Recently a group for stash busting was started in the stitchin fingers community. This reminded me once again of just how lucky we are to have a ’stash’. Most fiber folks have them. We draw on our stashes to make items or add to projects.
They are either purchased or scavenged materials that have accumulated over time and as such they often have a story to tell. Or it is possibly more correct to say that stashes are full of stories. The interesting thing for textile practitioners is that these materials can take on another story. They can be made into something new and take on other meanings in someones life.
Stashes also act as signifiers of wealth. Not only is the obvious wealth of what the stash actually costs to have and house but there is the psychological wealth of a stash because a stash is full of possibilities. While material is uncut it is rich with possible uses. Once you have committed to using it the material moves from being something that is full of potential to a project
So this month the idea to think about is stories that are and stories that are possible.
My stash tells the story about myself and my growing abilities in embroidery. You can see my changing tastes in fabrics, early purchases of commercial fabrics slowly give way to plain white cotton sheets purchased from charity shops, washed and dyed they now form the basis of much of my work. My love of shiny things continues, beads are recycled and buttons, buttons, buttons!! I love mother of pearl buttons.
Small collections of Indian embroidery, Japanese dyed fabrics and African beads chart my City and Guilds studies. Books on the shelves show the move from ‘how to make’ to inspirational images and ideas.
My story so far has travelled from cross stitch kits to textile art.
Put it all together and there are glimpses of future work, stitched and painted still in my mind, movement of thread through needle, machine, round bobbins and pins. This story is still unfolding and evolving.
OK, I don’t usually write this much and the big question is how to translate this into fibre? Still working on that one.