Archive for the ‘Braille for the Soul’ Category

“The compelling thing about making art … is the moment when the vaporous, insubstantial idea becomes a solid there, a thing, a substance in a world of substances.”
Audrey Niffenegger ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’ 2003 (p274)

Drawing underpins my work. The act of making a mark on the page catches fleeting thoughts and dreams, bringing understanding. Looking closely, noticing details, holding the experience, turning it around and slowly the thing comes into the light.

Then in responding to the material needs of the dream by working in series, making variations on the theme I take time to explore and craft the fine details whilst allowing space for the wild cards to make their move, those fleeting glimpses that call out from beyond the edges of the known into the wild space where the ragged edges of heart and mind blur and anything is possible. It’s here I find that thing I can make and hold in my hands to set free into the world.

Braille for the Soul (forthcoming exhibition, Artsite Gallery, March 2019) investigates in stitch and cloth what is read through the haptic*. Time is stitched into vessels of memory. Sewn and knotted, beaded and feathered, the vessels hold wishes for the mending of our beautiful broken world. We can start mending our ways stitch by stitch, learn to touch again, the world and each other, connecting our hearts.

Gathering through the web are a community of stitchers like me, deep listening women from around the earth making strong threads. As one voice we whisper
‘there is nowhere on our planet that is not sacred’.

*haptic: adj. of or relating to the sense of touch:
the haptic sensation of holding a real book in your hands.
able to come into contact with, to fasten

(with many thanks to Bronwyn Berman for all the help with wrestling these words into a coherent form)

Louise Watson’s pennant  is Mending the Sky
for the pennant project
“I dream of a world where love is the answer”
Louise kindly gave permission to share these photos and words from her blog
“The blue sky behind gave me an idea. I have ironed and backed it with blue fabric and intend to make a feature of the holes. The sunshine brightened the fabric. I think it will be called Mending the Sky. I have an idea of birds in flight and darning stitches.”
photos and words courtesy of Louise Watson in England
these pennants are gathering our hopes and dreams
making strong threads to mend our beautiful broken world stitch by stitch
thank you Louise and everyone who has come onboard
Magic Days!

Once in a Blue Moon Mo 17
W 29cm H 5cm
embroidered vintage electric blue leather stretched over a papier maché mold
edged with 1.5 mm black leather round cord and black Gütermann linen thread
edge detail
inside edge detail
the papier maché base is nearly ready to start stitching the black cord spiral base
and start making the retractable moon ladder which is the whole point of the piece!
here’s the links to this work in process going widdershins back to May 24th
Stretching the Moon
Moon Unit II
Moon Unit II and a close call for my dentist drill
Moon Unit I finished with the fullness of the moon
Moon Test 1 (done for now)
Moon Test 1 still in process
testing the making of a blue moon
finished stitching for the winter solstice
Once in a Blue Moon Week 3 & 1/2
Once in a Blue Moon Week 2
Once in a Blue Moon


back in July when I made the call out for people to stitch their hopes and dreams into a piece of the old wedding dress for the collaborative “I dream of a world where love is the answer” project Marti Weisbrich sent this photo of her eco dyed cloth for her pennant with these inspiring words
“my intention is to stitch random, small pieces of cloth to the pennant. Each time that I stitch one of my cloths, I speak to the cloth in my hand. Each piece that I stitch carries my thoughts about where and what gifts from the land I found to dye the cloth. Each piece carries my blessing and gratitude for what the land gives. Each piece making up the whole is a benediction and prayer for our planet. All of my cloth work has been about landscape and I feel deeply what the late philosopher, ex-priest and poet John O’ Donohue said, ” “When you bring your body out into the landscape, you bring your body home where it belongs. When you step outside, it matters if you see landscape as a location or if you see it as walking into a living place.”
a  few weeks later she sent this photo of her pennant getting a feel for the spirits of place & wrote
“Your pennant arrived this afternoon and the satin is such a lovely cloth. First thing I did was to take it outside and pin it to one of our pear trees. The pennant is next to a cloth (prayer flag) that I made when we first moved here to New Mexico. I name my cloths and this prayer flag is named, ” Call to the Wind” Everywhere we have lived, I have asked the elements to bless our endeavors with our gardens, and our daily lives; asking spirit/s for guidance and the ability to continue to seek the sacred daily ordinaries that make up my days.
So much of how I work with cloth has to do with the land, the elements and with that in mind, the first blessing for the pennant is to feel our fierce New Mexico wind. I’m leaving the pennant outside for a few days to pick up the communal spirit of Call to the Wind as well as be blessed with the earth spirits that roam this place; it will also be blessed with a little rain because we are in our monsoon season.”
and just a few days ago
“here is what I have done so far with my pennant: I had removed it from the pear tree because we have had some pretty fierce winds and rain. Yesterday, especially, the winds were clocking over 50 mph, our corn was bent half way, leaves and dust were flying and I knew it was time to delve into my world of dyed cloth. The spirits of place and elements were at their strongest so I ripped bits of cloth, sorted and pinned. I dream of a world where people take the time to recognize and receive the sacred ordinary gifts of the land…the pennant is in its pinned state, will hold for a time until the threads sing to me to stitch.”
Thank you Marti & everyone who has come onboard
the energy of this circle is moving so fast & strong, it feels like a quickening!
Magic Days

papier maché moon sanded & trimmed to size W 29cm H 5cm
Once in a Blue Moon tacked down
stretched but the edge of the stitched moon needs work to even up the circumference
have broken 5 needles this morning but getting there, have started making the papier maché mold for the base
making Moon Unit I and Moon Unit II taught me so much

Moon Unit II Mo 17
embroidered electric blue suede, 1.5mm round leather cord, Gütermann linen thread, glass beads, papier maché molds
H 5cm W 10cm
electric blue suede stretched & stitched over papier maché mold bound with 1.5 mm round leather cord
linen thread hinge & black tissue lining
1.5 mm round leather spiral base stitched with Gütermann black linen thread over papier maché mold
making Moon Unit I & Moon Unit II  has given me the confidence to go ahead and finish Once in a Blue Moon!

how to get in the pink

Posted: July 23, 2017 by Mo Crow in Braille for the Soul, It's Crow Time

this crack showed a way into the pink
this week I was gifted a felted pink blanket
and a rusted iron mandala
I really don’t have any affinity to the colour pink and have questioned the use of rust as it never sleeps, it just keeps eating away at whatever it comes into contact with
but there is something comforting about that old wool and the rust is beautiful
perhaps a rust mandala marking the centre of the blanket would get me going…
does anyone have any clues about how old wool will cope with rust?
should I use vinegar on wool?
is it better to wait to try this until summer? (it’s mid winter here in Sydney)
I have never used rust or pink in my work…
but it could make a medicine blanket/shroud for all the extinct species….

PS this didn’t work, the rust hardly made an impression and the colour is too pink for me to deal with, it’s a warm spare blanket for visitors & really doesn’t need to be anything else!