Found, and one thing at a time.

My new idea is to work at one piece at a time. This may seem simple and obvious to most intelligent beings, when the lesson is learned, but is it not true that we think we can actually do several things at the same time with huge success, only to be reminded that actually, no we can’t?

Once this decision was made, things became considerably more relaxing. As a treat, I will occasionally have a leaf through one of a selection of started projects, just to keep them fresh in my memory, and also as a time wasting diversion, possibly; but no, it’s all creative, as long as most of your work day is structured towards finishing, or at least moving on, with one piece of work. I will be working in a warren-like series of considerably smaller spaces soon, ie, home, so it’s a good thing I am putting this into practice now.

Found is a component piece that will be at the Festival of Quilts next year, and at Quatrefoil’s exhibition in Birmingham in October 2013. Like much of my work it started as a couple of pieces and grew. It will have nine pieces in all, and has been very enjoyable to make, one piece having led to another. There is much dense machine stitching and painting of each piece; mostly recycled fabric has been used, but the theme Found will work on many levels, not least that these pieces are based on fossils.

So here are a selection of images of the work, all at different stages.

Early stages on the wall. Each piece is A2 size.

A finished background but there will be fabric fossils on top, in this case echinoderms, which are being hand stitched.

Transfer printing, paint, stitch and prints of earlier embroideries of fossils. Hand stitch to be added.

Reference material for a  piece involving a frog fossil, and images of a dragonfly from my collection.

A companion piece to the first image in this post.

Very early stages for the frog fossil piece.

I’m really looking forward to finishing this piece. I have been lucky enough to secure an exhibition at the RBSA Galleries in Birmingham next year, and this piece, together with an earlier beach based work  prompted me to call the show Beach, and to work to that theme.

I won the packet of this blingy blue fake snakeskin fabric in a raffle about 20 years ago; I love it, and now need more.

And my dragonfly again. I’ll post the pieces when they are done, too.

12 thoughts on “Found, and one thing at a time.

  1. Your ‘one at a time’ idea made me chuckle this morning – I work in needlepoint, so everything is VERY VERY SLOW – I try to concentrate on finishing one piece before moving to another, but there are times when I just have to experiment/sketch/draw you name it, otherwise I feel as if I might burst with ideas that need to come out. I do have to concentrate though, or all I’d have would be endless unfinished pieces. Good luck.

    1. I would imagine that you would have to allow yourself a bit of down time when working with needlepoint! I had a go once, as I love the way it looks, with that beautiful texture; I managed about a square inch, so you have my full- on admiration.

    1. Yes, I will miss the wall, but have a cunning plan to use the kitchen wall and a small wall in the little room I have upstairs. I’ll post an image when I actually do this. At least leaving the studio frees up some rent money, so no complaints, it’s been an interesting few years. I have a need to be at home; another advantage is that everything is in the same building!

      1. I think that I would be more productive if my studio was not at home. Its a guilt factor or evasive factor or just a factor! but I waste so much time. But a drive to studio is not an option without a car at the moemtn lol. Hope you are enjoying the bird workshop

      2. The studio certainly upped my productivity, and I so know there will be stressors at home! But, I’ll see how tough I can be with compartmentalising time and space. No doubt I will let you know; the bird course is going well, I’m just off for the second day now.

  2. Steph, when I read you’d be working on just ONE thing at a time I have to admit that I smiled…. a lot! That sounds admirable but you have so many ideas fermenting away, won’t that be hard to do? I wish you well with it and, as ever, love to see the results of your labours.

    1. You are probably right Lesley, but if I do one thing for most of the working day, I think that counts…? Actually space issues will force me to be a more orderly thinker, I imagine, but I have a very small room which I will leave as a complete heap if necessary! You know, work/thoughts in progress sort of thing.

  3. I have two quilting heads. One is my artist head where I ‘art quilt’. One is my craft head where I patchwork and quilt. I think I love both equally, enjoy the processes of both equally, and value the made piece equally. So I usually work on two pieces at a time.

    1. Yes, the decision to have these defined heads is a good way to work, like moving into different roles but focussing totally, or as much as possible, [ get -out clause… ] when you are in them. This I will try.

  4. Love the work you are doing. I think the secret to the home studio is to focus and ignore everything else in the home for set periods of time.

    1. Thanks Rebecca, it’s true, it is the way, almost to do set hours or at least say on a daily basis, ‘for the next so many hours this is my work,’ and interruptions are not to be tolerated.

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