Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Day 3 in our sun-filled studio

Karen working a sample
The sun has been pouring into the top floor studio at Farfield Mill and I have had a quiet day to myself. My first task was to make appointments with the two Sedbergh businesses that I am going to be working with as part of the wider Arts Council England funded project. I have been lucky enough to persuade the kind owners of both The Chair Workshop and RFG Hollett and Sons antiquarian booksellers to let me visit them next week to start the process of observing their work spaces.

Appointments made I then set about observing, sketching then starting on my first textile samples. As Stella mentioned in our last blog, I have become fascinated by the oily patches left on the mill floorboards. They survive long after the looms that produced them have been dismantled and sold and their locations must reflect the various machines that were once dotted about the mill. The thick black blocks contrast the worn pine floorboards and the stitch-like pattern formed by the shiny nail heads. I love the contrast between the random organic shapes of the oil patches and the straight lines of the boards and the metal nails running underneath or poking through them.

Mill floorboards
I have sent the last two days trying to draw then paint the patterns I see on the floors and  I have begun to think I might translate them into a large textile which could flow across the floor of the gallery and up the walls. The thick chunky random patterns will suit a prodded ragwork technique I think but I'm not so sure about the metal stitches or the floorboard lines which ought to be part of the pattern.

After lunch and a lovely walk down the most beautiful narrow lane at the back of the mill I got down to actually working on a sample using a variety of black 'rags' from a selection I'd brought with me. It's such a pleasure to have hours of almost uninterrupted time to simply make and I took full advantage of it, pausing only to chat now and again with curious visitors.

I shall continue to work up my samples but won't be returning to the mill until Sunday. Stella will be holding the fort tomorrow. I hope she enjoys sitting in the sun as much as I did! 

Karen Griffiths

No comments:

Post a Comment