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The Art of Slow Textiles

I was on the edge of an interesting conversation over the weekend. The person announced that they didn't understand the concept of 'slow stitching' because wasn't it "... just sewing by hand?"



For me, the answer is a resounding 'No' as I believe there is so much more to the Slow Textile movement than just sewing by hand. I see it as a celebration of process, of technique, of repetitive stitches and marks, as well as the connection of thoughts and inspiration that meander, perhaps away from an original path, to a result that speaks of a particular time or place or person.


Process plays a big part in my own textile practice: each phase of my work is a direct response to the stitches or techniques made before. I am constanctly trying to evoke a feeling, a moment I have remembered or imagined and as I progress with a piece, the tactility of the materials leads me on the next step of the journey. A slow process, one with no definite outcome, but one that will create something unique each time.


I am naturally drawn to 'slow' techniques too - hand stitching is inherently slow, as is natural dying and making earth pigment paint and documenting my work. Each technique has a myriad of steps and phases to complete before you even start making. But these phases in my work allow for deeper thinking, problem solving and story telling to become embedded in each piece.


Slow textiles is so much more that just sewing by hand. I have found it to be an artistic practice and a way of life.


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