(Paper Learning Log Page 39)
When researching for ‘wrapping’, my initial interest for coiled vessels was fuelled by the wealth of potential wrapping materials for consideration. Examples made from wrapped fabric, plastic bags, recycled fishing nets, raffia and other materials were observed. I was particularly intrigued by Jackie Abrams ‘Spirit Women’. The exposed cores include recycled silk, cotton, linen and plastic bags. Their shapes are organic, some include stones, or ‘windows’ to see into the centre.
The attributes of these vessels reflect women’s spirits – their strong inner cores as well as their sometimes frayed edges. The memories and stories of the previous owners are embedded in the used fabrics that compose each vessel.
My process and materials are simple. Each new piece tells me where to go and how to make it. Like women’s lives, each piece develops slowly as a spiral journey, requiring both patience and confidence. The small open spaces in the vessel walls lend a sense of depth and afford glimpses into the interior, like tiny bits of insight into the character of the imagined woman. (Jackie Abrams)
I like the coils twisting and curving, glimpses of the interior through small openings, the variety of materials chosen, the colours selected, the shape and construction of the pots but the reference to women makes me feel more considerate of what they represent . Jackie Abrams says they are reflecting women’ spirits as well as their sometimes frayed edges. To me, they conjured thoughts of the stability, complexity, many facets and intricate thinking skills of women.
In addition to Jackie Abrams vessels, the bright colours and texture of the fishing nets, raffia and marine rope appealed in Mavis Ngallametta’s basket produced at the first Ghost Net Art Project Workshop organised by GhostNets, an organisation in Australia that brings together communities to work together to clear marine debris from the coastline.
My father died last month and beginning to sort his possessions has revealed a ‘stash’ of threads to rival my own, together with yarns, feathers & fishing lines from his fly tying hobby. This is the tip of the iceberg, there are sheds and drawers full of tools, collections of recycled string, all manner of things hoarded from a lifetime of making, growing, mending, designing, engineering, shooting and fishing. The qualities and recycling ethos of the GhostNet Art Projects weaving has prompted me to consider using an eclectic selection of string, nets, yarns etc from my Dad’s hoard to fashion a vessel or vessels.
The raffia, plastic bags and small spheres in Kathryn Hollingsworth’s green basket inspired by a reptile (two references to which are included in the Pinterest selection above) offer different textures and ideas. In this sample, I like the round shape of the pot and the green tones of the raffia but am not sure about the protrusions. Although this example and the splendid yellow basket sprouting dark purple raffia does illustrate how traditional techniques can be adapted.