Thursday, 8 March 2007

Who finds crocheting exciting?

This morning I opened and rummaged through several boxes to find one of the pieces that I’d been working on before I moved. Of course it was in the last box and before I opened that one I had moments of sweaty panic that I’d lost the piece and some others packed in the same box. But here they are, all wrapped carefully in layers of apricot-pink tissue paper… Funny, it’s only a plastic case and although I knew exactly what it contained it felt almost like opening an old trunk brought down from some grandmother’s attic, promising faded lacy dresses and such like. This makes me think of my mother’s mother, the grandmother I never knew as she died when my mom was still a toddler, and it’s good to think of her here as I was thrilled to learn a while ago that she had been a needlework teacher at a primary school. A link to her, tenuous, yes, but I like it. I hated crocheting and sewing at school, my small sweaty fingers working on something incongruous like oven gloves or an apron. And now I’m crocheting away and finding it exciting. I guess part of the excitement comes from exactly that, crocheting being something so quaint and lame/tame and domesticised, but it can be turned into something else, opening up in all kinds of directions. Isn’t this wonderful about making art, you can take something and change it a little bit and create a piece that holds the old and something else, something new, unexpected.

1 comment:

cally said...

just came here via your link of Wed 28 Nov. i love that you work and rework your pieces.

i rarely have anything stay the same for it's whole existence, i evolve all my things in time with the exception of a few metalwork pieces i will never be able to recreate.

the link with your grandmother is lovely. mine is with my great aunt, all her hand stitched clothing and her old crochet, knitting and sewing things which were passed on to me over the years. we never got on, but my love of obvious handstitchedness gave me something to link to her. she never outwardly acknowledged the connection, but she continued to pass on items i could work with so i think she knew.

i wore her nightgown to a wedding in france last year, the piece was long and flowing, bias cut to acommodate our lumps and bumps, lace sewn around the neckline. but what i loved most was not seen, the tiny tiny stitching on the hem and seams. to know that she had sat as a young woman, probably when she lived in egypt, sewing this by candlelight...

thank you for bringing these thoughts to mind for me. and for sharing yours.