Friday, 3 January 2014

On the 10th Day of Christmas...

...this blogger gave to thee...
 ...ten bugs and beasties...
...nine feathered sculptures...
...eight reels of telly... shoes to choose from...
...six party dresses...
...five gold rings!..
...four fancy fish...
...three granulations...
...two bits of wood...
...and a calendar made of tea.

Todays' offering seems appropriate after spending most of the morning trying to design a pattern and afternoon hand stitching little felt birds to add to the window at work, as once the twelve days are over, I must remove all the Christmas bauble and take lights. And the festive season officially ends.

Thankfully, the majority of the window this year will be staying (I will post pictures once I've taken some better ones), including my silver birches and the sheep in their winter wear. I'm planning on using the tree as the base for the year. Make life a little easier.

Cute as my little birds are, the pale in comparison to the textile sculptures produced by the wonderful Mister Finch, another wonderful and incredibly talented British artist, who I feel shock, awe and jealous whenever I see his work.
Textile Hare in Embrace

Pieces for Anthropologie
 Inspired by nature - as so many artists I admire are - Mister Finch, who as no formal training in textile arts, just has an overwhelming love and desire to create hares and owls, moths and spiders, toadstools and caterpillars out of recycled fabric, carpeting and fake furs. His love of sewing came out of years of experimenting with other mediums and finding a love for it which is exuded from his work.
 Textile Moths
 Moths are supersized, the bodies shrouded in fur while their winds made of embroidered fabrics which mimic the beautiful texture you see on their winds when placed under a microscope.
 Engraved Beetle
Beetles, with their bodies and wing casings made of vintage silver spoon bowls, are engraved with poetry, quotes and saying: "What was said to the rose to make it open was said here in my chest." 
 Textile Bees made from Fax Fur
Bumblebees, who many thought should be incapable of flight because of their oversized bodies, Finch makes even larger. Covering them in fax fur and creating a been you would want to pet.

 Glass Stopper Spider
Spiders oversized abdomens are made of vintage glassware, but are no less delicate than their fear inducing relatives.

 Embroidered Moth
But even giant plate sized moths - an insect I don't particularly like in their tiny form, especially as they dive bomb you at night, and chew your good clothes - are staggeringly beautiful.
 Textile Bird Collection
Mister Finch is also unafraid to explore the life-cycle within his work, both of his subject and his materials. In museums, such as The National History Museum in Tring,  there are thousands of birds, preserved, catalogued, tagged and placed in lined drawers, housing a collection which accounts for ninety five percent of known species. So Finch has created his own ornithological collection, made of scrap fabric from discarded aprons, hotel curtains with their velvet surface worn away and threadbare wedding dresses, documenting their history in the birds form.

 Moth Making...
The fabrics have a history. And the birds and moths, take on their character, weather beaten and exhausted, but now given new life.

Soft Sculpture Snails 

Even garden pests are somehow made adorably acceptable.

"I've been making things all my life in some way.....its all I know and all I want to do." (Mister Finch)

That's the way I feel. I was seven when I knew I wanted to go to art school. When I was growing up, my big sister would have her head in a book, my little sister loved listening to music and me, I made things out of cardboard and paper, bits of fabric and thread...and layer after layer of glue. And that was before metal came into the picture. But maybe it's still not my medium, even though I love it.

As I write I'm even sitting on my bed, surrounded by sheets of felt, bits of thread and wadding, and despite the fact that it's nearly two, I'm still contemplating trying to stitch up another bird before I go to sleep.

I feel better when I make things. When my hands are busy and something appears from nothing, I'm happy.

"'s all I know and all I want to do."

Link | Mister Finch Website
Link | Mister Finch Blog
Link | Mister Finch Tumblr

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! Part eleven tomorrow...
Listening: Small Hands - Keaton Henson


David said...

11.58pm! You're sailing ever closer to the edge, Emily :)

Emily Boyd said...

Truth is I had to get on with birdies yesterday. I also found out at lunch a good friend of mine's mum had passed away over Christmas.

So I didn't really feel like blogging until later on, at which point I realised I hadn't edited any pictures together.

The later posts tend to get posted later anyway because (a) work starts back and life starts to slip back into the usual routine and (b) there are more images to sort out.

I'm not trying to make excuses, I should have them all ready at least a day before they post and have them go up at a minute past midnight, but I'm never that organised!


David said...

I'm very sorry to hear about your mum's friend. I hope you're okay.

And you have nothing to apologise for. I was only joking about the time because I remember on the 6th day you were celebrating that you posted with 11 minutes to spare :)

Also, I don't even have internet at home at the moment so I can't check your blog until the next day anyway :) Apparently there's a damaged cable somewhere under the North Sea. The joys of living on a small island!

I'd never be organised enough to do something like your blog. It must be so time consuming, especially now you've started back at work and are also working on a new window display. I wish there was another holiday in January. Actually, we have a very short holiday here at the end of the month because we like to dress up as vikings and burn galleys. Your little sister thinks we're pyromaniacs :)

Emily Boyd said...

Louise thinks I'm a pyromaniac too, so you're in fine company here.

I'm fine, it was my friends mum, not my mum's friend...sorry, poorly phrased it earlier. But I'm okay, it was a bit of a shock, but the worst bit is I don't quite know what to say to my friend. We've lost touch over the past couple of years - my fault, but I didn't think first contact would be for this reason.


No internet! Louise would go mad without internet I think...something to test on another day, but it's terrifyingly pathetic how reliant we're on it and we're at least on the mainland. I'd say hopefully they'll get it fixed soon for you, but given the weather we've been going through recently I think that might be wishful thinking. Blame storm front Emily that came through just before's always an Emily's fault ;-)

And don't worry, I knew you were joking, I just get annoyed at myself because I try to be get them out on time and ultimately just squeak through or very naughtily post date them.

Last nights I posted in such a rush to get out before midnight that I forgot to add all my links and had to go back and add them in.

See completely disorganised!

I want to blog more frequently, I've barely posted anything this year...last year!.. and I can totally see why it becomes a profession. It's time consuming and you have to be so careful what you write. One of the reasons I don't post more often is I get so paranoid that what I'm posting is boring or poorly written I don't post at all! Which is worst!

I tip my hat to those wonderful unpaid and hugely passionate bloggers who post all the time.

Thank you, David. For always stopping by and being sweet and leaving comments. I appreciate them, especially since most of the others are Louise calling me names :-P

Em x

David said...

I know how awkward it can be talking to friends you've lost touch with, but I really do hope you manage to talk to your friend soon. I think it's nice that you care so much about what you might say.

I'm so happy that you managed to do your '12 Days of Christmas'. I thought it was fantastic, I really did. It was so fun and interesting to read. You'd make an excellent teacher.

Storm Front Emily! I totally blame you for my lack of internet. It should be back by the 9th January though, so I'm not too mad at you :)

I'm glad I can still check your blog at work (some internet providers re-routed their customers through another line). I was secretly hoping that the 12th day would be music like last year. I promise I'll listen to them all when the internet is back at home. I feel too conspicious listening to music at work!

I really hope you post more this year, because you never come across as boring. The complete opposite in fact. You're so obviously a very interesting person. But I think I know exactly what you mean about being very self-conscious about your blog. And even if you don't post much throughout the year, I'll still keep an eye on your blog. At least say you'll do another 12 days for 2014/15 :)

Emily Boyd said...

Losing touch with friends is the story of my life. I don't really have any any more, through my own inability to use a phone, email or social network without freaking out.

Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed them and that I did my 12 Days as well, it meant I got to post some entries I'd been meaning too for months. And I wanted to teach, for a while. I wanted to teach jewellery and metalwork, I even got to do my residency during my Masters, and got too help the 3rd year jewellers, which I loved, but when I left uni, I didn't know what to do next. I still don't. I don't know how to move forward and make a career, make a living out of making things.

With both the friends and the making issue, it's mostly down to lack of confidence and deep seated insecurity.

And indeed the same goes for my blog.

But, I will try/intend to post more this year, and come hell or high water, I will post my 12 days for 2014/15.

I promise.

David said...

It sounds like university was a very nice time in your life. Do you ever think about going back?

David said...

I'm sorry my last message was so short, but I worry and I write and re-write my messages until my brain frazzles and I have no idea what to say. But just know that I do read and care about what you have to say, even though my replies are rubbish :)

Emily Boyd said...

Your replies aren't rubbish, short or long it's always lovely to hear from you.

Plus I know exactly what you mean about writing and re-writing messages until you frazzle and don't know what to say. And then don't post at all. I do that all the time.

I do think about going back to uni, I've spent a lot of time since I left contemplating whether I should go back and do my PhD or not. Still haven't made a decision.

One day I will work out what to do and hopefully still be young enough to enjoy it. I hate the idea of being stuck in the office at work the rest of my days.

What about you, have you been lucky enough to find your ideal job or are you still studying or working away at it?

David said...

Thanks Emily. That means a lot.

We do sound quite similar in some ways :)

I think maybe we're at kind of the same point in our lives too. I'm 27, still living with my parents, working in an office all day, staying home at night...

I'm afraid I don't know what my ideal job would be? University ended very badly for me, but I've had a few temporary admin jobs since then and things are a bit better now. It's okay and it's nice having a bit of money saved but like you, I don't want to be doing this all my life.

Do you work full time at your dad's opticians?

Emily Boyd said...

Yep. Sounds horribly familiar!

I'm only part time at the opticians, a couple of days a week, plus windows and overtime when needed. So yeah saving the money is nice, but I'm 28, living at home, working part time and it's 20:46 and I'm already in my pyjamas...

...the pyjama part doesn't bother me. Quite happy to be in my pyjamas :-)

That said. It would be nice to have my own place, a job doing something creative and someone in my life.

But I console myself that it will hopefully happen at some point in the future.

Can I ask what you did at uni? Just out of curiosity.

PS: My friend came into the practice today, she had a sore eye, so I got to tell her in person how sorry I was about her mum and that we should catch up. So just need to text her my new number now.

David said...

I'm sorry if this posts twice.

The pyjama part doesn't bother me either :)

It would be nice having all those things you said, even just the last one. But I like to think that anything could happen at any given moment :)

I feel very embarrassed saying what I did at university because I feel like I did nothing. I originally went there to study maths but it didn't work out.

But things have slowly been getting better these last 3 years. I started doing some voluntary work at an arts agency, and a year later got my first part-time job doing maternity cover in a small school office. And now I've got my first full-time job working in Child Protection. Passed my driving test too! At the fifth attempt. Small triumphs :)

Do you drive, Emily?

I'm so glad you got to talk to your friend in person. I'm sure it meant a lot to her. I feel very nervous about meeting up with people, no matter how much I want to, but it can be so nice just meeting up for a coffee and a chat with someone you like. I really hope you get to catch up with her soon.

Ps. Still no internet at home. I don't blame you though :)

Emily Boyd said...

It didn't post twice, you're okay and seeing you probably won't see this until next week, hope you had a nice weekend :)

The last one on that list, I agree, would be lovely on its own, but frankly I have never had any luck in that department. But I hold out hope and try not to think too hard about it.

That's nothing to be embarrassed about our choice in uni course not working out. It doesn't for everyone. God we're only about 17 when we decide what we want to go to uni to do and potentially what we want to do for the rest of our lives. How can you honestly know at that age?

That said, I knew it was art for me from about the age of 7. It was the only thing I was ever good at! But I always thought I'd go into graphics or textiles, jewellery never entered my mind. And as idyllic as it seems now, I know uni didn't always make me happy, in fact most of the time I was stressed, depressed and exhausted.

I seriously considered not going back after my third year, and the Masters...well, I was very lucky because the course leader knew I was interested, but I didn't apply. Then, she phoned me two weeks before it started and said there was a place and funding. It forced my hand, but again, while I wasn't always happy, I'm glad I did it.

I'm glad you're feeling better about things now and things will continue getting better. That's what the Beatles said anyway, so of course it is to be believed! :)

Congrats on the driving! And yes I drive, living where we do and commuting to uni it was kind of a necessity. I started late after I left school, while I was at college doing my folio, passed first time, the August before I started uni. Sad to say, but I actually miss commuting!

In fact I had to renew my photo license this summer, so that's ten years of driving!!

Which means ten years since uni started!

I'm gonna go rock in a corner for a moment if that's okay?

.......okay, back now.

I feel the same about people.

I actually am fine when I bump into someone I know, I don't have time to be anxious. But I get so nervous when I have to make first contact or time to think. I put it off...and off...and off...until the point where it's been so long that it feels impossible.

Plus, people don't really understand that it's not you being lazy or unfriendly, it's actually not being well.

Brains are stupid. I'd throw rocks at them if they weren't so damn important!

David said...

Hi Emily,

I've actually come into work today because I'm worried about falling behind! And it's quiet, which I like.

But I am having a nice weekend, thanks. I hope you are too :)

I think we could all do with more people like your course leader in our lives to give us a bit more confidence. She must have thought a lot of you. And clearly she was right :)

You obviously went through a lot at uni to get what you wanted. But you won! A first class honours degree and a Masters! I know it seems silly to feel proud of someone I've never met, but I can't help it :)

And I don't for a second believe that art was the only thing you were ever any good at :)

I hope you don't mind me asking when it was that you knew you wanted to go into jewellery?

The one good thing that came out of uni was that it was the first time in my life I felt like being creative. I spent a lot of time writing in my spare time, then tearing it up because I thought it was terrible! And it seems unbelievable now, but uni was the first time I bought an album - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Getting so much better all the time :)

I don't know if passing a driving test 5th time deserves congratulations, but thanks all the same :)

10 years of driving and 10 years since uni started! That deserves a momentary rock out if anything does :) I've only been driving a little over a year. I've often thought it must be nice being able to drive somewhere different, like to a city, if you feel like you need to escape for a little while.

It seems like I always have time to be anxious when it comes to seeing people :) I did ask someone out to lunch for the first time the other day. And I was so nervous, even though it was by email. And I've spent the last few days worrying about how it will go. But at the same time, I'm so glad I asked because it's a friend who's moving away and I really am going to miss her. I know that this doesn't make any difference, but I really do want to wish you good luck with your friend because I know how difficult it can be.

Ps. Your brain also makes a fantastic blog, so please don't throw rocks at it :)

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