Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Fear and creativity

'To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong'

So says Joseph Chilton Pearce and it is the fear that has me frozen like a deer in headlights.  I see and want desperately to express how I see the world but feel so disappointed when I cannot, it is so hard at times to keep pushing on to reach that place of absorption where I'm lost in play and colour, to set myself aside.  My world, as ever, falls into the interstices between worlds.  I am not a scrapbooker, I find manufactured stamps and papers too restrictive and prescriptive.  As usual, I make things harder for myself by wanting to make my own papers, stamps and books.  Thankfully I have an ally in the wonderful Kirsty O'Connor and attended at half of her second course at Fran Marquis' studio in Arbroath (my fault, not hers!) the weekend before last.  I learned how to stitch papers into beautiful books and now am thoroughly hooked on the potential for journalling in completely my own way, set free from bound diaries and trying to work out how to stick bulky items like knitting swatches into them!

My Japanese bound sketchbook - a pattern called tortoiseshell
When we were on holiday in Austria this year I took with me two writing pads and some pages of coloured paper cut to the same size as the writing and wrote a daily diary of what was going on, collecting ephemera such as receipts, maps, flyers etc.  It turned into quite an unusual holiday diary when I fell ill one day in and was hospitalised on Friday the 13th (never superstitious before!) with pneumonia for four days, but I incorporated information about an illness I had never known anything about before.  It's still a work in progress, but when I can afford a paper drill I will bind it japanese style.

I taught my first Young Quilters workshop at the Regional Day in Perth last weekend making bunting, I didn't quite get the timing right and gave the kids too much to do, so my thoughts turn to the next one in March and the idea of creating books to contain samples.  I am currently finishing off a small embroidered panel, mostly french knots and stem stitch, which my husband gave me many years ago.  I have samples from workshops I have happily attended at the Festival of Quilts and the Knitting and Stitching Show, and a whole aida panel of blackwork.  I try to keep a diary of a quilt while I'm making it, because I'm really interested in the history of textiles and so often I would like to know how something was made and what the thought processes are.  I'd like to see the commercial patterns and threads that the person used, not just the finished article.  So I decided to create a sample book that would contain not just the pieces of sample work but also any commercial patterns and instructions.  For the next Regional Day this would mean creating simple covers with holes made with an eyelet puncher and lacing them together, so that pages can be inserted at will.  It's a work in progress, but I'm hopeful, it feels right.

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