I’ve been thinking a bit about how to use this blog while in school. Frankly, the time commitment is overwhelming at times and blogging is often far from my thoughts. I’ve been following recent conversations about slow blogging and thinking about how to make this a meaningful, useful space and keep it somewhat current. I’m still working on that.
In the meantime, I know that ultimately I want to create some kind of a record of my process of exploration. To that end I thought I would begin with a few of the highlights from my fall term, starting with my first weaving project.
Our first assignment was to create a wearable felt piece that expressed your inner self and could be worn on your head somehow. I tried a number of things before I became interested in headscarves and their use as cultural and religious identifiers. I started looking at the idea of transformation based on association with a particular religious or cultural group. How does identity transform with changes in headwear? Starched lace Mennonite caps, heavy knitted wool mufflers, dense black burqas, and flowing, colourful Romany silks were all part of my research. By looking at them as a whole I discovered a pan cultural iconography that represented my own personal history as well as those that I have encountered through travel.
I wanted to explore ideas of transformation, identity, transparency and density through the characteristics of wool and through the language of cultural and religious identity as represented in headscarves. By removing colour I intended for this series of three scarves to be culturally ambiguous. Soft Merino fibres allowed me to play with both thick and thin textures while still allowing for structure and shape. I was also interested in retaining the organic natural edges created by wet felting while exploring the wool’s ability to retain shapes created when wet.
Overall, I was super happy with how the pieces turned out and I felt very privileged to have one of them included in the student exhibition at Circle Craft this past November.