Sharon P.

How long do I keep type writer carbon paper?

I have had an incredibly fruitful week. Early in 2015 I cleaned out my studio storage space and got rid of 10 bags of fabric. Liberating at the time, but, I have to admit gradually the space has cluttered up and stuff is edging out the door again. I obviously didn’t learn anything from that.  So this week I began by clearing out a draw that had originally a specific purpose for small handmade books I made, but now seems to be an easy target for getting rid out things. Out went old textile work that wasn’t quite working (from 10 years ago) and which I have never bothered to resolve. So I cut up two pieces to make ipad bags (as they were heavily embroidered and a little padded). There were a couple of really good pieces that I will now follow through with, but the rest went out the door and the garbage was collected an hour later.  I have made a label for small books for the drawer. The storage room will be cleared in the next few weeks.


My limitation exercise was to work with a couple of current pieces that were not quite working. I was on the point of making something new. I reflected: the content was there.  It was a visual resolution problem. I had drawn up something, translated into machine embroidered lace, but perhaps I didn’t not make enough iterations. It is the making process that shifts things. In the making process of one piece, one half fell and the arrangements of the lace parts suddenly look better than the original tightly composed design (shown in image). It was a little precious and took a while to make (probably contributing to the problem). I pinned the falling arrangement to the wall in its new form. Overnight I thought of a way to resolve this piece. An hour or so this morning I made a few small additions and reduce another area. (Not shown in the images) The work is for a miniature textile exhibition, but now it is outside size limitation. So what? It doesn’t have to be for this show. So I am much happier about the direction of the work.

Next I combined two designs, actually more like three designs on reflection.  One was really a trial of techniques but people in the group exhibition seemed very excited about. I knew it didn’t have the content.  The other was another precious piece of gold machine embroidered lace which was again all about technique. I replicated part of the design from my sketchbook, but again the translation into textiles seemed to indicate whether it was working or not. I roughed out the design on the soluble fabric and was ready to work, but when I began the process of stitching I realised I needed to work this through further. It was the following design that got me over the line.

I’m not a perfectionist by any means (‘near enough is good enough’ had been my mantra) but now I seem far more critical, but in the sense of reflective critical. Going deep down into the well inside by thinking of the committee has got me in touch with that space of reflection. I forget which participant here wrote about being still in the first week, but that is what I am trying to do. Being still and create that reflection. Then being able to dive under and explore that space has been liberating. Making more time for the studio also has helped.