Making artworks and being creative without a studio

Making artworks, being creative without a studio

…can be difficult. And I won’t lie, I am at complete odds with myself a lot of the time since I have started traveling. Where are my pencils, where are my bolts of cloth and bags of wool and vast array of needles, hooks, pins and embroidery hoops? What if I have an idea that I cannot work on because I cannot immediately put my hands on a hammer, or a pair of needle-nosed pliers? What if I want to make some more paper? What if I want to sketch…something? How am I going to make artworks or be creative with the (admittedly overstuffed) studio I had previously?

Short answer is;  I am still finding out.

A longer answer is, I just keep doing little experiments to find my way. I don’t like to think about it too much, as it creates a tremendous pressure in my head and makes my chest feel very tight.

So, here are a few testing-the-waters experiments that I am working on.

1. Embroidery

Embroidery is hard without an embroidery hoop. But, after some initial clumsiness, I get into the swing of things and create some interesting geometric shapes and patterns.

veve embroidery veve embroidery papa legba

2. Wearable crocheted….things.

In London I have Officially Run Out Of Wool. And so far, I have had no luck finding wool that is acrylic and most importantly, inexpensive. This sounds like not much of a problem, but woolly textile creative endeavours are crucial for my well-being. Sitting still with my hands in my lap, just looking at things, is just not for me. I remember a time when I used to do this, and I cannot go back. It just feels…too strange.

But I am keeping my brain ticking over with some adaptations of clothes, and other bits and pieces. And I have a last few metres of wool here and there, and have been perfecting that technique. So I have been using these flowers to add colour to various garments, for example, some VERY chunky gloves.

drawings and floral crochet gloves

3. Making my own threads for crochet

Since I can’t find a ball of wool to crochet, damnit, I will make a ball of wool to crochet. Fortunately, London is like a lot of cities in that you just wander around, and can find things people are dumping on the street that are completely serviceable. I have found filing cabinets, large manila folders, kitchen sinks, mirrors, picture frames, whiteboards, and most memorably, a one-quarter scale pool table with all the trimmings. I didn’t need or want any of these things but there are other things I desire which are also available in high quantities; clothing and other materials.

So I have found quite a few different types, and after bringing them home, washing them and hanging them outside to dry, they are ready to be turned into long strips of material, which I will be using in conjunction with a 12mm (at least) crochet hook to turn into a rug (hopefully, two). It takes awhile to do this, once again, I lament the lack of a machine to take some of the grunt work out of this process. If such a thing exists, please tell me about it! I would love to know.

cutting sheet thread handmade rugging

tshirt material balls rugging crochet

About kellymarietheartist

Visual artist originally from Australia, travelling the world creating crocheted wearable art and functional textile pieces. Sustainable art and slow fashion made from recycled fabrics, wools and metal. Colourful. Psychedelic. Unique.
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