The brief for the rust dyed fabric was to stitch into the surface of the fabric, remembering to let the fabric do the talking. Often I have found myself in the stitchbook imposing myself on the material with some pre-conceived ideas. This time I wanted the fabric and the rust marks to really speak to me.
The piece will be stitched onto a calico page , so my first thought was to find a backing fabric which complemented the rust dyed fabric. I had a piece of black denim left over from my single attempt to make dungarees for a grandson which did the trick. I frayed it a bit and trapped the pulled threads with some fabric and netting left over from the Texture box.
I choose some floss to stitch with.
I began to stitch with simple running stitch around the marks. I loved the negative space which I hadn’t noticed before.
As I stitched up the fabric I noticed that the rusty screws from our garage had left not vertical lines like the nails but horizontal ones, my stitching changed direction.
As I looked at my piece I began to think that the fabric looked like an industrial landscape,one that had been abandoned, left to rust and decay.
Big Pit in Wales- now a museum, once a thriving pit. I thought of the lost lives, the unfinished working lives, the forgotten dreams and aspirations, the broken communities.
All in tatters. I added the off cuts from the rust dyed fabric, and some gathers.
If we forget the past , we will repeat the mistakes, remembering the past is the key to the future.
When to stop stitching , when is a piece finished? I don’t know if more stitches would be good or bad , so I stopped, just as the miners did at Big Pit. Unfinished? Maybe.
I call it Tattered Lives.