First 3 days of making

We have been melting in our white boiler suits, while trying to work with slippery thread on fragile paper over the past 3 days. Today I tried to block out some of the sun and keep the space a little cooler, without much success.

The work we are doing has no apparent function, or even, it would seem, intrinsic creativity; the process is boring and repetitive – just demanding enough to require a degree of concentration while allowing the mind to wander freely. Each person has a different approach, a different measure …

Stitching as individual as handwriting …

White tables are set out end-to-end, alluding to the assembly line, piece work ….

Work, labour, toil, sweat …. too hot to work; just picking up the needle and stitching little squares requires so much energy. Nonetheless, conversations hop easily from one topic to the next, punctuated by laughter, the cursing at so-called mistakes, and moments of quiet. The afternoon is quieter; we talk less, push on and try to make progress, defying the heat.

We are beginning to get into a rhythm, a daily pattern, a rhythm of making …

Another day tomorrow. It’s going to be hot. Should we be working in this heat? Shouldn’t the ‘boss’ send us all home early? Who is the boss anyway? Me?



One thought on “First 3 days of making

  1. Dear Clare

    I have had some thoughts since my short participation in “stitched time”.
    The day I worked half a day and the day after when I didn’t participate:

    DAY 1
    Before I started to work I found the idea of carrying on with someones work that was already started difficult and thought it better to start my own. As I started to work I was aware of choices I could make in terms of where I start, how long the thread could be, working upwards or across etc. After sometime I realised that there had come a point where I had let those thoughts of choice go and had entered a space where I was not thinking about what I was doing, I was just doing.
    My mind was freed to an ease and oneness with others involved in doing much the same thing.
    When I left the piece I had been working on I felt no ownership rather that it was left for someone else to continue or it could be myself when I came back or I could carry on with another that had been started by someone else. I thought of women’s practice through time: sewing seeds, hoeing fields and factory work.

    DAY 2
    My mind turned then to a collaborative drawing that I began by chance in in a recent spontaneous creativity workshop. There others joined me adding what ever marks they wanted. Gradually during the process of multiple marks from multiple people the work gave itself over to a combined authorship.

    Both practices are powerful methods of being with others in a non hierarchical way.
    Stitched time sets up a way of doing something to start a process
    The spontaneous creativity drawing started with a complex set of egos to achieve a collaborative work that in the making transcended the individual.

    Looking forward to coming back for a day next Thurday

    Joanna

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