The beautiful man

The beautiful man

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Fabrics of Memory

Tidying up fabrics and old clothes to be shipped to school to raise money with the 'bags to school' campaign, as we rummaged through the chest I came across fabric pieces I had forgotten about, and the realisation that if someone else found these that they would mean little, and whether they would amke there own stories from these or not. A salutary tale for a hoarder like myself.

Not a great picture but the red fabric is a dress I made from fabric we used for the Law Club float in Rag Week, 1983!! That hand made look was very in then! Worn to a do and  believe my friend Paula has a picyure of me in the dress in the snow in our basement flat in Clifton. None of that is documented, and there is no evidence within  the garment of those facts. It would more likely be read as a child's dressing up frock or a very amateur piece of fashion (it was). Sewn on my mum's hand singer machine, do the stitches give that away, or just bad quality workmanship?
This is a piece created in my first taught textiles sessions since school, 2 hours a week in Brighouse studying an OCN whilst my children were in the adult ed creche. Interesting that in the present education system I wouldn't have been able to do this. Again the piece has stories for me but for no one else. The machine embroidered mermaid in the centre was my first foray into this, and took a long time and a lot of broken needles and a temptation to throw the machine out of the window. Some of the fabrics were from my first visit to Bombay Stores when it was really cheap, I didn't have the glut of fabrics I now have maybe that was better,  clearer head space. Others from Fabworks when they were newly opened and had wonderful bags of random goodies. Buying a bag of lining fabrics and the boys dancing around in them, relishing the colours and texture. I remember the excitement of learning to stencil, applique and the exploration into new techniques. Also the immense value I got from my local libraries and the books on embroidery and textiles that they housed, another note on how that structure helped me develop a new pathway for work, as from this course I went to do my City & Guilds then teaching then hats, opportunities not available a mere 12 years later. 

Is any of this apparent in the fabric? No. Would anyone else be interested? Unlikely. The thoughts are my own, as just like photographs the punctume of the textiles is very personal and the memories vast incorporating all that was happening when the piece was made.

Finally these two pieces from my C&G that I cannot remember doing. I think that they were extensions of sampling, and strangely don't hold memories. Food for thought.

Two huge bags of memories sent to school.

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