27.8.09

Checkmate

It´s quite hot...
While sometimes dealing with something very
light
promises relief, at the moment something
small and dense seems to do...













... inspired by a photo of a 1923-Bauhaus-chess set

25.8.09

Back protector

Here´s a quilt I´m making from leftover scraps
and white bedlinen:













I´m quilting it in 120 x 30 cm sections (can´t handle
bigger pieces...)













... and I´m going to use just simple white
cotton thread for quilting, adding some poetry
on plane areas as I go - or stitching little
figures like this one...













... which I found in a book "Make your own Japanese
Clothes" - to be embroidered on the back of a garment
as Semori or back protector - this one is
supposed to be an oarsman (there are fans, pine needles,
pine boughs, a crane and other things, too)...














And here the last fleamarket button booty - peeping out
above in a corner - in full splendour. Acquired as usual
by cycling to the Straße des 17. Juni-fleamarket,
sprinting/jostling straight to the button stall, selecting
1 or 2 surprise packs for 2 to 3 €, sprinting/jostling out
of there...
I´m rather pleased with them, excellent colour choice
(not mine, the person´s who packed them - can´t see them
too clearly through the plastic wrapping...)

23.8.09

A little big nosed guy/Gallery of failures














Am I in a hurry? Not really...
When taking photos, though, it happens a
lot that I move away too quickly and catch
some ghostly shapes. Here are a few recent ones...
















































"Like a fading piece of cloth
I am a failure

No longer do I cover tables filled with food and laughter
My seams are frayed my hems falling my strength no longer able
To hold the hot and cold

I wish for those first days
When just woven I could keep water
From seeping through
Repelled stains with the tightness of my weave
Dazzled the sunlight with my
Reflection

I grow old though pleased with my memories
The tasks I can no longer complete
Are balanced by the love of the tasks gone past

I offer no apology only
this plea:

When I am frayed and strained and drizzle at the end
Please someone cut a square and put me in a quilt
That I might keep some child warm

And some old person with no one else to talk to
Will hear my whispers

And cuddle
near"

(Nikki Giovanni: Quilts)

21.8.09

So much to say...

























A small "journey cloth". It´s about being
stuck in this city...
The words Seen and Sucht can have quite a
bundle of meanings - together they´re a variation
of the German word Sehnsucht = longing -
Seen alone means seas/lakes, and Sucht
mania/addiction. But sucht also is third person
singular of suchen = search, so one can read it as
part of a sentence, too (wenn sie Seen sucht =
when she searches for lakes)...
By far not as sophisticated as it sounds, though -
the words just emerged...


"What surprised me most my first few days walking
around the city? The most obvious thing - the
cell phones. (...) I remembered a New York when the
only people walking up Broadway seemingly talking
to themselves were crazy. What had happened in
these ten years for there suddenly to be so much
to say - so much so pressing that it couldn´t wait
to be said? Everywhere I walked, somebody was
approaching me talking on a phone and someone was
behind me talking on a phone. Inside the cars,
the drivers were on the phone. When I took a
taxi, the cabbie was on the phone. For one
who frequently went without talking to anyone
for days at a time, I had to wonder what that
had previously held them up had collapsed in
people to make incessant talking into a
telephone preferable to walking about under
no one´s surveillance, momentarily solitary,
assimilating the streets through one´s animal
senses and thinking the myriad thoughts the
activities of the city inspire. For me it
made the streets appear comic and the people
ridiculous. And yet it seemed like a tragedy,
too. To eradicate the experience of separation
must inevitably have a dramatic effect. What
will the consequence be? You know you can
reach the other person anytime, and if you can´t,
you get impatient - impatient and angry like
a little stupid god. I understood that background
silence had long been abolished from restaurants,
elevators, and ballparks, but that the immense
loneliness of human beings should produce this
boundless longing to be heard, and the accompanying
disregard for being overheard - well, having lived
largely in the era of the telephone booth, whose
substantial folding doors could be tightly pulled
shut, I was impressed by the conspicuousness of
it all and found myself entertaining the idea
for a story in which Manhattan has turned into
a sinister collectivity where everyone is spying
on everyone else, everyone being tracked by the
person at the other end of his or her phone,
even though, incessantly dialing one another
from whereever they like in the great out of
doors, the telephoners believe themselves to
be experiencing the maximum freedom. (...)
I did not see how anyone could believe he
was continuing to live a human existence by
walking about talking into a phone for half
his waking life..."

(Philip Roth: Exit Ghost)

Uff - that had to be said...
Read Berlin instead of New York, and Kurfürstendamm
instead of Broadway, and you know how I feel...

19.8.09

Creature-oho-lism

Yes, okay - I can´t stop it...
But there´s worse (booze! gambling! workoholism!!!)





17.8.09

Shadows of my hands

Worked on a corner of Hands of Time
over the weekend...




































"When I fall asleep
my hands leave me.

They pick up pens
and draw creatures
with five feathers
on each wing.

The creatures multiply.
They say: "We are large
like your father's
hands."

They say: "We have
your mother's
knuckles."

I speak to them:
"If you are hands,
why don't you
touch?"

And the wings beat
the air, clapping.
They fly

high above elbows
and wrists.
They open windows
and leave

rooms.
They perch in treetops
and hide under bushes
biting

their nails. "Hands,"
I call them.
But it is fall

and all creatures
with wings
prepare to fly
South.


When I sleep
the shadows of my hands
come to me.

They are softer than feathers
and warm as creatures
who have been close
to the sun.

They say: "We are the giver,"
and tell of oranges
growing on trees.

They say: "We are the vessel,"
and tell of journeys
through water.

They say: "We are the cup."

And I stir in my sleep.
Hands pull triggers
and cut
trees. But

the shadows of my hands
tuck their heads
under wings
waiting
for morning,

when I will wake
braiding

three strands of hair
into one."

(Siv Cedering: Hands)

14.8.09

I´m the wild (wo)man from Borneo-o-o













I had been at a loss for a while how to continue
with Hands of Time...













... then I came upon an article about the mysterious
hands of Borneo - they are in caves there, and supposed
to be more than 10 000 years old, archeologists think
they were part of shamanistic rituals...













... there are 57 different hand patterns...













... so I traced my own left hand with pen and
pastel dye sticks...













... some more hands (henna-dyed, these are, belonging
to girls in a Koran school in Bangladesh...

12.8.09

Monsters take shape in passing













Have been writing (lines from poems I recently featured
here) with black marker on white cotton, then tea-dyed it...
























I like how the writing slightly rubbed off,
creating some kind of echo words...













Now I´m cutting and re-arranging it...


"Aus schwarzem Wasser
ein paar Funken. Ungeheuer
nehmen Gestalt an im Vorübergehen
schreiten als Funktürme
ferne dahin. Ich bin allein
im Gespräch mit den Bäumen
über verlorene Menschen:
Was sind das für monologische Zeiten!
Ehe ich mich umdrehen kann
erlischt hinter meinem Rücken
die Stadt. Stümpfe
bleiben zurück die am Morgen
völlig wächsen aussehen.
An die ich nicht mehr
die Gedanken zu legen wage
saumselig durchstandener Sehnsucht
wegen."

(Günter Kunert: Abend am Lietzensee/
Evening at Lietzensee)

Out of black water
some sparks. Monsters
take shape in passing
walk, as radio towers,
along in the distance. I am alone
in conversation with the trees
about lost ones:
How soliloquizing these times are!
Before I can turn around
behind my back
the city is extinguished.
Stumps remain, looking
very waxen in the morning.
To which I don´t dare
apply thoughts any more
by reason of negligently
seen through yearning.


The Lietzensee is just around the corner
from here (wished I could be there "alone
in conversations with the trees", though...)
In the background you can see the radio tower
mentioned in the poem.

10.8.09

A creature a day keeps the doctor away...




























































Have been making one cloth creature a day since
thursday...

"Man is the only creature that refuses
to be what it is."

(Albert Camus)

6.8.09

5.8.09

Long-range

Bought some pastel dye sticks (encouraged by a
special offer: 15 for the price of 7) and liked
them immediately - great for crossing the border
between painting and stitching...
A first result (it makes me think of ponds...)













... and a sketch (preparing for the times to
come when all of a sudden leaves want to make
an appearance on every piece of cloth one touches...)


3.8.09

A mummy

Have been doing some What-iffing over the weekend -
and if that isn´t a very fine coincidence with # 155...













Starting with a pair of buttonhole-eyelets from a
shirt cuff (can´t resist them...) I thought:
What if I make a relief face - 1.5-D, sort of...