'If you make happiness your goal, then you're not going to get to it… The goal should be an interesting life."

Dorothy Rowe

Friday 8 August 2008

I still don't like the name

but I am feeling a lot more enthusiastic about the Winchester Discovery Centre – which used to be known as the Library. If there any librarians out there [or do they have a new name too?] I understand the argument that ‘Library’ implies ‘books’ and the institutions formerly known as libraries do a lot more than just lend books these days. But does the name ‘Discovery Centre’ provide a better guide to what goes on inside? To me it sounds like a hands-on science/technology centre. [We have one of those too – it is called ‘Intec’.]

I think most library users are well aware you can get a lot more than books at your local library. Of course non-library users may not know – but I don’t think you’ll get them through the doors of a discovery centre either …

However – I digress. What prompted this rant is that Wensleydale and I went to yet another exhibition in the DC – the third we have visited. All excellent and all, bar the first one, free. And more to come – Hockney etchings and a selling craft show.

Today it was this:


More here:


It wasn’t a very big exhibition, but the quality made up for it. Even the way the pencils for comments were arranged was beautiful! [Half a dozen yellow pencils upright in holes in a white table, lit so they threw shadows on a white wall.]

Someone had written ‘Meditation!’ on a comment slip and it was a very accurate response. I particularly liked Tamsin Van Essen’s ceramics and Arabel Lebrusan’s silver mantilla. When I say silver, by the way, I mean silver – tiny pieces of metal worked into beautiful shapes and joined by jump rings so it actually drapes and, as you can see from the photo on the Crafts Council website, is wearable.

The trouble with writing a sentence like ‘I particularly liked …’ is that I immediately think – ‘But I liked this too, and that, and …’ So I will just say that there was one piece which I was less keen on because I didn’t feel it achieved what the artist’s statement said they had been trying to achieve, Although the concept behind it was very relevant, I felt the item, though not the intention, fell short of the rest of the work. [Each item had an artist’s statement explaining how the dress had inspired them.]

Changing the topic - my muse seems to be stirring again. She may even have woken up and be thinking about breakfast. [The trouble with people saying nice things about my blog is that it encourages me to write even sillier things – you only have yourselves to blame for long rambling posts like this one!]

I have been inspired by the suzani we saw in Glasgow.

If you want to know more about them – there is information, and 4 pages of pictures of Central Asian textiles, including modern suzanis, here:


This is the one which inspired me.


I played around with a design - the kaleidoscope maker has been getting a workout again ...

The little photo is of a French shutter - it seemed similar to my design, so I added it to the page.

Then I made a little sample, and I think I feel a needlepoint bag coming on … The sample is warped because I didn't bother using a frame, and i think the stem needs to be a darker colour, but I like it. Except it is in tent stitch, and I loathe tent stitch half as much as I loathe cross stitch. [Embroiderers may be able to work out the reason for the mathematical precision of that statement.]

But although I can think of other ways I could use this design, I want to replace an old and much loved needlepoint bag, and I want to use an excess of rust/cream/turquoise tapestry wool I inherited from my mother and aunt – so tent stitch it seems to be.

And if anyone is still reading this diatribe – well done!


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Jackie said...

You can de-warp it by blocking it out over damp papers.