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

I am an artist who, up until recently, was living and exhibiting within Toowoomba and the greater Granite Belt district. I have since packed up and left Australia, and am currently living and working in England. My work engages the craft involved in handmaking within a contemporary art context. I am drawn to the physicality of repetitive textile processes, and this is transcribed though the tactile quality of my forms. In particular, processes such as crochet, sewing and rug making serve as a proxy for growth within my personal environment. Many of my works imitate situations in nature, and they form organically as I create each individual piece, each addition both a continuation and re-enforcement of its predecessors. I enjoy using recycled materials for many of my works. Using crochet and other textile techniques to do this is an important part of my work as it celebrates a tradition of craft that has historically been relegated to 'women's work', with all the negative connotations that entails.
This entry was posted in Crafternoons, Crochet & Knitting, Experiments, Re-use, Research, Rugging, Textiles, Travelling, Works in progress and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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