Friday, 19 December 2014

Christmas and Cancellations...


So,  the first thing to be cancelled was my early train to Manchester but a lovely woman took me on the bus. I'm sure I would have arrived at uni quicker (and easier) had I just waited for the next train, but hey I made a friend.


I then had a free morning so I took the opportunity to do some writing. About sea coal. I was very pleased with myself for having the foresight to put my fluorescent yellow 1mm letraset tape in my pencil case just to break it up a bit. 

The CT lunch meeting went well as we all just decided that everything would be FINE and we would iron out the details after Christmas. I need to make sure that my textile piece for the exhibition is almost finished (at least sampled anyway) before I go back. I think that may be impossible as I intend to digitally print it then over-dye some of it, then laser cut it, then blacken it with coal from the beach, then maybe stitch a bit on it. 
My final photographs are done, I'm not sure whether to exhibit those alongside the textile piece or not, they may help put it into context? This is my favourite for some reason.

Stopping the Seacoalers
I would say I think my background research is almost complete but I did go and find this book in the library, which I am quite excited about…



Our usual studio session (cancelled) was replaced by a Christmas party. And my induction on the Pfaff machine was cancelled. So I went to the party (for a bit), most people had brought their native alcohol rather than world nibbles which I think was an added bonus. The homemade sloe gin from Grimsby being a clear winner, although I'm sure the sangria and baileys cocktails were also amazing. I stuck to the gin, it's not good to mix your drinks before you go to study in the library. I may sound unsociable but I figured I have little enough time to get this work done and I'm going to see the Pigeon Detectives tonight.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Today - purely in pictures...(almost)


But first a note: We were asked today if we thought the imminent lecture would be relevant to our own work. It was 'Memory and the Visual in Post Conflict Northern Ireland', I have to say that I have taken something valuable from every single session or lecture, whether or not I deemed it to be it relevant to me, even if it was just a list of possible words I may use in my written stuff.

And here's such a list:
  • transformative reconfiguration
  • valueist
  • tangibility
  • psycho memory
  • skeuomorph
  • baudelarairian 
  • trans - temporal 
  • indexical
  • As a little task for myself I might try and insert all the above into my next presentation to my students :-)
Anyway, here's today...

video

      My design on the screen
THE whole machine (except for the other computer with the design software). Design on the right is Paula's.


Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Baby steps & giant strides

I didn't get chance to post on the train home last week due to a carriage full of old, drunken sweary louts wearing Christmas jumpers. I didn't manage to do ANYTHING except not look at them. Prior to that however I had quite an interesting day all about...'The Embroidery Experience'...I had training on the 12 head Brother embroidery machine software all morning which involved trying to master using the wheel in the centre of the mouse, clicking it but keeping it still ( I couldn't manage that at all). Then I 'experienced' the Cornely machines, all 7 of them, set up for different thicknesses of thread or cord. I was horrendously bad! It was so difficult it was untrue, I'm going to need either A LOT of practice or to not use them. It was harder than drumming lessons where you are using every limb to beat out a different rhythm. Disappointing results. What worries me is the time it will take to be able to use even one of these machines well, and I'm only there one day a week with other lectures to attend.
This week I'm going early, to attend a symposium- 'Material Matters', my main concern being that I may not have time to drop off my luggage first, sigh. 
There are some high profile speakers so watch this space.
And tomorrow... I get to stitch out my embroidery design. Whoop.
The 7 Cornelys

A very weird machine
P.S. 10.05pm
So... the symposium:

Was very nice thank you. Even though the idea and practice of 'academia', with 'academics' sat around discussing somewhat ordinary subjects 'academically', is rather alien to me, I did enjoy the speakers especially James, sculptor of sawdust extraordinaire. He talked incessantly for twice his allocated time but in such a dulcet tone that I went into a trance. The downside being that thing where you fall asleep for a nano second, jerking yourself awake and hoping no one noticed (x 3).
Interesting quotes of the day: "there is a presence around an (textile) archive, emotions are written on clothes - sweat produced through different emotions smells differently" and "Objects (in archives) make 'unknowable' history imaginable. Without objects, that history is unimaginable." (Jane Webb, in better words than those I remember)

Aside: linking to something said in Contested Territories, that the importance of archives is that they are what history is written from. Both relevant due to the recent closure of a number of important archives. I get that.