Inside the Ribbon Tin…really inside

April 17, 2015

IMG_0371Inside the Ribbon Tin is an occasional series filled with bits and pieces, odds and sods and other ephemera related to textiles and making. This time we are going inside the actual tin not the metaphoric tin. Let us see where it will take us.

IMG_0377I love this tin. It is full of useful bits left over from past projects.

IMG_0378It has precious things that will be used in the future to trim a dress or line a steek.

IMG_0376It has gifts from readers near and far, materials thoughtfully passed to me for making including ribbons from Tegan,

IMG_0375wee skeins of wool for embroidery from Mary,

IMG_0372buttons, bobbins and cuddy beads from Katherine all the way from the Northumberland coast in the UK. Katherine has a beautiful new blog called Something From Seaview. Inside, you can walk along her beaches, cross the bridge into Scotland, visit the Edinburgh Museum and read about a wonderful quilt.

Katherine and her printmaker cousin Polly are serial makers of GiveWraps. They both embrace the repurposing of old, worn out fabrics worn by loved ones like silk handkerchiefs and dresses to create small, useful cloths layered with family history and recollection.  If you are on Instagram you can have a look at under #givewraps. Here is a recent one from Katherine.

And one from Polly.

This is one of my favourites from Polly. You can see the decades old, hand stitched name of her grandfather juxtaposed with her own handwork in the print and construction. I love the idea of the GiveWrap as a canvas, a place for art to be given and received. The intergenerational layering renders this all the more precious especially in the setting of GiveWrap reciprocity within families.

Another creative reader who lives on Instagram is Jennifer. Not only is she an accomplished maker herself, her mother was a veritable crafty polymath, during the handmade craft Renaissance of the 1970s. She embroidered, tatted, spun, cast and wove. Jennifer has recently been sorting through her mother’s effects and sharing her mother’s work in tiny collections posted under #mumscraft.

The Ribbon Tin is full of the traces of readers and posts and my blog inbox is a vast Ribbon Tin of precious treasures made and shared by readers.  Follow the link to visit Kate Riley’s Signs of Trouble exhibition held recently in Darlington, Sydney. Kate is an artist working with a variety of mediums to create works that evoke her childhood coastline.

flotilla-16Flotilla (sea creatures) ix’ detail, 2015, stainless steel and silk thread, bird skull, PNG rosewood. Image by kind permission of Kate Riley.

Afterwards, you might enjoy a chapter from On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes (2013) by Alexandra Horowitz. This book was recommended to me by Stephanie from My Vintage Inspiration as way of relooking at my neighbourhood for the Waysides project. The author traverses the same New York city streets seeing them anew through the eyes of a geologist, an artist, an urban sociologist, a child, a dog and other experts of particular ways of seeing.

IMG_0382If you follow this next link sent to me by spinner, knitter and weaver Susan, all the way from the interweb wilds of Idaho, you can read a fascinating account of how early Homosapiens gained the survival advantage over the Neanderthals using dogs. I told you there was a Ribbon Tin in my Inbox!

IMG_4832And finally, Cheryl Crosbie of Granite Haven informs me that a new yarn shop has popped up at 21 Virginia Street, Mornington called Knitalpaca. Open Tuesday to Saturday 10 am till 4pm, it is the home of bespoke, independent yarns by three breed specific yarn farmers. You will find alpaca, mohair, Gotland and llama fibre products there, direct from the farmer.

The Ribbon Tin is a both real place and a metaphor, inextricably intertwined in the most pleasurable and intriguing of ways. Together, we all fill the Ribbon Tin with bits and bobs, odds and sods. I hope you have enjoyed the rummage.