Nets of glass

My next step with my amulet boxes is to experiment with glazing the  openings (instead of the lids I’ve been creating up to now). I want people to be able to peer in at the fabric amulets inside but through ‘dirty’ glass. I want to recreate the impression of glass in old greenhouses or cold frames with maybe a bit like old mirrors when the silvering has begun to deteriorate. Does anyone have any experience of painting glass? I was wondering whether to try acrylics but I suspect they might be a bit plasticy. I’m after a matt, powdery finish I can scratch and rub. Ideas welcome!

The Net Thickens

Thought I’d post some pics of my current box amulet. As I’ve discussed before, the lids of these pieces symbolise the nets we draw across our inner lives and feelings. The textile technique I use is latchet hooking – something I was taught as a child at school (and hated!). The gridded cotton backing imposes a set of ‘rules’ on me as I make (which I also hated!) . Up until now I’ve struggled on and completed each piece, but in this example the pattern has broken down and the backing is showing though.

I’ve also inserted fragments of yarn made from recycled saris which adds a scruffy, irregular quality to the fluffy regularity of the wool yarn. For me it’s a way of making the inside and the outside of the box more linked – the inner turmoil is beginning to break through to the outside, breaking through the net.

New Year, New (net)Work

Happy new year to everyone on Netwurks – I feel like we are slowly coming out of hibernation here in the UK as the snow melts back to the walls on the hillsides of the Yorkshire Dales leaving wonderful white lacy patterns. I have been progressing my box amulet ideas, winter was the traditional time for making the rugs from which I draw my inspiration. I attach some photos. They show the relationship of the latchet textiles with their gridded patterns just like I was taught to make as a child and the boxes with their primitive house amulets inside.

Concealed textiles & net curtains

Hello to everyone on Netwurks. I’m half way through the MA in Contemporary Applied Arts at the University of Cumbria. My current practical research has many strands but it began with the old northern European practice of concealing worn clothing in the walls of houses to act as protective amulets. At the moment I’m creating box spaces which conceal ragwork amulets (the Victorian past) and on whose lids I am placing latchet hook textiles (the modern era). They are for my own home which was built in 1929 at the cusp of the change from the ‘Victorian’ to the modern era. The clean modern textiles conceal (like net curtains) the older primitive hearts of the pieces.