Friday, August 20, 2010


Raia, Keeper of Gead's Heart
Raia has prominent placement in this storycloth, which now has a title: How Raven Wrecked a Wedding. The consideration of composition is foremost in my mind today. I have completed all the characters and realise the competing pressures for what /who is included, where and how they are placed on the storycloth. I have three main influences to balance and counterbalance: the told story, the visual impact, and my propensity towards clutter.

In this regard I received a timely gift yesterday, Patchwork Folk Art by Janet Bolton (2009). Bolton takes the reader through her creative process step by step. I am very attracted to her work which is steeped in innocence of form and comprises simple, quality cloth. Her designs have great impact, perhaps similar to that of a haiku poem. In a chapter titled 'Composition - Arranging Your Shapes'  Bolton writes:

" Working around themes has real advantages, for as you are arranging your compositon many possibilities will present themselves, and the temptation is to try to put them all in the same picture. This can make your work too complicated and overcrowded. If you are working on a number of pictures within one theme, it leaves you relaxed knowing that you will probably find a home for all your ideas. With many ideas in store, your work will develop in a purposeful way".  

Today I will be thinking about this a little more, and if need be, I will put this cloth away for awhile. I like the idea of not panicking if I don't cram everything on one cloth - but that is hard for me. Removal of certain items is like pulling a tooth. However, overriding all other considerations, is my desire to communicate story with cloth. So I am motivated to explore, progress and make the best storycloth I can. Grace, over at Windthread, is also working on placement.

Fantastic book - thanks Mum.
Happy stitching,


  1. Thanks for the reference to Janet Bolton's book. I just ordered it from Amazon along with India Flint's Eco-Colour. I related to the quote you referenced--the temptation to put all the possibilities in one picture. Raia is delightful.

  2. Hi there Deanna - oh good for you - I'd like to get India's book one day too. This book, by Janet Bolton, has helped me so much today. You will see - she is very explicit and answers questions I wasn't sure how to ask. She also runs through some exercises and I think I may MAKE myself follow one. It would be a discplined time well worth it I think. Just looking at her work calms me, and she talks a lot about that. Sort of book that will become wonderfully dog-eared. G.

  3. Gillian...see, already you can do more than
    i know how in the highlighting
    reference...i still have no idea how to do that!...and thank you for that...
    i am very excited to "partner up" in this
    blogging with are
    about your cloth.
    about "talking" with it. i like this a lot.
    could sense it and now, can SEE it.
    i am already too, finding myself coming to
    know your characters. Raia is quite lovely.
    xo to you,g

  4. Gillian...this is interesting.
    i am out, watering. this means: giving water
    which means: giving what allows things to live
    here. more serious business.
    am i am thinking about your cloth
    and thinking....
    who are the
    in my cloth work
    and i think
    the character is really a woman.
    who, i suppose is me.

  5. well i am happy happy happy to see the camaraderie you two have found! gilly, you have a gift of telling mythic stories with a sweetness that is a pleasure to see unfold! and grace has the ability to tell of her life through her land with rich symbolism.... you two make a great pair and i look forward to your exchanges. thanks...

  6. Grace, hmmm I agree. The blue woman - that is something. With a huge raven protector. I wonder, too, what these cloths say about us as their creators. I feel a warmth towards, and a distance from, my characters. Maybe that is why I am working through story - not quite so bearing of self. Or is it? I am very involved with my characters, with the story. I guess for sure they reflect aspects of me. At the moment I am seeing the whole design process as a reflection of myself.This is so exciting and so cool Grace. It feels positive - that only good can come of this journey.

    Hi Nandas - good to hear from you. Your encouragement is balm. Going to your blog now.xx

  7. Hey, thanks for visiting my blog. i have enjoyed reading your stitching stories and you blog.