Connections III

a good conversation from #SeptTextileLove 2020

When the thoughts and images from individual participants for a #SeptTextileLove prompt are read together, conversations are created across the hashtag. To make the ephemeral a little more permanent, I have brought our chat from connections on Day 17 of the #SeptTextileLove Instagram challenge together; letting the participants speak without interruption.

The conversation started from some of our smallest connections, the neurons in our brain; through to the hand and touch; to materiality, textile processes and practice. It then moved onto connections between family; friends; textile groups; and collaboration and community. This final post expands to connections to place, our environment and the world and the rich history of textiles.

Place/Environment/The World

“I take inspiration and resources from the wonderful Welsh landscape….the leaves….the rusty objects from the now vanished and derelict mining areas …..without the connection of the Welsh landscape my work would not exist.” @adoreadorntextiles

History

“I love it when there is a connection between the yarn and the pattern 💛 This shawl is called Nerida – in Greek mythology, the nereids are sea nymphs who symbolise everything that is beautiful and kind about the sea. The yarn I used to make it is called Reynisfjara, it’s named after a beautiful black sand beach on the south coast of Iceland.” @generallycheerful

“I’ve been ‘mending’ this tattered bit of Welsh ‘Tiger’ blanket for a while now. But I feel completely connected to countless people that have mended and made do for hundreds of years.”
@annies_haul

Conclusion

Talking about connections to place, environment and the world, and history, brings us back to the beginning of our discussion with @annaliversidgeartist stating “…I feel connections are central to textiles and life…”. Making textiles by hand, as @goedesier2015 says “In connecting thread to fabric, thoughts are made visible.” and gives us the time to consider the connections that are important to us and explore them in our work.

I feel that the connections discussed fall into three broad categories:

  1. The connections within the craft of textiles to materiality, processes and practice, “the haptic connection between the maker and the making” @isla_design, together with our rich textile history, which are all there for us to discover and use.
  2. Personal connections in our work, what our work is about, perhaps a connection to the land, the environment, or a particular project
  3. Social connections to like-minded textile enthusiasts, working collaboratively with textiles, connecting to our audience through touch, and connecting to family through textiles.

Connecting with like minded textile people is the best connection.” @colour.woven

Sometimes these different connections combine, reinforcing each other, for example textile family treasures that for the owners contain vestiges of the maker’s touch and thoughts, are a vessel for family stories, are cherished embodiments of family connections.

I want to finish with another question:

Do textiles by their nature of yarn, stitch and cloth physically connecting, yield more connections than other arts or crafts? Or is making connecting?

Thank you to everyone who participated in our #SeptTextileLove conversation. I have included thoughts from as many textilers as possible, sorry if I missed you out.

How are connections important to you? What questions have you started asking about your connections during lockdown?

I am looking forward to having many more thoughtful and interesting textile conversations in #SeptTextileLove 2021 – hopefully see you then!

Penny Wheeler

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