Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Another module finished.

It has been a long time since I posted anything about my degree but that doesn't mean I haven't been working during all the Christmas prep, Young Embroiderers, exploding ovens etc etc. The last time I posted I was looking at materials and in particular the idea of protection. The idea of making a jacket with the "teeth" around the cuff has been put on hold (I took note of your comment Jodie!) but I'll come back to it I'm sure. Meanwhile I moved onto the next assignment which was about language. I looked at banners from the suffrage movement and from there went on to look at artists who use text in their work, in particular the work of Arthur Bispo do Rosario and Tilleke Schwarz. Before long I found myself back looking at the idea of protection and in particular how we protect our children. I involved the boys and we got to talking about all the things mothers say when children leave the protection of home to go out - things that in their eyes are seen as nagging but really are just hidden ways of saying "I care, I want you to be safe... I love you."

From this came the idea of a protective garment so I chose a school shirt - something they all might have worn to leave the house and I have embroidered messages all over the surface, much in the same way their friends scribble messages of friendship over their shirts in marker pen when they leave school. This isn't finished due to to me slicing the end of my thumb while chopping carrots which is making hand sewing a bit tricky, and I doubt it will be completely finished before assessment day.. on Saturday... but I'll show more at the end of the week.

The final assignment has been a personal project concerned with aspects of domesticity. Again I was drawn back to family life, my role within the family and once more the idea of protection. It was also apparent that text and lists were featuring heavily in all my work and so I decided to make an apron as a symbol of both domesticity and as a protective item covered with lists of words. This then evolved into three aprons to represent the multiplicity of my roles within the home - as a wife, a mother and a housekeeper.

This one was "Mother"

All three aprons are worked on a fine muslin with machined drawn fabric work edging and free machined lettering. Fun and games working on muslin let me tell you!

This one was "Housekeeper" - I didn't want to use the word "Housewife" and I don't like the American term "Homemaker" I wanted to incorporate a piece of traditional looking needlework on the housekeeper apron. Stewart objected to me putting ironing on the list as he does most of the ironing!

And the last apron was "Wife"

It's funny but Stewart didn't object to me writing "nag" on the list of words on the bottom of this apron!

The idea behind the three aprons and that they are made from muslin (apart from the fact muslin is often used as a cleaning cloth) is that they can be layered so that the different roles can be worn "on top" but without completely covering the other roles.

I quite like this as a concept but I'm not sure how well it works. I've called it "Who am I?"

It wasn't easy to photograph and looks better in "real life"

So now it all has to be packed up and taken to London for assessment on Saturday and we get a few weeks off before the next module starts!


  1. Your apron project is fascinating Gina. I think you'd really like the work of Caren Garfen as well - here's a link:

  2. Great concept. I love the layering aspect of it - concealing and masking some aspects of your personality. Don't know about you but sometimes I do feel a bit uncomfortable when asked what I do. It depends upon who's asking as to what I say I do - housewife, mother, textile artist. Maybe a four apron could be a potential further development of the piece (don't know if you have to crit and evaluate everything like we did and say where you could take it next). You as an artist as that is a big part of who you are.
    Sorry. Gone off on one there... The stitching is beautiful too. Each apron is gorgeous in it's own right. Can picture them in exhibition :o)

  3. wow, it looks like many hours of work have gone into these projects. I recall all of the comments on the shirt being said to me by my parents when I was a teenager.

    Your white aprons are great - they remind me a little of white work - something which I will attempt one day soon.


  4. I think your work is very clever; I particularly like the idea of the aprons and the layering. Another advanatage of muslin is it can be easily washed, crucial for a mummy's apron!!

  5. Gina, Your work is beautiful.
    How do you manage to get it all done?
    It must be having your husband helping with all the chores!
    I'm lucky that my husband helps out too.
    How much longer is your degree?

  6. Your aprons look beautiful, i hope you get top marks and I hope your thumb soon gets better. Jane x

  7. Fantastic Gina - congratulations on finishing the module - amazing ideas with the aprons!

    I have also just fininshed my module (and passed, according to my tutor :0)) so I am a very happy bunny and like you, looking forward to a couple of weeks off before the next module.

    I imagine I will be getting the module you have just completed - can you send over the aprons ???? - LOL - just joking!

    This Opus thing is a lot easier having you alongside ! Thanks........


  8. Oh my - I simply love those aprons. What a wonderful project. x

  9. An inspired concept Gina and well executed I would say. I was going to say, did you think about including a fourth apron concerned with your creative life but I see that the topic was concerned with domesticity so that probably would not have been appropriate. Good luck with the assessment.

  10. Oh wow Gina - how do you keep coming up with such fabulous stuff?!

    I thought the shirt was a brilliant idea - it would be lovely (but incredibly labour intensive) to embroider the kids school shirts when they leave .... although on the other hand, there could be some not quite appropriate for embroidering messages on there ....

    And the aprons are pure works of art .... you're not really going to use them are you??


    ps. I'm also in awe that your hubby does most of the ironing!

  11. Wow such fabulous ideas!
    Love the aprons and the shirt would fit in well round here and save my voice!

  12. I think the aprons are beautiful. I like the fragility of the fabric too - to me that represents life. I especially like the layered effect, as life is made up of so many different layers.

  13. Gina, you really are incredible!!!!! That work is amazing!

    I hope you do really well with it!

    Lucy xxx

  14. Gina - what fantastic pieces of work and I love the ideas behind them too! The school shirt is truly inspired and the aprons are so beautifully made and I love the way they can be layered to express your different roles.

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful work and the thoughts behind it :)


  15. wow! I love the layered apron project, both conceptually and in its execution. Good luck with the assessment, not that I reckon you need it with such wonderful work.

    Oh, hope the thumb heals soon!

  16. Lovely work, the muslin must have been a nightmare. I hope you wrote 'embroiderer ' as one of your roles.

  17. Ouch!! I always knew cooking was bad for you, if I was you I'd give it up.
    Your work looks stunning. It is clear that a lot of thought and planning has been given to this module.

  18. Best wishes for the assessment, your work is amazing!
    Enjoy the break. I had one over christmas but am trying to get back into the stidy now.

  19. wow Gina, that was amazing and very thought provoking! good luck with your assessment but i'm sure you won't need it.


  20. Those aprons are so beautiful, and what a clever idea. I don't envy you trying to free machine on muslin or do draw thread work. My eyes have crossed at the thought! I hope you get a distinction for them, or whatever the modern equivalent is.

  21. this is absolutely fantastic. the aprons are amazing, I am in awe. (and I want one!)

  22. what a clever idea to have three aprons for three roles, and I love the way you've worked them in white.

  23. I really enjoyed this post Gina. And your take on this project. The aprons are wonderful (love the layering).

    And I don't like the term housewife either. Think Housekeeper is a much better term.

    Hope your finger gets better very soon.

    Dot xx

  24. wow. I think that just about sums it up!

  25. Congratulations - what a wonderful, inspired project. I like the idea that each role is only a surface layer and that it is possible to see through the thin layer to the real Gina underneath. Good luck!

  26. oh wow more amazing projects ~ I love the idea of the shirt, Im like that with my girls and the latest one is "dont lose your passport" and "keep safe" ~ it is just my way of saying I love you and worry about you!! When my girls and Stevie left school the teachers and other pupils all signed their school shirts with marker pen with messages (good and bad) and they have them for keeps! I love the work by Tilleke Schwarz too and your embroidered messages are wonderful, hope your finger recovers soon. The aprons are another brilliant idea and made even more so because of the fabric you've used, that must have been a challenge, you are so inspiring with your ideas and how you interpret them! Hope all went well ~ Judy

  27. OOoooh Gina! You are a Ginaious! These are Fantastic aprons. What a marvelous concept!! An amazing project and they are beautiful too. xx


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