Strange Material – Leanne Prain – Chapter One cont.

Prain gives the advice:- “Do not try to imitate the style of others. Let whatever you are thinking about fall naturally onto the page, and do not self sensor. Stopping to refine the ideas will only block your details and hamper your creativity. Write what you hear in your head and use your own unique voice. Editing has no place when generating new ideas – good, bad, ugly or divine.

Tamar Stone uses old bedding to tell her story. One piece H.T.W.E. (his thanks were enough) 2013 is fully documented here; a full description of the work and the research made. The story is based on the American Civil War with references to the Crimean War and Great War.

Tamar Stone05_HTWE_BagOpnBedMade_Web-filtered

“I believe it’s vital to know where you came from in order to move forward with life and there’s a lot to be learnt from the past.” Tamar Stone

Two artists, writer Elizabeth Dancoes and free motion embroiderer Eleanor Hannan came together to produce a book 1001 Funny Things you can do with a Skirt which is based on the potent ana suromai gesture – to raise the skirt – which comes from a Greek 26I can pursue my dream

Maria Damon is a literary scholar with an interest in weaving and stitch produces ‘tokens’ she gifts to musicians and artists. Maria Damon and Ira Livingston DSCF2389 - Version 2

Poetics as a Theory of Everything,” cross-stitched by Maria Damon and quoting Ira Livingston. Damon made the piece to serve as the cover image for Livingston’s book, Poetics as a Theory of Everything, forthcoming, 2014. Image courtesy of Ira Livingston and Maria Damon. Taken from Jacket 2 website.

Damon goes on to say “…you don’t invest the energy in making something unless you’re emotionally engaged.” Now I know why I am often dissatisfied with pieces I’ve produced at workshops – no emotional attachment to the work.

Asemic – writing that looks like writing but can not be read – as often seen on the reverse of a piece of embroidery.


Prain suggests an exercise to kick-start creative ideas – The Button Jar – using the buttons to tell a tale; give the buttons names, emotions, what do they feel like to touch, what sort of party would they go to….and several other prompts.


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