Welcome to Storycloth.
This opening post is dedicated to all women, from every time and culture, and their teachings. In this I must acknowledge my Anglo-Saxon heritage: my mother who still teaches me, and my grandmothers who, from the other side of life (so to speak), continue to teach me love of creation. How to make something beautiful, useful, precious. How to find what I need. How to seek the story of cloth.
I acknowledge the process of teaching cloth with this excerpt from bell hooks’ “belonging: a culture of place”(2009). bell writes to give voice to the quilting stories of black women. She speaks here of her grandmother, Baba.
“Baba did not read or write. She worked with her hands. She never called herself an artist. It was not one of her words. Even if she had known it, there might have been nothing in the sound or meaning to interest, to claim her wild imagination. Instead she would comment, “I know beauty when I see it”. She was a dedicated quiltmaker – gifted, skilful, playful in her art, making quilts for more than seventy years, even after her “hands got tired”, and her eyesight was “quitting”. It is hard to give up the work of a lifetime, and yet she stopped making quilts in the years before her dying. Almost ninety she stopped quilting. Yet she continued to talk about her work with any interested listener. Fascinated by the work of her hands, I wanted to know more, and she was eager to teach and instruct, to show me how one comes to know beauty and give oneself over to it. To her, quiltmaking was a spiritual process where one learned to surrender. It was a form of meditation where the self was let go. This was the way she had learned to approach quiltmaking from her mother. To her it was an art of stillness and concentration, a work which renewed the spirit.”
Having been brought up in Australia and now living in Canada, I acknowledge the creations of all indigenous women who weave story cloths with ancient truths. I express my gratitude to these women for every stitch, every spindle, every woven reed, every care taken with the environment.
I hope through ‘Storycloth’ to learn well my own truths, explore my understandings, contribute to the fertile garden of women creating cloth.
And a thanks to Grace, Penny, Kate and Nandas who have encouraged me, and to jude hill and all in her fantastic 'beasts' class. Not sure how to do links yet - or to transfer photos from the camera. So - soooon I will post a pic or two.