Sunday, March 06, 2016

work in progress

large emptiness with small marks
A folder or a book containing at least 26 sketches,
a variety of fabrics layered and hand stitched
the cover is wool dyed with indigo, hand stitched
Q   Why make a book of sketches rather than a portfolio of sketches?
A   Because books are time based.   Because books engage the sense of touch.
(A very careful touch, because ancient silk shatters when handled.)
We can't see a book all at once.
We hold it in our hands.  This privileges the sense of touch.
In order to know it, we have to spend time with it, turning the pages one by one.
We can anticipate the end, skipping ahead like we do when we day dream about the future.
We can remember, reflect on, re-read the beginning.   Flip backwards in time.
everything is ephemeral


  1. will you bind the pages or leave them loose?

  2. Very special ..... and delicate (!)

  3. I've found while engaged in a regular sketching process [in my case, with beads]
    that there is great balm for the soul. These are lovely, Judy.

  4. Hi Mo - I have been struggling with that very question for the last few days.
    If I leave them unbound - does that mean that I want them removed and displayed one by one?
    If I bind them into an order - does that mean that I am telling a story?
    Still working on it, but I think I will bind them. Then they are tidy.

    The shattered silk is a gift from my elderly friend, age 87. It was her mother's - I think wedding dress, but shall check. That would make this fabric at least 90 years old - maybe older.

    I accepted her kind gift because of the french knots that seemed to be adding some strength. x

  5. The shattered silk struck a chord. I have some unfinished crazy patch blocks from my paternal grandmother...from the early 1890's (a finished one is dated 1894)...before she was married. I thought I could try to finish them but the silk was shattering...maybe they could be put in a textile "book", hand-stitched together to keep them from being separated, wandering...any advice?

  6. Oh my how stunning! And how to bind them if you do? Does each one get mounted to protect it, with spacers to separate them and the mounts bound? What a decision!

  7. As always--beautiful--and such understanding of the materials, such respect! You might consider a box book (binder rings inside) rather than a stitched book)

  8. Thank you for ideas.

    Yes, Margaret - the silk shatters no matter what we do. I am stitching it down gently in places with seed stitch and one thin silk thread at a time - but that may be wrecking it as much as saving it. Covering the whole over with sheerest silk organza may be the best way to preserve - sewing that at the edges only and one would see the ancient textile through the sheer.

    The ideas about mounting in a box book and with spacers really appeal. Michelle, I googled box book and found an image that interests me that shows a restored bible in a protective case. This kind of thing in combination with the binder rings you mention is inspiring me just now. Thank you X

    I want to use the portfolio cover that I stitched in the summer.

  9. I buttoned together a little book with buttonholes for each of the pages last year, here's a link

  10. I love the book concept, I am still thinking about this, but I had to stop and post a note! What a very interesting way to display and view your work. I am very interested to watch the process unfold.

  11. i LOVE fabric books - and this would be a great one. i´m in awe how you handle the materials.

  12. Such a great idea to make a book.. And so nice to read your post here.


Thank you for taking the time to connect. Much appreciated.xx