Just a few words today about my proposed year on paper. As I mentioned yesterday, I’m not generally good with sketchbooks, or indeed at keeping any kind of record on paper. Any design work I do before making a cloth is often nothing more than a biro drawing on a bit of scrap paper which I throw in the recycle bin as soon as the work is complete. Then when I sell that piece of work, I have nothing left of it apart from a few photographs (and I sometimes don’t even keep photos!) If I want to reproduce any part of it, or remember why I stitched something in a certain way, I have no way of recalling that. I’ve seen various excellent examples of textile artists’ sketchbooks – notably Jan Beaney and the inimitable Jan Messent – and have sometimes wondered what my own version of that kind of thing would look like. What I’m aiming for is a kind of personal reference library, the creation of a series of hand-painted, hand-bound sketchbooks filled with notes, drawings, thoughts, bits of poetry and stitched samples. I’m thinking ahead a little here, in that this kind of work would also make a good teaching resource, if I decide to run workshops next year. I’m also wondering if some kind of theme or common motif will emerge: something I can build on and develop in future work. Up until now, I’ve tended to make one-off cloths and quilts, and I’d prefer now to make cloths that somehow connect to each other. I’m hoping that consciously keeping sketchbooks will help towards this.
So while I’m beginning on paper, and the basis of this year’s work will be paper, I will – of course – be doing a lot of stitching as well, because stitching is what I do. I think that my work needs a little more focus and discipline, and I think this could be a way forward for me. Of course, I could be quite wrong. I guess I’ll find out!
I’ve been working on some pages for the ‘Tracks’ sketchbook today.
The pages of this book are 8″ square.
So far (one day into the year-long project!) – the pace is very satisfying.