Working with found and reclaimed materials requires a measure of flexibility: you can never be sure what you’re going to have to work with, so it’s best not to run on rails.
Two recent pieces I’ve made illustrate this fairly well. So I thought I’d write about them.
The impromptu weaving
One Sunday night, while Mr Namasi was at ice hockey, I ran out of yarn for the project I was working on. This was the second time in a week that there was too much project left over at the end of the yarn provided, and I was deeply frustrated. Also, I was in the middle of watching a movie on telly. Something which I simply cannot do without something to occupy my hands. I had to find something to do. And quickly.
There are some who might be able to understand the degree of urgency with which I was looking for a project: those people who absolutely have to have something to read on the loo. Inevitably, at some point in your life, you’ve experienced a sudden and urgent need and you haven’t been able, for the life of you, to remember where you put your book/kindle/magazine/whatever. There follows an urgent search, the like of which mere mortals will never understand.
It was like that.
I have, under the table in my studio, a stock of picture frames. They were used by a sixth form student as part of a design technology project display, and had been dumped. And then rescued by yours truly.
I grabbed one of them, a spool of sisal twine, and some yarn remnants. I had only the vaguest idea of what I planned to do with it, but swirling around my mind were images of the beautiful weaving my (Swedish) mother in law used to do. Of course, she had a proper loom (and a proper spinning wheel… both of which were works of art in their own right). But I thought I might be able to fashion some sort of rough loom thing out of the frame. It was never going to be of the order that my mother in law could produce, but I thought it might work.
Once I started working, I couldn’t stop until it was done. It has ever been thus with me. When I’m on a roll, I have to keep going, regardless of the nature of the project I’m working on.
My husband’s ice hockey ends very late on a Sunday night*, and he seldom gets home before 12:30am. I usually manage to wait up until he gets in, but I’m less usually able to stay awake long enough after that to join him for his wind-down drink before he makes his way to bed.
On this occasion, he came home, had his drink and went to bed before me. I joined him at about 2:30am, having finished a piece I call ‘Shepherds’ delight‘.
The fragrant mobile
I recently acquired a bag of plastic felt tip pen lids. I was pretty sure I could find something creative to do with them. And I have no doubt I eventually will.
But yesterday (what is it about Sundays?), when I started exploring ideas, my mind went off at a tangent, and I ended up with this.
About as far from plastic as it’s possible to be. All natural materials, with the exception of a smidge of gold paint: driftwood, cardamom pods, some other kind of seed pod, felt balls (wool), sisal twine, pine cones, twigs…and a splash of essential oil for olfactory delightfulness.
The fragrant mobile is not yet on the website, but if you’d like to snap it up before then, you can purchase it from my Facebook page.
So I guess it’s back to the drawing board on those lids. I have an idea of what they will become. Watch this space!
*This is quite normal, in order to spread the huge cost of running an ice rink, a large number of teams, clubs and groups will pay to use to the rink at all manner of weird times. The teams with the greatest chance of bringing in a paying audience – understandably – get the best time slots. Everyone else has to fit in where they can. I have heard parents express their dismay at their 10 year old children having to attend trials for regional and national teams between 11pm and midnight. My husband and elder son play on a Sunday night from 9-10:30pm. My younger son plays on Mondays and Tuesdays – his Tuesday session finishing at midnight.