Further explanations….

Although I call myself a ceramic and textile artist I haven’t posted any new work in those media , everything is 2D and untextured . However if you look at my Facebook Page you will see that for the last 30 years I have worked overwhelmingly in ceramics with some textiles , mostly hand felted . The problem is that I sold my kiln to other students around the time that I stopped having access to college kilns because I finished my MA in 2003 . The same financial difficulties prompting the sale prevented my going to classes to get work done and hence fired . Somehow I never got started on clay work when I briefly had a studio . I wasn’t there often enough and was on a different floor from all the other potters . I also discovered that one cannot use the same space for both clay and textiles requiring a sewing machine . So I’m still stuck there .

As to the textiles , I found I was going more in the direction of introducing other woven fabrics and embroidering over everything , both by hand and machine . Did I really need hand made felt for this ? On the one hand it has a depth and thus richness of appearance which makes a wonderful foil for the gleam of silk and a strong background ( aesthetically speaking ) for metallic embroidery which I love : on the other hand it is made from wool fleece so is both heavy and weak ( as a fibre ) , is fairly expensive to make and is disastrously prone to attack by moths – so much so that I keep completed pieces in the freezer ! I recalled one of my tutors ( not a textile artist but a painter ) asking me why I chose it as a medium ? and replying that it was because I couldn’t afford velvet . But I can – if I reuse velvet clothing and curtains which I can get in charity shops . And silk from tatty scarves and wedding outfits is also available there quite often , much cheaper than buying habutai by the metre . So I will use up the wool fleece which I have left ( but not buy any more ) and then will adapt my technique for velvet . I intend to use more silk proportionately and will perhaps start some dyeing experiments as well as continuing to embroider . Another artist mentioned inkjet printing which her mother did in conjunction with quilting . But how to do this at home at all ? And there is only one sewing machine which has to do mending and alterations as well . I have decided it ( I ) cannot be used for making clothes .

Apparently Chinese New Year was yesterday ( I thought it had already been ) and it is the Year of the Water Dragon  . My pottery teacher from secondary school asked me to send her a dragon picture so I’m sending this one since it seems appropriately watery .

Turquoise dragon


About rukshanaafia

Ceramic & textile artist
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