Monday, 17 August 2009

Cocoons

I'm only a couple of weeks away from the end of my current degree module - Personal Specialism. After playing with the idea of knitting trapped in water and water trapped in knitting, I trapped some more "water" in the form of glass nuggets, into layers of felt. Ignoring the fact that they look like some form of alien bug eyes, I was intrigued by the reflections contained by the protective layer of felt.

One of the other directives in this module was to make our work "site specific" and I chose to work with my garden or more specifically my vegetable patch. Many photographs and drawings ensued including these sketches of my Purple Podded Peas.

Playing with the idea in drawings, I trapped the glass nuggets and the reflections within the pea pods.
They seemed like cells contained within a protective cocoon... but what happens when they emerge and break free... floating awat like bubbles.

At last this was becoming "a personal specialism" and I started to link back to previous ideas of protection, relating to my children. The idea they they start enfolded within a protective pod or cocoon and gradually break free, still tied together, tied to the family until we finally have to let go, seemed to have potential. The strong feeling of maternal protection is closely connected with the need to give them freedom to break away. (In theory anyway... three of mine are still at home!)

Individual cells, cocooned, wrapped and connected together... possibly by knitting? I made some more resin beads, this time containing text as well as knitted fragments... some were fragments of knitted wire. The idea was that they were like cells containing information, secrets, memories...

and even the names of my children. (The text was cut from the old bible pages sent to me by Julia)

I didn't want to join the beads together with anything too obvious or obtrusive and decided knitted wire might work. Which is how I ended up with an ebay purchase of an extra large knitting dolly... and a weekend spent french knitting with wire.

Which I'm happy to say really has worked... at least it's how I envisaged it!


The next problem to solve was how to make the cocoons or pods. My tutor suggested I might link back to the garden theme and use paper made from plant material. I collected corn husks, chopped them, boiled them, blitzed them in the blender and made this quite interesting looking paper which I haven't a hope of moulding or stitching as it is so fragile! The colour was all wrong anyway!


Keeping with the idea of cocoons, I thought about using silk and I made several sheets of silk paper using different methods and supports. I thought I'd found a solution and liked the results but it s not strong enough to contain the beads and loses it shape.


So this morning it was back to knitting. I knitted a pod shape from pure wool... bunged it in the washing machine with the towels... and YES... this works and what's more I like it. The softness yet strength of the felted wool works perfectly for the protective cocoon.


Now I've only got to work out how to put it all together, knit some more cocoons and make several more yards of knitted wire tubing... I've got a couple of weeks! I'll let you see the finished results.

30 comments:

  1. You're on a woad to somewhere with this girl. Fab!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This post is fascinating. I love your drawings of the purple podded peas and the resin beads with the trapped text are just wonderful. I hope your fingers won't be shredded by the time you have knitted enough wire to complete the project. It will surely be a masterpiece.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The resin beads are beautiful, and of course I love what's evolving from the purple pods...

    Celia

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow Gina! You are incredible! I love how your idea has grown and developed! Lucy x

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a fascinating project, obviously one from the heart. Brilliant ideas :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh what an amazing project. I'm so impressed! And the resin beads are wonderful. I'd really like to learn how to make resin beads, too. Would you have any advice on classes, etc? K x

    ReplyDelete
  7. ove these project posts of yours. Its so interesting to see the evolution of an idea and I adore those resin beads.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Gina trhis post was like a mini-exhibition. It was utterly fascinating to have been taken through your thought processes and experimentation and see the results. Wonderful!

    Those resin beads! Oh my goodness. I bet if you popped some in your etsy shop they'd sell like little tiny hot cakes! They're just beautiful - the idea of memories and names trapped inside! I'll stop wibbling now.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow! Your drawings are wonderful, but I really love the resin beads and I totally get the idea of protection and secrets. You have clearly put a lot of thought into this and it shows, brilliant.
    Think I might have to get myself some of that resin, after all what else is the kitchen for?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for this post, it was really interesting to see how you developed the designs into final pieces. Lovely!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Gina! Your little resin pebbles are sooooo beautiful as is the metal knitting. Really gorgeous. I have wanted to play with resin for a while and this is not stiffening my resolve not to (for lack of time/space!) .. imagine all the beads I could make with the 75 years worth of bible I have left!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. ps. I do like your documented exploratory journeys like this. Most interesting. Thankyou! x

    ReplyDelete
  13. Gina, this is such an exciting road you are on. I love reading every word. I am naughtily reading at work but will read this all again tonight and digest fully.
    Your work makes me want to be better at everything!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Your post is marvelous to read. Anything that allows access to how an imagination makes links is fascinating.

    All the previous comments have said it better than I.

    Feeling so privileged to have had this insight into how a cocoon might develop.

    Best wishes. xo

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh Gina, well done. Fantastic to see your work in progress. As each photo and description came up I was shouting 'Yes! Yes!'I love the resin beads with knitting and names in.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I've said it before and |I'll say it again - I love your posts about your progression of ideas for your course.

    The resin beads with trapped text are spectacular. Pod on!

    ReplyDelete
  17. What a delightful post, really exciting to see the progression of ideas and I like the contrast between the ephemeral idea of bubbles breaking out and the transparency of the beads against the harshness of wire knitting, it makes it seem even more fiercely protective. Great piece of work.
    I am sorry you didn't like the spider in my latest blog - I promise not to do it again !

    ReplyDelete
  18. This is wonderful! How lovely to see the creative process in action :o)

    ReplyDelete
  19. You're brilliant Gina! Thanks so much for sharing the process -- it's so interesting to see how you take it from idea, to drawing to 3-D. Bravo to you!

    ReplyDelete
  20. My goodness Gina, your creativity never ceases to amaze me! A beautifully documented project.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Fascinating process and skilled drawings, Gina. I like the glass beads in felt at the beginning of the post.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I like your thinking on this! Lovely drawings of the oea pods. Ohh you have brought back meories of my C&G course too. I'll be back to see the final result Gina. Best of luck with it all.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Yup! The resin beads do it for me too........ fascinating insight into your work.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I find this quite fascinating. Love the resin beads. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and for taking the time to comment.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi ,
    your art. work is Beautiful !
    hugz. W.

    ReplyDelete
  26. oh my god Gina, that was amazing!

    xx

    ReplyDelete
  27. really really clever idea! and it looks fab.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Gina this is fantastic work. I love all the stages and where you've taken it.

    I have to add thank you for showing it too as just reading this has given me that spark to "do" after lurking in a bit of a void. So thanks again, muchly.

    ReplyDelete
  29. this is stunning work, absolutely gorgeous. I really, really like you resin ''pods'', brilliant.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Just catching up with some old posts - these are wonderful Gina, the thought process, trials and end products are delightful!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for leaving me a comment. I love to read what you have to say and try to reply directly by email when possible... although it sometimes takes me a while!