Whenever I’m on a long car journey my thoughts turn to design, driving down the M6, seeing the Howgills, or driving over the Pennines I think about textures and subtle hues inspired by the landscape. I’ve done this journey a lot lately, this inspiration has had time to develop, I’ve intended blogging about it for ages, yesterday I was finally spurred into action.
I was looking in my wardrobe a few days ago and hanging at the back was a dry cleaning bag, when I looked inside there was my Harris tweed skirt made by my mother for me when I was in my 20’s. I love that skirt, it’s one of a few items of clothing I have kept that were made by my mum. I had to get it out of the bag, it is charcoal grey herringbone, I needed to feel it’s texture, and smell it, conjuring up lots of memories. I used to design knitwear and nothing has the feel, the hues, or the wear of natural fibres.
I was wearing tweed long before Vivian Westwood made it a fashion statement. Now I’d look more Miss Marple than Madonna. I had several tweed skirts, pencil slim, mid calf with kick pleats, or a split centre back or front were my favourite styles, worn with leather boots, and one of my sweaters, sometimes teamed with a wide leather belt to bring in the waist, and my favourite saddle bag style handbag. Most of my tweed skirts were tight, straight, and hip hugging, but I also had a couple of bias cut flared ones, I remember one in particular, Donegal tweed with interesting slubs and textures.
So with this on my mind I set to work playing with copper enamelling techniques, landscape and tweed inspired. In my mind the two are becoming inextricably linked. It’s now in vogue to think of good food this way, it comes from land to table, and tweed comes from the land via the animal into our clothing, now my new range of jewellery, from landscape to tweedy textures, using enamel on copper.
So after a day’s work enamelling I turned to Twitter to see what everyone else was talking about in the craft world, imagine my amazement to read someone else was talking about tweed and the landscape. Craft Blog UK has written a great blog post called “Harris tweed- from land to street”. It’s a great article, there is a video about a book of the same title by Lara Platman
Now my mind has turned to cutting copper, forming, etching and enamelling and combining with sterling silver, or planished copper. I wish the postman would arrive with my drill bits so I can continue on my journey.