Saturday, 9 October 2010


The house did not fall down during the night. Nor was I crushed by the breeze block shelf system beside the bed. Today I note a distinct lack of blog presence on behalf of many of those I follow, so I'm hoping that it's just that you all are busy leading very creative lives, and that nothing untowards has happened to you either.

Thank you to those who commented on last evening's post regarding the new banner. It's been slightly modified since then, and I think it looks better. I was particularly intrigued by comment's from Jude "i like the new banner, seems quiet for you..." and from Deb "very soft & subtle but I sense more exuberance from you. Do you have a secret up your sleeve?"... because I tend to think of myself as a pale cloth sort of gal [who, ok, from time-to-time, does something a bit bold!]

Whilst I've been stitching today, I've been musing about these comments and thinking some more about my "style". Who am I? Or more specifically - since it's always wise to have at least one plan - who do I want to be?

A while back I saw a blurb somewhere [don't remember where I read it now] which said " Why follow fashion, when you can lead it". And that's a good place to start out from. Beacuse we all know that trying to satisfy someone else's taste is instant death to the creative spirit!

Do I have a secret up my sleeve?...

Well, I have been thinking about making fashion apparel for a while now, that much you already know. First of all it was bags (and probably will be again someday). But right now, I think my next thing might be scarves. Why? Because I rather like the simplicity of the format, and the fact that one could do alot of embellishment within a small area and still create something stunning in a relatively short time span. I also like the fact that it would be simple to work the whole thing by hand, and not have to be distracted by the construction. Because that's not my strong point!

If I think about the things that I have experimented with during the past year, the things I have been most pleased with, and have most enjoyed, have been the more subtle cloths, the ones that were composite pieces, incorporating dying, printing and stitching. So, thinking about some possible future direction, that's really what I would like to focus on next.

I like the orderliness of repeat patterns. I like the idea of creating 'all over' prints by hand. If you think about it, both of these are usually machine generated these days, and usually I find that machine-generated perfection is tedious on the soul, in the same way that industrially colored cloth is. I welcome imperfection. It adds character!

I've started making notes on color too. What kind of palettes I would like to try out. I created this as a starting point.

Palette: "Mollusc". Inspired from the colors of a particular kind of bi-valve sea shell that I've seen on the beach here. And also this...

Palette: "Golden Mushroom". A richer spicier palette inspired by the image below.

A velvety fungii I spotted at work on Friday.

I'm going to keep playing with these palette ideas. But what I'm thinking is to make a series of cloths. Perhaps a few designs/patterns made in different color ways, or the same color ways using different designs/patterns. What I'd like to do is have an exclusive, hand-made collection, a limited number of unique pieces each season.

So...we'll have to see where the ideas take me!

And the name of the future label?... Iyam!


jude said...

hey, i love your direction here, and it seems so clear as a path. . that is the most colorful fungi i have ever seen....

Catherine V. Bainbridge said...

Thanks Jude, this is encouraging. I guess I am trying to create a framework. Within that will be room for experiment, of course. I find that, without a framework, I get carried away, and it all ends up as experimentation, with no end result.

neki desu said...

working in series is a useful way of keeping a loose framework
re machine generated perfection:
there's also machine generated grunge that can be added to quiet down the perfection.

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