throwing down the gauntlet!

Posted: September 11, 2021 by Mo Crow in It's Crow Time
Tags: , , , , , ,

Back in 2019 Beth Brennan of Still Life Pond who made the beautiful Tree of Life pennant for I Dream of a World Where Love is the Answer sent me her mother’s exquisitely fine leather gloves with this note. In our e-mail conversation she added, “Ah good! I felt like Cinderella’s stepsister trying to put them on. My mother was impossibly tiny and had elegant taste. I don’t know how much they were worn—not much by the look of them! She was married to my dad in 1940, so they probably date from the late 1930s. You were my first thought for repurposing and I knew you would appreciate the fineness of the leather. But I also absolve you from doing anything at all with them. Set them free if you need to when the time comes.”
The time has come to throw down the gauntlet!

whilst carefully dissecting the seams on the very fine leather I dreamed of merging the two pairs into one pair of starry gloves with contrasting stars as a follow on to Reaching for the Stars

love how the fourchettes with quirks look like birds!

as I explored all the seams and felt the different textures in the leathers I realized these gloves have their own ideas about what each pair wants to be next!

the gloves need to be longer between the thumb hole and fingers for the bigger hands of today & in the width so I cut a 1/2 inch strip from the bottom edge to insert across the knuckles and cut the foredge to increase all the edges with hand stitched button hole lace. I was going to use white silk but have some vintage Silkworm thread that works much better.

last night as I was trembling on the edge of making the first cut, I spoke to my wild artist friend Dotti & she helped me see how I needed to throw all caution to the wind & jump into the stitching so at midnight I did just that! The other challenge was Artsite advising to not share work in process for the Collector’s Choice xmas show on social media this year. I bristled at first, then settled my hackles back down after talking to the director who recognizes this blog as an important part of my process especially with this l-o-n-g Covid lockdown (ongoing here in Sydney since June 26th) I need to communicate what’s going on & with just reading Jude Hill’s latest post and seeing her pocket collaboration revealed I love the magic that happens when minds meet through the ether!

some Cream coloured Cliveas
our gardens are looking spectacular this spring!

  1. Beth says:

    (Mo) So glad you decided to share this! And I can just imagine the deep breath required to cut. I’m sitting here filled with emotion seeing your images. Today is my birthday, a day that always reminds me of my mom too. She was not an easy woman to be a daughter to for sure, but that relationship seems to still be evolving, even nearly 20 years after her death. I’ve softened and I like to think her spirit has too. Her name was Ruth if that adds anything to your process. Ha, and the absolution still stands.

  2. deemallon says:

    Had to look up fourchette. Got an anatomy lesson. But then I looked up “fourchette glove” and found a vocabulary lesson for gloves. Very cool. I adore your teeny precise stitches. And it’s your work. Your blog. What are they gonna do?

    • Mo Crow says:

      (((Dee))) thank you for getting me to look deeper into what a fourchette is in anatomical terms… a most intimate and sensitive place and that a quirk is an acute hollow between convex or other mouldings in architecture, love how sharing takes the work so much deeper!

    • Nancy says:

      Dee, I had to go looking too after reading your comment. Okay, so the fourchette. piercing really got me…but the fourchette. glove, I had a pair just like that, with those finger length piece in the sides of each finger. They were something! I passed the three pairs of my mother’s gloves back to my sister.

    • Mo Crow says:

      PS Just had a good talk with the director of Artsite and realized I had misunderstood her directive for this year’s Collectors Choice. I don’t post my work on instagram or facebook and she recognizes this blog is a very important part of my process, feeling so much happier about everything and very excited about this new project!

  3. Marti says:

    What a stimulating, worthy project to keep you going during lock down and to keep you “busy” while you wait to move to the Blue Mountains. A very terrific idea and gift from Beth. If you can’t show photos of your ongoing process, then maybe you can offer us a “word picture, now and then of how it is going; you wouldn’t be disclosing anything in actuality because it would be up to us to imagine how it is going and then the wonder and joy of the final, “allowable” reveal!

    • Mo Crow says:

      (((Marti))) I will try to do a bit of word-smithing & will keep sharing the progress in photographs here as well. This work has grown so much already in the few hours since I posted! I think I will name these gloves Honesty, the colour of the leather and thread fits and I had been thinking that would be the theme for the embroidery on the edges.

  4. Barry says:

    MC – I know in the beginning cutting up quality silver-plate that had been a family heirloom gave me moments – but knowing that the pieces are given new life and carry new messages and energy with them makes it so much easier these days. And folk now give me special pieces knowing that I will give them a special new life even if it is peace leaves or such. You respect the pieces given to you and give them new meaning and life – that is good. Go well. B

  5. Nancy says:

    Mo~ The leather looks so soft! However this work evolves, I know it will be spectacular. I wish I’d given you my mom’s gloves. They really are gorgeous.. Gals you have this focus for the remainder of your lock down time. (((hugs)))

    • Mo Crow says:

      (((Nancy))) love how form follows function in glove making, by carefully dissecting these two pairs I have worked out how to make them fit perfectly this time with fingers! Six years ago I made these fingerless gloves from a beautiful piece of black Italian glove leather which was the finest I had ever worked with, Beth’s mother’s gloves are even more so!

  6. Saskia says:

    you totally deserve these gloves, I agree with your friend Dotti: being radical is the best move forward!
    the flowers are gorgeous
    as you know we are nearing Autumn, which normally I look forward to as it is a beautiful season, this year mixed feelings for it seems Summer passed us by this year

    • Mo Crow says:

      (((Saskia))) I’m not very brave at diving right into anything these days… I like to take a bit of time to get to test the waters first like at the beach I play with the edge, slowly letting the little waves in the shore break wet my legs up to my knees, then up to my belly button, only then can I dive right in and start catching waves!

  7. Liz A says:

    I am endlessly fascinated by buttery leather gloves, but cannot for the life of me imagine what it would take to needle them

    • Mo Crow says:

      (((Liz))) working with this fine leather is like stitching a piece of heaven and it is so strong, the old machine stitched seams held true with just a micro millimetre of edge in places!

  8. Hazel says:

    So fascinated by your creativity and detailed processes, and looking forward to more of your sharing. The bird-like pieces are wonderful.

    • Mo Crow says:

      (((Hazel))) this leather is magic to work with, the needle slides through effortlessly and the seams can be made as close to the edge as I want, last night I dreamed that the black pair will have wings

  9. debgorr says:

    The birds! Love that so much, how they were there to find. Thinking about Terry Tempest Williams, When Women were Birds.

    I am so glad that you are sharing here and always love seeing your projects unfold. The reality of blogging now, I think, is that those that come are a connected circle and community. We learn and grow together. Kind of like a study group. 🙂

    • Mo Crow says:

      (((Deb))) love all the bright sparks that get ignited with sharing our processes and thoughts & thanks for the reminder of When Women Were Birds, a favourite that I will enjoy reading again with our libraries still closed for this lockdown!

  10. fiona says:

    Sorry for being so late to the party Mo. Coming in late does mean I get to read all the excitements, learnings and discoveries in the comments tho which is great! I think going gently and listening deeply will get you there for sure – the gloves will whisper, and you will get a trill of delight when you understand what they are saying. So many lovely evolutions already; they are becoming something truly special already. And Spring!

  11. […] all Honesty I looked hard at what I have done in the last month with these gloves and they are simply not […]

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