Last weekend was Todmorden Open Studios. It is always nerve-wracking as my studio is 2 miles from town and tucked away up a hill and narrow track so that people who come really make an effort. Saturday was grey with heavy rain, it was cold and autumnal, I really thought that I would see no one but at 11am I had my first visitor who loved my work and complimented my professionalism. Throughout the weekend the majority of people who visited were those who had not seen my work previously and were genuinely interested in talking about the creative process. It was refreshing to talk to other artists and creatives. There are so many talented people in the Calder Valley and I was inspired by a guy who was a sound artist who records found sound in the landscape. This reminded me of a conversation that I had had with a friend, Jenny, who had suggested using contact mics to place onto rocks. I have also ordered some clay, something I never work with as I hate getting dirty hands (textile artists like clean hands!) but something is drawing me to the earth so I’m facing my aversion to it.
Opening the studio is a wonderful opportunity to see how people respond to the work; which pieces draw what attention, which don’t and what people want to know and are fascinated by. It is also space for coincidences to happen, for example,a couple had an email address for an academic at Bradford University who is researching burial chambers. They also had information about a caravan I am interested in renting.
Lastly, a visitor who had read the blog was interested in the research process and wanted to look at my sketchbooks, By the end of the weekend I was enthused and full of ideas, so thank you to everyone who came. I’m now going to be mindful about collating all the aspects of my process than having bits all over the place!
- Play with clay.
- Dye fabric earth colours.
- Make a fabric bowl/casket.
- Incorporate found objects from walks.
As I wrote point number 2, I saw a bowl in my mind but another part in me said casket.