Elements 2: Air

After the easy flow of Water, Air was always going to be more challenging. After all, it’s invisible most of the time, which makes it a bit tricky to visualise! My first thought was of isobars – those lines you see on weather maps connecting points of equal air pressure (like contour lines connect points […]

Elements 1: Water

This didn’t start out as a series. I just wanted to refire my making mojo after six weeks of lacking the energy even to read or watch TV, let alone make anything. I’d been looking at some of the wonderful Japanese wave and ripple designs published by the Public Domain Review. So I picked a […]

When Forms Come Alive at the Hayward Gallery

“Sixty years of restless sculpture…inspired by movement, flux and organic growth”. Sounds right up my street you say? You bet! I loved this exhibition currently on at the Hayward Gallery. Growth implies movement, which happens quite literally in the first room of the exhibition, as silk-clad lights rise and fall, open and close above your […]

Pine needle baskets in Guatemala

Well, my last post turned out to be a little optimistic! After my bout of flu before Christmas I went down with another respiratory infection (possibly Covid, given how long it took to recover), followed by a urinary tract infection. But finally, after six weeks or so, I feel more like my normal self and […]

Merry Christmas 2023

I returned from my travels around Mexico and Guatemala on 8 December, brimming with energy and ready to tackle the pre-Christmas build-up. Then I got hit by a nasty bout of flu. I don’t think it was Covid – I kept testing negative – but it was serious enough to keep me in bed for […]

Staggered twining over double warp

In fact, according to Annemarie Seiler-Baldinger in her inestimable Textiles: A Classification of Techniques, the full name of this technique is (deep breath) staggered weft twining over a double transposed warp. In plain English, you are twining two separate warp layers alternately, at the same time as the warp threads pair alternately with the ones […]

Bindweed (again!) and cordyline inflorescence

We recently had the fence between our front garden and that of our neighbour replaced, as it was in a sorry state. Sadly, many of the climbers and plants close to the fence did not survive the operation, but it also turned out that our neighbour’s garden was home to an incredible amount of bindweed, […]

5th World Wicker and Weaving Festival

Last week I attended the 5th World Wicker and Weaving Festival in Poznan, Poland. It was held in the cavernous Poznan Expo Centre over four scorchingly hot days, when the external temperature was above 30C. The main highlight was the live weaving competition, where over 130 competitors from around the world had 15 hours over […]

Inspired by Morigami Jin

Sometimes you end up in a completely different destination from where you intended. My idea was to further explore freestyle or irregular plaiting. After my first foray into this technique, I saw some lovely examples of it at the recent Eskenazi exhibition. So I went back to my photos and books on Japanese bamboo art […]

Japanese Aesthetics of Recycling

I have to admit to feeling a bit ambivalent about Japanese boro (mended or patched textiles). They have become incredibly fashionable in the West, presented as abstract art with prices to match. But the rural poor who made them were not making them as art. They made them from necessity, layering and stitching small pieces […]