The design process doesn’t happen over night. Sometimes it can take weeks especially if it’s an important piece or I’m distracted. Or in this case, both. It starts in my head and I tend to day dream over several late night or early morning drowsy times to get a firm idea of basic overall design; fabrics, threads, rough outline of design.
Once that is fairly complete, I start with a rough draft on paper and once I’m making progress, I start transferring to fabric. I’m impatient by nature and love to get started on the fabric (or wood) as soon as I can. This can sometimes bite me but most of the time the process prevails.
You can see in the following images that I use a blue temporary ink pen (water soluble) to do the second draft of the design. Once I’m pleased over all I go over it with black pen. In the first image you can see a little spiral that got missed by the black pen which I have now filled in. The black over the blue illustrates that the final design morphed again, just little tweaks, mostly to make sure there is spacing where needed or to refine a curve. Once I’m happy and have all the black ink in place, I spray the entire piece with lavender water. The lavender isn’t needed for the process but it was collected organically and I use it as part of the initial purification.
The last quadrant remained to be drawn last night when I took the photo. It is now complete. It took me two weeks to hear Blackberry calling me.
- Pomegranate for blood, passions, fire, creativity, traveling back and forth between the upper world and under world, female
- Oak for strength, longevity, and fertility, as above so below, male
- Vetch/wild peas for the sweetness of pink and fragrance, prolific growth of healthy cells, basic food and proteins, because I dont like to eat peas and I dont really want chemotherapy but it will save me
- Blackberry for tenacity, juicy summer goodness (future), thorns with beauty, darned hard to get rid of me too, long productive life.
The rune Raido sits at the base of the trunk for journey, communication, union, and reunion:
“Self healing, self change, and union. As the obstructions give way, all remorse arising from trying to make things happen disappears, when what is above and what is below are united and of one mind…
Stand apart from even like minded others; the notion of strength in numbers does not apply at such a time, for this part of the journey, the soul’s journey, cannot be shared”
Book of Runes, Ralph Blum
This is an organic process though so until the piece is complete I never know exactly how it will look until that moment when no more stitches or strokes are needed. I can’t wait to see how this develops! The threads will be in my fingers this week!