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Anthology - a beginning

I've Reached An Age (Now You See Me)

34.5cm x 70cm

Hand stitched on vintage linen pillowcase, using traditional, cotton embroidery floss.

Where does inspiration come from for you? For me, it can be words, colours, stories, views, feelings, and in the case, actions.

What started as a personal reflection in my notebook about the aging process, became something more poetic and meaningful.

I had challenged myself back in January to try and write a poem a day - these were short missives, sometimes a line or two, sometimes a whole page. I was strict - I did not edit. I came to love the process of picking an idea or word from my day and writing what came to me in it's raw state.

I have lapsed from the 'every day' but this is still a significant part of my practice now, and one that allows me to add deeper meaning to my stitched works.

And these poems and noticings were where the idea for an Anthology series started.

I had been lucky enough to have been gifted a collections of beautiful, Danish, vintage household linens, including some pillowcases. I loved the idea of stitching the words of this poem, which speaks of dreams, onto one of the pillowcases.

The technique of 'writing with a needle' is one I have been using more and more, honing my skills and making it my own. I'm not looking for perfection - if you've ever recieved a card or lette from me, you'll know my handwriting can be described as 'artistic' at best (and sometimes 'doctor's writing', at worst - sorry any doctors reading this!), instead I have embraced the imperfections of my own hand, the uncrossed Ts and letters that run into eachother, all markers of my authorship, and celebrated these nuances by copying out my poems using sticks, inks and charcoal, allowing the materials and processes I use to dictate the flow, and legibility, of the words.

Once written out, I meticulously trace over the lines of poetry in a fine pen, which I then pin, a line at a time, to the fabric and copy by eye.

Slow, methodical, this is a process that can't be rushed. Each stab of the needle and twist of the thread must respond to the mark before. I can not work with disctractions - there is silence as I stitch. I also can't work feeling stressed or anxious. Instead, I breathe before I start, go into myself and find that flow state that can be so rare in modern life. And every so often, I turn over the work to admire the aesemic marks on the back - fragile in their beauty.

I've Reached An Age (Now You See Me)

I’ve reached an age where feathers grow from my skin.

I spend my time pulling and plucking

So as not to draw attention to the fact I am becoming something other, 

Something with wings.

I am obviously not a bird, such fragile, fleeting things,

Instead, my feathers mark me as someone stronger, 

With my sights set on wide horizons,

A woman who follows her dreams.

©Samantha Boot, 2024

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Beautiful post Samantha .. thank you so much for sharing this creative process .. Satisha

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Thank you so much

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