The return of an old friend



 Hot air gun
Hot air gun – deliberately dull picture of a fabulous thing!

Anyone in the Bristol area, and possibly the South West  of England yesterday at around 3.30 pm will have heard an almighty shout of joy from the vicinity of  my workroom, because finally, finally, finally I have found my heat gun.  I found it, of course, as I was looking for something else – my bondaweb (fusible webbing), which, naturally, I didn’t find.  But I didn’t care.  I haven’t been able to find it since about this time last year when I used it to put embossing powder on Christmas gift tags.  So a whole year without it.  Actually, this may have been a good thing, because it has meant that I could not rely on what became a bit of a cliche for me – melted sheers.  I have had to do other things, and I think that this  has made me expand my repertoire of techniques,  but I could not resist using it, and very soon the death quilt was liberally sprinkled with melted polyester voile.

I once went to a workshop with the wonderful Gwen Marston, which included a lengthy show and tell.  The woman I was sitting next to, whom I really liked, said out of the corner of her mouth, ‘I hope we aren’t going to see a lot of tortured fabrics’.  Well, I sat there knowing that my quilt which was coming up was full of tortured fabric – melted, shredded, slashed, burned and so on, to within an inch of its life.  I like the effect, but also, I use it to model the way I understand the research process – layer upon layer of holes and gaps and lacunae and soutures pretending to be one smooth, solid, robust surface.  This is something I want to write about at length in an academic journal when I get round to it.  The technique is the whole point of my work.  The medium and the message really are the same thing.  The method is the methodology, and so on.  And so, what a relief to get my old friend back, particularly in the year when I am pledged not to buy.









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