Melting Pot, 2012, 42(h) x 38(w) cm, natural British wool pre-felts, old lace curtain material, various wools, yarns , linen yarn, Mulberry silk teased into a slub yarn, viscose fibres, banana, jute, linen fibres and silk filament waste.One of the wonderful things about this project is the people who have been in touch, including artists and other creative disabled people who have heard about Shoddy. I’m pleased to feature the work of fibre artist Moira West on the blog. Her work fits in well with a number of the themes of Shoddy. Moira writes about a particular piece, Melting Pot.
The inspiration for this piece was from memories of a song from my youth, ‘Melting Pot’ by Blue Mink, the many textile mills and the wool trade which built my home city. Using hand hand made as a strong theme, joining with pathways, to represent how choice defines the paths we take through life – some straight and some not so straight, but ultimately made by us, together, as human beings.
‘Melting Pot’ represents a wide range of techniques – darning, dyeing, knitting, spinning, tatting, weaving, and my own medium – felting. Wool, and my bond with this and many natural fibres, has never been stronger. This piece includes many off cuts and scraps left over from earlier work or scavenged from friends. It has been felted to integrate all the materials into one strong stand alone piece. Its relevance, in light of the current migrant crisis, has never been so profound.
Born in Leeds and a Lincolnshire resident since 1989, I studied at De Montfort University and the Open College of the Arts and was awarded a first class honours degree in Creative Arts by Buckingham University. My practice straddles the boundary between fine art and craft, exploring ideas through making. My website news blog includes information and images of the making process. Details can be found in my ‘Singer Songwriter Series’.