A glimpse into deciding what/how to make.
Most of the time I have an idea of what I'm making before I start, but sometimes I'll start a project with no idea what the final product will be. I like to explore new techniques and materials. Sometimes these experiments won't turn into anything at all, but some of them turn into my new favorite pieces. I recently had one of these experiments turn into my new favorite, embroidery. I started embroidering because I was going on vacation and needed something to keep my hands busy that traveled well. Turns out I love french knots. I love how they look on canvas, watching them grow and fill in a space, how they feel, and they are a wonderful meditative exercise for me. So I filled some hoops with french knots but didn't know what to do with them. I had to do something with these lovely little circles, and I didn't think hanging them in the hoops was a good enough option.
I toyed with many different ideas for the end result. Should I make them into bags, mini pillows, or hangers for planters. I was struggling so much because these little canvases full of so many knots is a wonderful thing to hold and experience with touch. I wanted to make them into some kind of held object, to share with you that wonderful feeling. The desire for it's function to be physical as opposed to visual had me stuck for quite a while. In the end I decided to make them into a viewed object. These wonderful little circles are so beautiful as a whole and represent multiple hour of work that hanging them on the wall to be viewed as a work of artwork suited them the best. I am keeping that satisfying tangible moment for myself, sorry. One of the bonuses of being the maker. It's like how baker gets so much joy out of a perfectly risen ball of dough, but the eater never gets to experience that step.
The decision to adhere them to a wooden block as opposed to hanging them right on the embroidery hoops comes from my want to make crafts not so "crafty". I use traditional techniques but use them in a unique and modern way. So you can get that comfortable cozy feeling of the fiber arts, but not feel like you're decorating with grandmas hobbies. It took a while and lots of rejected ideas, but I am so very pleased with how these french knotted circles turned out.
Cheers~ Kate K