitched in situ where it will reside. The edging yarn is the unpicked and ironed yarn from a jumper my mum made for me. She spun the wool (or did I spin it???) from our backyard sheep Jedda.

No one else has an attachment to this rug. The bloke can point out ‘his’ jumper – the one with the detail of natural dyed squares – but really none of this will mean anything to anyone else.
I love it and now it is a utilitarian object I will try not to obsessively treasure it.

It is certainly not the best thing I have ever made but still, I would like this toasty amalgamation, these wonderful combined components, to be with me as long as possible.

I finally feel that I am on a strong path of finding ways to celebrate family – and my female lineage and their domestic arts in particular.
The path is forged directly from the stuff that I cherish.
This ‘rug’ is but one of them.

The art component of the week was actually spent on Knit1Purl1#3 – bookish.
It is now finished apart from the needle.


The cast on edge was made and all the edges stitched together.


This time I have knitted with a plain row where the patterns joined and I have stablised this plain row to just to keep it crisper.

And week two of the instagram thing….
I have posted three times so far and I am, very happily, not obsessed.
I have enjoyed thinking through my reasons for posting before each post.
I am enjoying following links via the contacts ‘offered’ to me and being able to scroll quickly through feeds also appeals.

This linked experience will primarily be used to get my work out into the wide world but it is as an exploration tool that is most interesting.
Web searches are generally not as current and as raw as these posts.
The world is getting smaller in a good way, if you can find your way through the maze of excess, there is such a lot of interesting stuff out there to explore.

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Jan Mullen

B. Ed. Act/Craft (Textiles/ Sculpture)
Living in Perth, Western Australia
Artist, Fabric Designer, Author, Teacher.