Thursday, August 18, 2011

Mending and Hybridity

I've settled on the focus for my Magic Diaries cloth, and it is 'hybridity', an overly academic term for the notion that things whirled together in an overly accelerated and border-less world sometimes affix to each other.

Hybrid ideas and images appear in the mundane moments of day-to-day life, when ideas and images and things themselves are slowed down long enough to enter into some kind of relationship. I need a kind of creativity that responds to the possibility in those relationships. For me that creativity is 'mending'-putting together from fragments that have otherwise lost their moorings, or that have been released from those moorings.

Sometimes fragments that have otherwise lost their meaning and value.

I wonder. Is any mended cloth a hybrid? Is any cloth made from fragments with multiple and complex origins a hybrid?

And, here's the big question: is a hybrid cloth made today any different from a hybrid cloth we would all recognize as a 'traditional patchwork quilt' (for example). Does context- where we work from in the flow of time and ideas- matter? This part of the question matters for me- we live in a time when 'things' have such short lifespans, when their transition from 'new' to 'waste' is accelerated.

Is mending a way to deliberately stall the speeding up of that transition, the acceleration so characteristic of today? Can the creation of the hybrid mended cloth be a way to create new moorings, even in the face of processes that make that creation seem impossible?

So my Magic diaries cloth is, I guess, about the magic of mending things together. Not 'back together', just together. This is why found cloth and gifted cloth and second hand cloth and stuff that would be waste is so important to me I realize.

Friday, August 12, 2011

For The Magic Feather Project

This represents a long story, too long to send with it, but I'll share it here. One day about two years ago I saw two perfect little feathers falling from the sky. No, really. I was standing in a gravel parking lot that used to be a train station for a long defunct regional passenger line (the London and Port Stanley Railway). The Dog was sniffing around in the brush, I stopped to look at the clear blue sky. And these two little feathers just drifted slowly into my line of sight and landed at my feet.

I bristled with fear thinking "Gawd, I hope this isn't a sign, I'm not equipped to interpret signs....". I picked them up. Two perfect rust and grey breast feathers. Once I got my bearings again, holding them in my trembling hand, I noticed on the lightpost just out of my view, there was a Peregrine Falcon, now looking down at me, looking like she was thinking "What?". So this reminds me of a Falcon who may or may not have played a trick on me.

The base cloth is from a linen handkerchief I bought around the corner at Goodwill; the thread is white silk, some of it dyed with a fresh walnut I found on Sunday. I dyed the base cloth myself in my homemade, chemical free Indigo vat made in a jar I found up the street. So this also reminds me of foraging, and that being okay.

To the mail on Monday!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Feathers of the Day

Yesterday Jude Hill invited everyone to share making her magic feathers. And so I was not too surprised to find these this morning on our walk. First a perfect Hawk feather, tinged with pink that doesn't appear in the photo.

And then this Crow's feather. A bit worn at the tip, maybe pulled out in a fight, maybe shed to grow a newer stronger one.

The Dog stopped for a rest, and I stood in the shade beside her and wondered about the colours I might need if I was going to make a feather based on these. Should I try to make them brown and a bit pink? Should I just make them white? Oh. The Dog had stopped under a walnut tree.

My white silk from Julie Northcott-Wilson arrived on Friday.

I'm kind of amazed.