I am a lifelong bookworm and strongly attracted to physical books, lettering, print and text in all forms, and that is doubtless why the work I chose as my inspiration appealed to me. But the work has two particular attributes that further interest and intrigue me. First is the abstraction of an already subtle form of writing typically used on textiles and fans into the very different material of stoneware. Second is the veiled or covert nature of the original communications or messages between women.
I chose to make a necklace as being a typically feminine piece of jewellery, but deciding on the design was a challenge: how to stay true to the spirit of the original artwork without being too literal, for instance by using rectangles.
By working through different ideas in a series of drawings I arrived at the final design which uses different types of mark-making through a range of harmonising shapes and forms. This confirmed my early instinct to combine different materials to echo the translation from embroidery on textiles or fans to ceramic, and also to keep to an abstract design.
I used bone for its links with the ceramic artwork and stitched cotton for the artwork’s original inspiration. In addition to the stitching I introduced further marking with textured silver, incised and hand-coloured bone, etched beads and a striated scapolite gemstone.
Taking part in the Inspired By competition is an enjoyable and stimulating challenge, and an opportunity to develop and experiment with skills and explore new sources of inspiration. More broadly, I greatly appreciate the inspiration and help of my tutors and fellow students at Morley College who make learning and practice a joy.
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