Revisiting Old Ideas

As I unpack boxes into bookshelves, I inevitably stumble upon my many sketchbooks from my years at college. The edges are always wavy from being taken out in the rain, or having dye splatter on them. The covers easily bend under my fingers. And in some the bindings are falling apart because I have tossed it into my bag so many times.

I bring up my sketchbooks because it is a good exercise for me to revisit some old ideas and think on how I can utilize them with the knowledge I have now.

My stack of old sketchbooks
My stack of old sketchbooks

Often when thinking of a new idea, I revisit old concepts that never came to fruition, and I also try to find a recurring theme in my ideas. I am working on an idea for a sculptural woven piece that involves cascading material, folds, and a fluidity.

I have had similar ideas to this in the past.

Set design concept.
Set design concept.

This was a concept that I had to be used during a dance performance. The idea was to have these long beautiful fabrics billowing out of these globes. Like the fluff from seed pods. The dancers would use the material to hide in, dance around, and to use as a prop. However- this project never came to life due to the technicalities of producing for the stage and not having the sewing skills to produce such large squishy orbs.

a sculptural idea.
a sculptural idea.

This sketch was for another sculptural idea I had. I am unsure of what exactly the construction of the material would have been (at the time I was exploring the use of felt as a sculptural media, and combining it with other materials such as latex, thread and plaster). But the method I noted for hanging it was a simple rope through a loop at the top of the piece. In this manner the viewer could explore the work from all sides and the work did not have to depend on the wall.

I still have not quite been able to muster the strength and energy it takes to create a large felted work like that. But the idea of a seemingly freestanding piece of fabric is idyllic.

The idea of having material cascading down from the ceiling and puddling on to the floor is one that I have had for many years, but until recently I have not developed a plan in which I could execute it.

Now that I have been weaving for some time and feel confident in my skills, I have decided in the next few months I am going to create a woven work that will cascade down and engulf the viewers in subtle textural details and a sense of grace. Or at least that is what I envision in my head. There are some technical skills that I am still lacking (like proper sewing experience) and some weaving techniques that I have yet to explore (like collapse weave). But this will give me a great opportunity to show you how I start from an initial idea and take it to final product.

I look forward to sharing my processes with you!


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