Even with all of the chatting about the residency and the weather, we have both moved forward with our drawing and sampling for the work with the businesses in Sedbergh.
I am very interested in the way in which textiles have become an incidental part of our life because they are now cheap and readily available. Until recently cloth was a valuable commodity due to the labour intensive nature of the manufacture - time taken to process the initial fibre then to spin it, weave or knit it, colour it and finish it. It is no wonder that cloth was expensive and every piece considered precious. With the introduction of intensive farming methods and synthetic fibres, machinery to spin, weave and knit cloth and chemical dyes to colour it we now take cloth for granted and replace it quickly when it shows signs of wear. However, I feel that the evidence of stains and wear on cloth tell the story of the use of the textile, and my work for the cafe and the greengrocer in Sedbergh will incorporate elements of the staining and distressing of age. I also want my work for the businesses to highlight the valuable commodity that cloth once was. I intend to make everyday textile items used by the businesses, such as oven gloves and onion nets, from materials such as silk and cashmere, that today are still considered valuable and generally used for luxury items.
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