Something I read

This is and extract from the forward of a book where Jun’ichi Arai is talking about the work of Yoshiko Jinzenji.

Works of concentrated strength and seeming artlessness have a spirit of impromptu prayer that draws on the energy of nature.  Impromptu creations can come about only through such prayer.  There is no greater power on earth than that of prayer invested with the whole heart and mind and strength.  Such prayer is life itself.


I am really absorbed by the physical act of stitching at the moment. It’s that ‘tug’ between wanting to do it all the time but if you do then the piece will be completed. It’s like a book that you love reading but you don’t want to read it too much because you will finish it. I just need to keep on stitching – it may be an indication that I have a need to make a much..much..larger piece.

My (or Susi’s) lovely machine. The act of using this machine is such a pleasure. Everything does have to be ‘ just right’ for her to work perfectly and then she will perform for you. Every now and again the top thread tightens up ( not sure why yet) but rather than solving it, I am taking it as a ‘marker’ that shows physically on the cloth as evidence of the experience between the machine / stitch and maker. The mark is recorded on the cloth as part of the process; this is an indicator that the process of making is much more important to me than the finished piece and probably always has been. Hand stitching is about process. Much of machine stitching (not this little machine) is about the finished product. These little hiccups are a reminder that she is not like an electric machine and as such is a much better ‘tool’ for me. There is much written in the craft sphere where a sewing machine like this is still considered as a tool of hand work.

I am not sure this thinking fits into the PhD ethos, but I am sure this is the way I want to work and record my work.

New toy

This is my new play mate that my lovely friend Susi has unearthed from her collection of all things sewing. She is letting me borrow it for a while so that I can understand the stitch motion in relation to hand stitch.