About to start my installation

I had the opportunity to have a quiet mull about my proposed project when I woke early one morning away from home. There was nothing to distract me and I was in that hypnagogia state – half asleep and half awake.  I’ve been running with several ideas in my workbook, some related to using the laser etcher but then it dawned on me that if I wanted to portray my grand-mothers the technique wouldn’t be relevant to them. I came back to the stitch. Surely each of the women used a needle and thread during their lives.

My plan so far is to use a large piece of plain fabric and embroider the names of all the (g)grand-mothers I know of, with the age of when they became a mother – other marks will be used to indicate the unnamed ones. I’ve decided on a blue thread – the colour will increase the nearer the relative is to me i.e. pale blue for those born in the 1600s to dark blue for me. I’ve lots more details to work out. I can go back to Grace who is my great x 6 grandmother – unfortunately I’ll have to leave her off as it would make my piece too large with 255 other unknown great x 6 grandmothers to be included.

Because of the male line my registered name was Ball but I could have been:

Dorcas Day
Dorcas Hobson
Dorcas Holder
Dorcas Martyn
Dorcas Petch
Dorcas Cox
Dorcas Shakespeare
Dorcas Hulks
Dorcas Tuck
Dorcas Bounds
Dorcas Chownes
Dorcas Clark
Dorcas Hicken
Dorcas Camfield
Dorcas Godfrey

But this list isn’t inclusive as there were hundreds of other women who have contributed to my being.

The fabric, embroidery yarn and fading marker pen have been ordered. As soon as the fabric arrives I can start placing the names onto it. In the meantime I am making up a sampler of stitches. I’ve 25 names and dates to embroider so I need 25 line stitches.

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