A day at the castle in the study centre - it was good to show the work I have created so far - getting feedback – interesting to undertake a form of tutorial. The intention was to find the next step – to focus on the next objects to view by looking at what I had made after being exposed to the collection. The pleat, edges, thread and joining were highlighted and became the brief for the next stage. Ruth and Liz are very knowledgeable and understand the nuances of the collection and this project would obviously be less rich or would I say almost impossible without their input. They directed me to a leather corset - linking to the leather work at MEAL and through its construction the many connections I had made to thread and stitch.I spend a while with a box containing sewing kits with their many pockets, folds and hidden spaces. This related to a lot of the structural work I have been making and connected to the similar structures I had found in some notebooks at MEAL and a journal of a poet/writer at the Suffolk Record Office.
I sat in on a presentation by Ruth to a WEA group on 18th Century Dress which was really informative and gave me a chance to reflect on the project – to not be in charge – I came away thinking about structure and display and how to develop these ideas with the pieces paper I'm working on.
The highlight for me was a box of lace pickings. Lace is obviously so laden with meaning around and about work and for me a signifier of class but these objects put the process and the workers at the centre of the story. Constructed from pricked velum and salvaged off cuts of cloth, poorly made with stitches showing, the objects are magical, transporting the handler to another time and connecting to makers - truly wonderful - I had to leave after spending time with them as they were so overpowering.