I How Is Our Changing World Affecting Our Textile Art?
Whether we like it or not, our changing world is affecting our Textile Art. But are we keeping up with all the changes?
Let us take a look at what Textile Art is and then decide on how it is changing along with our world changes.
Textile art is a term used to describe any art created from any type of woven, or spun fibres. This type of art can be in the form of stitch, weaving, felting, needle felting, knitting and crochet to name a few. We include other items which makes it mixed media. Such as paper, dyes, paints and found materials.
Our art can be very traditional to include stitches that have not changed for centuries. Or lace making that has been around for as long as we can remember. On the other end of the scale we use our ever changing environment as inspiration as that makes us look at other materials not usually used for Textile Art.
The changing world is affecting our art in many ways.
The biggest change is that many people have no idea what we do. They think that as we can sew that we should be making and mending clothing. The fact that some of us run a mile when asked, this appears lost on the person asking. Many people have no idea how to thread up a needle, how to even start to think of how to sew. Many come to Eau Brink Studio unable to use a sewing machine because they are afraid of breaking it. A fear they soon get over with a little encouragement. It is the same as all things. You do have to learn first then you can create.
Another change I have noticed is that people are worried about coming to a new class or workshop as they are very conscious of their lack of knowledge or confidence in meeting new friends. I get asked many questions such as, what if I don’t fit in? What if I cannot do it? I do not have a modern Sewing machine, is that a problem? and many many other concerns.
The thing is none of it need be a concern. Most of us are very nice people who just want to be either learning or teaching with like minded others. We want to create using textiles as our base. We want to explore and take our work in any direction we want to on any given day.
You do not need a lot of equipment, or a modern sewing machine. So long as you can sew on a machine it can create. So long as you can thread a needle you can sew either by hand or machine it does not matter. What does matter is that you are enjoying what your making and feel enthused to take it further. To learn and go off in the direction it takes you. It can be surprising where it can take you.
And if you have attended a workshop you feel at the end it is not for you then try something else. One day you will remember that workshop and one element of it will be just what you need to finish your current project.
As we look around us and see how we need to be less wasteful it gives all artists the inspiration and materials to use for our art.
Of course we all know that plastic is now something to avoid but it is here and we need to be using it in our art. It can be melted and whilst still soft can be moulded into shapes for buttons and other embellishments. Or used to make new items such as bowls. We can use it for stitch too. Just need to make holes in it for the stitches to go into. So much of it can be used again and again.
Looking at how our environment changes is only one way of seeing inspiration. We can also look at how we are changing. We are more tolerant of each other and are learning about each others cultures and religions. Not something I usually talk about but we need to see what is going on around us as well as in the wider world. We can use much of of it in our art. We can not just to shock, or to show our feelings but also to embrace change in our own lives.
I do feel we are all much more cautious about our spending and learning as we are affected by the world events. But we should not stop learning and trying new things. Luckily we live in the age of the internet and we can learn a lot from it. I personally prefer to learn in a class with others. I love being with others and even if I am teaching I am learning. It is a great feeling when your stuck on a project and someone in the room suggests you try something and it works. Or if it does not works perhaps a little tweaking will help. I cannot get that feeling from watching a video on the internet.
So as you read this think about what you prefer. Think about what stops you from joining a new group or class. How can you overcome that? Be honest with yourself and make a change by going along to your nearest class or group give it a go.
Over the next week I will be uploading content onto the new members page of the website. First items are free and as I get to finish more content it will be either in the free membership section or the classes and workshops memberships.
So if you want to see what we are up to sign up for the free memberships and see if you like it. Just go to www.eaubrinkstudio.co.uk and look at the top tab for the members area.
What have we got coming up ?
Landscapes that Reach Beyond the Frame with Ruth Holmes
Introduction to Linocut Printing with Rachel Collier-Wilson
Specialised Weaving / Bring your own loom! With Jennifer Anne Studios
Thank you for reading.