Some thoughts on tracing paper, writing and embroidery.

The morning of Saturday 16th March it was pelting down with rain, my car splashing through torrents of water washing over the motorway on the way to Bradford. As I drew up at Great Horton Community Hall I saw Leigh. It was still and quiet, the rain had subsided a little, but the community hall was locked, so we sat in my car and chatted.

Leigh and I talked about the process of transferring an image onto cloth in embroidery, and about the use of tissue paper she had instigated. I noticed, through my own embroidered blue plaques and those of others, how the the tissue seemed so delicate, its pink tone almost with skin-like qualities, expressing something of vulnerability of the process. There is something interesting in embroidering partially blind to the final outcome, with a spontaneity in the process so that no piece can ever be recreated in exactly in the same way. When finally the embroidery is finished, picking away at the paper is an enticing part of the process, as the stitches become revealed. Leigh uses this process in her own work, because she says that she can get an accuracy of line in no other way. The paper she uses is conventional tracing paper. About 10 years ago I attempted to capture the precise replication of someones else hand written gestures in stitch in much the same way. I never quite got all the pieces of paper removed, and seem to prefer it now with them left in place.

We saw June pull up in her red VW. Efficiently she rang Steve, who almost immediately appeared, in the rain in a T-shirt, to unlock the community hall. Now we could start our next venture for Blue Plaques of Intangible Experiences.

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