The Birmingham Scarf
This morning I reread the blog post from July when I’d just returned from Birmingham and had no Idea how I was going to deal with the tiles from the workshop.
A massive six months later I have an outcome.
Towards the end of the summer I started to construct the fired pieces into a garment. As my knitting skills are what you might describe as competent (at best) I have always be drawn to making things in straight lines. Hence, many of my relatives and friends own handmade scarves which, whilst vibrant and often finished with decorative tassels and frills, are actually quite rudimentary in their construction.
The Birmingham scarf is the first creative artefact which constitutes qualitative information gathering. This pseudo functional garment holds the conversations, frustrations and thoughts of a group of practitioners who were willing to share their experiences of how their domestic obligations interact with their creative practice. Of course the next stage is analysis of the information. I currently have a stack of books up to my chin on the desk. Social research, qualitative evaluation, demystifying postgraduate research. Just finding out the strategy for analysing the information I have seems like an insurmountable task.
If I can take one lesson only from the whole of this first year of my PhD studies, it’s that everything takes time and I MUST allow myself this. No short cuts or skimping. This goes against every force in my (somewhat inclined to the path of least resistance) body.
The scarf is a starting point. An idea which has the potential to become so many more. What if I make a ceramic skirt from the next workshop, or a cape, or a series of hats with ceramic bobbles? Ideas are self-perpetuating. Have one and that leads to ten more. It’s keeping focus and control which is rather more challenging.