Gathering materials, stepping out of the comfort zone and exploring different drawing techniques, spending time in the woods, searching for the Oak, the Holly and the Hazel, have each brought a sense of understanding, knowing, direction and purpose to my project.
Methodical and repetitive tasks focus my thoughts, whether it is hand stripping bark from the collected hazel or threading a linen warp through the table loom, this week has led me to reach out for connections and take note of emerging ideas.
Emersing myself into the woodland in late May, early June when the leaves are in full bloom, an overwhelming feeling of shelter is felt - noticing the light rays piercing through, creating reflections and shadows on the woodland floor, and my paper as I sit at the foot of the great old Oak
Tracing the shadows of the hazel leaves as they are reflected onto my paper, out of focus but clearly distinguishable, I take a moment to appreciate all that is going on around me and give thanks to the trees for living, growing, providing.
This attention to shadows and reflection has led me to consider reflections in materiality. The wilderness of the wood has encouraged the desire to use natural materials; linen being of particular interest, its texture, heritage and natural hue.
I have begun to experent developing a linen cloth using a plain weave structure which allows light to filter through.
With a desire to merge the cloth and hazel together, I have started to explore ways of connection; initially weaving hazel rods through the warp to form a horizontal structure. Tonely, I think this process works well and there is opportunity to use this technique with bent hazel.
In addition, I am weaving a linen cloth of the same plain weave structure in the hope to apply it to an isolated hazel form.
These samples will be photographed with a light to capture the extent to which the light can filter through and create reflection.
I have also sent an email to Hilary Burns and Alison Dickens, both successful basketmakers in search of an opportunity to visit their workshops, understand their process and have guidance in the hazel weaving aspect of my design ideas.