Perdita Phillips – Network

Perdita Phillips is an artist I found on the internet who has a series of work called ‘Network’.  The works were first created as autonomous images before being hand cut into organic networks. The intention was to explore the kinds of networks that grow between people, and between individuals and places, when one moves to a new environment.

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meshed but stretchedI have been working in copper for many years. How this occurred is written in an excerpt of this short story I wrote in 2007.

“She sifted through the boxes of odds and ends, screws, rusted metal bits and pieces. Sadness overcame her. It was many years since her strong creative man whistled and ‘worked’ in ‘the shed’. The cobwebs and dust were layered on the remains of boxes of ‘washes and springs’ and the piles of broken parts that had waited to be ‘fixed’. Rolls of copper wire added to the flotsam of his life.

The sun was warm on her back as she dragged out the detritus. A roll of brilliant copper wire sprung away from her. She picked it up and desultory twisted it between her fingers. The loops and spirals were reminiscent of her days when she sewed and coiled her baskets”

It has been a while since I have picked up the wire again but have been playing around with the ancient Viking Weave and am developing varying forms and lengths with that technique using recycled copper wire.   The weave develops into a circular mesh or net quite similar to the ‘French Knotting’.   The weave, the story and the wire all mesh and join.

Embroiderer nets

Embroidered nets

These are some forms I have been working on. I didn’t expect to be making net-like forms but I thought I would post them. I had beent hinking more about the lace qualitites. They are really technical exercises trying to get more space between the stitching. I discovered a new disouble fabric last week and have yet to try to push it to its limits. The new fibre, ‘Romeo’, does not require a machine embroidery hoop but washing away the fibre is much more difficult. If any one has used ‘Romeo’ can they let me know.

Ink weaving

I was weaving with wire and thread, and now I’m weaving with ink. I rediscovered my Rotring pens and am enjoying fine black even lines: the qualities of wire and thread and hair that I was liking earlier

tangling ink

tangling ink

ink weaving 01

ink weaving 01

ink weaving 02

ink weaving 02


wirey ink

wirey ink 02

wirey ink 02

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.