pieces of precious

3 Aug

WEEK  THIRTY – (july 26 – august 2 )

I spent months drawing on these little ‘pieces of precious’, then I put them away to work slowly on another feathering thought-line which finally resulted in a finished piece.

Because I am trying very hard to spend the majority of my time in making mode, not writing or organising mode, I was very eager to get back downstairs quickly this week.

On Monday, out came the stacked up Laminex boxes.
Their contents got pushed around, played with, lined up.

As I procrastinated I decided that;
I would gently undo one of the three sets I ‘inherited’ from my father.
I would carefully undo the ball chain – whilst keeping track of their exact position.
I would just check them out with the view to feathering them…..
I loved their the colours, their textures, and the ‘exact position’ arrangement.
I am now planning to feather them (in my spare time:) perhaps this time making each column one long feather….. or perhaps not?

a special set, set to be feathered?


On Tuesday, morning I gathered every Laminex note, sketch, scribble and thought-line I had made in the preceding months.
Plus I looked at every photo I’d taken, every permutation and every arrangement.
It was time to focus – and I did.

The major thing that has slowed me with these components is working out how best to design and display pieces containing their great weight…
Walls are only good for small selections so I have re-identified ideas to source or make forms/frames/furniture for their display.

Then there is the mode of their attachment….how can they look crisp and ordered held only by one hole? Hmmmm.

I have previously kept the selections placed by their make and I now fiddle with subsets of colour piles.
I’m getting close.
I feel like I’m almost there.

Meantime, I take a little time to clear a few things away – the things I am not going to use. The old tablecloths and doilies that I once considered a starting point were ready to be re-filed upstairs when I stopped and re-assessed them… then promptly bought more boxes of them back downstairs.
BINGO. SOMETHING GELLED….. and it really felt like that cartoon lightbulb moment.

It was simply the selection of ideas that I had been dwelling on for ages that needed the time and clarity of mind to allow them to come together. I needed a work of simplicity after a large, complex and time-consuming piece…..
An unfinished tablecloth, barely started, and a nest of the warm red/orange oval feathers placed around the central transfer…..bingo.

By Wednesday night the piece is in very good shape with layers of linen and old voile under the table cloth and held together/basted with Vintage threads – from my mother/grandmother.

On Thursday I whip off to Mundaring Arts Centre to see With every Fibre of my Being.
A lovely exhibition with pieces that prompted us to discuss them in depth.

Back to Laminex late Thursday arvo…. and I’m still excited.
This piece is light and quick and free flowing and the opposite of the previous piece.
But can I get it done for the photo session next tuesday????

could this be the start of feathering the nest #2?


Friday is Esther day. She went down for a good, early sleep which allowed me to prep for a final day of stitching. Our friday outing was to Stitchers Corner to get some Pearl Cotton 5’s in the perfect colours to compliment the Laminex/embroidery combo.
I had to work hard to keep the little fingers where they could do no harm but made up for the restriction by heading home via the immense and inventive playground at Heathcote.

What a productive week.

Jan Mullen

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