Slow Silk

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The past few weeks have been slow as I’m gearing up to finish a project i’m doing in Bedlington and make a start on INHABIT. I’m waiting for leaves to sprout on the mulberry trees and install the Shed which are both needed before I bring in the silk worms to start to grow and feed them and construct the framework for the sculpture.  Once our little friends are here they need round the clock 24/7 care. Silk worms have a life cycle of 6 weeks but I’m planning on doing batches over the next few months of several thousand worms – so it’s going to take some organising to make sure they are all cared for properly. Ideally I want to clear the diary before I begin so I can take the summer and autumn to just focus on this.

I gave a talk to Comfrey Project participants to see if I could get people involved in it and quite a few people seem keen so I think that’s going to make a big difference when the silk worms are here.

Meanwhile I’ve been doing some silk loom knitted experiments. I’ve been using a stitch called the infinity stitch which I wanted to use to mirror the nature of the silk worms spinning in the figure 8 motion. However after much thought I’ve decided this isn’t quite right for the sculpture i’m making with the silk worms, so I’m going to take this in a different direction. I did manage to find a supplier of raw silk string which still contains seracin from the silk worms (making it stiff and a more sculptural material) and based locally so I’m very excited about working with this for the exhibition.

The project in Bedlington is finding its feet after I took the group (or rather they took me) on a heritage photo walk, where among many things we visited a 1000 year old church, a beautiful old school who was losing its battle to nature and the postbox where the very first letter with the penny black stamp was posted.

This week we played around with the photos of old and new Bedlington for some image making which the group are developing for an exhibition next year.

The group meet on Thursdays 10am -12pm at Bedlington Community Centre and there are places available at next weeks session so if you would like to join in just turn up!

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