Friday, 30 May 2014

the end of the days of May......

and Summer has yet to arrive. Days are grey and gardens lush, full of flowers and greenery. A holiday in Holland has revived and rejuvenated my creative spirit enabling me to return to the studio with renewed determination. Kilns have been firing on full cyclinders and now the studio is full of rabbits and shrews, noses in the air drying, before lustres fired once again and turned golden.  Ears need making and costumes fitted, oxides have resisted high temperatures and so remain dark as are coloured slips created and used in the depths of Winter. Costumes  will reflect this stern  pared back style with just a smidgeon of minute floral only just creeping in between layers. I have delved in boxes, rooted through fabrics and lace imagining the outfits to be worn and hence today's post is all about inspiration. Photos of overgrown shop fronts in Holland, windows with fragile boxed frames, and piles of old fabrics with buttons and lace. The story is yet to unfold but will become apparent as my characters come to life an altogether different look for  creatures  from under the cupboard or round the corner.  Maybe they live in cultured oppulent cities with a history of a more elaborate age, with lace and fur to liven navy worsteds and fine checks...... follow their journey of discovery as they appear one by one in their splendid finery to adorn a shelf or mantlepiece...

a shop in Haarlem
velvet boxed frame

gilt boxed frame

swatches of cotton, buttons,  lace  and possibilities

Friday, 9 May 2014

April showers bring forth frothy plants and ....

an abundance of greenery. Managed to cut my lawn this morning in between the heavy pitter patter of raindrops. Kiln problems have ensured I stay at home and tidy house with the odd bit of stitch in between. I had  finished some textile frocks for  an Open Art exhibition which unfortunately they were not selected for but that is the nature of art. They are now home and  in time I will be setting up an etsy shop so they find a home to hang on. Thought today you may enjoy a peek at a bit of stitch ....

a frothy garden


Frocks, posies and pockets full of rye

Childhood’s treasured memories are of nursery rhymes, stories, lullabies and games. Ingrained in souls they remain dormant whilst life goes on, quietly waiting moments of remembrance. Fragments surface from time to time to jog recollections of time and place.

Children are brought up on nursery rhymes, stories and lullabies. All these things become part of a person’s make up, staying with them for the rest of their lives to be passed on to the next generation.  Memories are collected and stored away travelling through time, occasionally surfacing to be unpacked, savoured, smiled at before returning to the trunk folded and placed carefully away.

The garments reference costumes and fabrics from the past. Garments that may have been worn by boys and girls skipping in the fields, dancing in the playground, singing rhymes and listening eagerly to stories. They resemble parts of clothes coats, frocks, and pinafores, clothes like rhymes long outgrown but cherished and saved awaiting rediscovery. Trapped within the clothes memories lie hidden in layers of cotton, lace, colour and pattern, even tucked in the very corner of a pocket they remain sleeping under tissue. Drawers, cupboards and old suitcases become the resting place for these clothes. Placed carefully within the container the folds entrap memories of stories and part forgotten rhymes to special to be thrown away. Trapped in their cupboards with posies, birds and pockets full of rye they transport us to a place of reminiscence and daydreams, of sung lullabies, rhymes and stories told.

karen shapley