Anita B.

Strategy

Daily rhythm: I’m not a morning person, getting going very slowly and tending to work late at night. Rather than waste the morning hours, I’m going to put in place a strategy of

  • daily practice - an hour of hand stitching, drawing and reading. I’m going to prepare fabric, a sketchbook and subject matter in advance, so that there’s no need to ponder about what I’m going to do, I can just get straight into it for about 20 mins each
  • admin, answering emails/social media, exhibition tasks - get these out of the way first thing, so they aren't occupying brain space, then switch off!
  • daily walk - good for thinking and visual research, also energising

Journalling: this has been one of the most important lessons of CST, a conversation with myself about ideas, discoveries, alignment, progress and direction of my work, and especially sorting out issues. This had been happening mostly in my head, going round and round, taking up a lot of time and often to no conclusion. It’s going to be key to future development and a good way to start my week, but will be called upon frequently whenever needed

Future: I have two pieces of work to complete for an exhibition in June, and I’m feeling positive that this strategy will get me to completion before the 11th hour, but I have to be realistic about taking on too many additional tasks until then. Once the exhibition is out of the way, I’ve given myself a quiet summer project-wise to concentrate on new work. I plan to move this on by researching the ‘Connections’ that arose from the alignment exercises - through reading, drawing, experimentation and sampling and journalling. I also want to refocus on elements that have been on the periphery of my work, maps and text, using journalling to see how they might fit in.

I will also expand my daily practice to include tapestry weaving and getting to know my new sewing/embroidery machine. I have wonderful new tools that I havent had time to get used to, learning new skills is so exciting, so cant wait!

Work in Progress:  The last 2 weeks I’ve been focussing on designing ‘Knitted Gansey’ fish for a residency just completed at the Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth, an old fashioned sea side town on the East Coast famous in it’s day as the main herring port in England. ‘Herring Girls’ followed the fish along the north coast from the Shetland Isles, walking around the town knitting when not ‘gutting' the fish. My fish are knitted in traditional gansey patterns, but I am also designing my own patterns based on the town’s history and the museum’s collections. I learnt to indigo dye the special ‘Guernsey’ yarn I used, to get a range of appropriate shades. The museum is housed in a drying shed for the herring and my fish will be exhibited there next year, on ‘speets’ from which the fish were traditionally hung to dry. 

Many thanks to Jane and Zenna for the wonderful course, it has far exceeded my expectations and will be of untold benefit going forward, cant wait for the book but know I will constantly be rereading the Essays and my notes. I’ve a lot of reading to catch up with and know that CST will stay with me for a long while.

Thanks for all the comments, sorry I haven't managed to interact with the ‘Open Studio' as much as I would have wanted to but really appreciate them and will try and catch up, if not will see you all again on Facebook.