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A Vessel of Memories


I've always been fascinated by vessels, whether they're stitched, thrown or sculpted. The outside form draws you in, but the interior holds so much promise... or nothing at all. And that's where I often get disappointed.


I have been experimenting with wax, stitch, natural dye and words to create a memory vessel, inspired by #GarlickLane

I had been playing with the Oak Apple Gall ink I made a few weeks ago, seeing how it reacted when painted onto raw, artist's canvas. I loved the effect of the bleed I got when I painted over a stripe of soya milk binder - an inky hedgerow, so reminiscent of the Lane.



Having read Hannah Lamb's book Poetic Cloth, I was drawn to adding a layer of hot beeswax to the canvas. In part to give a layer of patina, but also to add structure to the cloth.

The wax dried to a beautiful, warm-tone, and I scrunched it, to achieve weathered-looking lines and marks.


The inside needed to be as special. I collected oak leaves from Garlick Lane, dipped them in rust water and created contact/eco prints on cotton calico. Once dry and pressed, I wrote my own observations of a morning walk, using a stick collected from the Lane and the Oak Apple Gall tannin dye as a ghostly ink.


The canvas and calico were then layered with some cotton batting, and quilted with oversize straight stitches, evoking the dry grasses that line the lane until the new growth in the spring, before I stitched the edge of the vessel together, binding in place.



The vessel now holds the memory of the place it is inspired by. A theme and technique I want to explore more over the coming months.



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