I have been invited by the Embroiders’ Guild to submit a piece of work for their exhibition at the Knitting and Stitching Show, entitled Page 17, using a book as inspiration. I chose ‘The Crane Wife’ by Patrick Ness, which takes a Japanese folk tale in which a couple assist an injured crane who then returns in human form to weave beautiful fabric, plucking feathers from her breast, which they can then sell.
I made this book by printing and stencilling colour and shapes, mainly circles and diamonds with some freehand monoprinting, on to an A 1 sheet of paper, then tearing the sheet into pages which I then bound into the book. Laura Kemshall did a video on this some weeks ago and it certainly gives an interesting canvas to work on. I spent a while wondering how to take it further, then decided to explore the shape of trees and leaves. I used collage, more printing, drawing, real leaves and also cut away some of the original shapes to reveal the underlying page. Here are a few of the pages.
More than a year ago I did a workshop with Cas Holmes at West Dean, on using sketchbooks as a starting point for further work. I was not well at the time and felt I hadn’t produced anything worthwhile, but when I came to look at the work again, I felt there was a lot more there that could inspire me further. Here are just a few of the pages.