Here I sit, in the sandbox, learning a new vocabulary, new ways of seeing connections and new materials to experiment with. Things I’m discovering are the value of weight, drape and movement, how to invoke sentimentality and preciousness through carefully honed suggestions of it. What is too big for the wearer? What is underdeveloped?

Toiling all the while to carry forward vestiges of the old body that might still be useful, I am resolute on following this inquiry down the bunny hole. My brooches have given rise to neck pieces, cuffs and earrings, all bearing scales. I’m now exploring various configurations of industrial wool felt, dyed buck-tail and copper or brass ‘bones’, hammered out on a pneumatic.

  Permutations on a theme – felt, fur, brass, copper, machine stitched neck piece.

While playing with these ‘butterfly wing scales’, I am researching other patterns on a macro- or microscopic scale to borrow from, but weighing how well I can hope to truly emulate these patterns. Is it an insult to nature to try to copy from them? Like Islamic Design, should I only try to attempt to quote the divine intelligence of nature through the perfection of geometry? Is ‘patterns from nature’ too non-specific a theme? There’s a lot of artists making wares inspired by nature. The problem then becomes how to differentiate.

Photographs capture a dreaminess that isn’t entirely honest but wants to be.

I’m not incredibly productive right now, I struggle to make time to prototype, let alone make in multiples. I obsess over research, preparations and futzing with arranging space/time to actually perform the working, in between bus stops, naps, meals and bedtimes. In some ways, there’s no room for this practice, which gets shoved to the periphery, and in some ways my life is built around this work.

It seems like the longer I walk the path, the longer it stretches on in front of me, but the better I can see the destination on the horizon. Is it a Donovan song that goes ‘First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is...’? It’s corny, but true to how I feel. Not unlike some kind of religious order to my actions, I feel like every day is chopping wood, carrying water, that’s the way on right now.

butterfly-1036913_960_720

Macrophoto of butterfly wing image sourced from Pixaby, for use in the Public Domain

“There Is A Mountain”

The lock upon my garden gate’s a snail, that’s what it is
The lock upon my garden gate’s a snail, that’s what it is
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is

The caterpillar sheds his skin to find a butterfly within
Caterpillar sheds his skin to find a butterfly within
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain

-Donovan

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