To come up with an idea for submission, I contemplated the theme ebb and flow. In my mind ebb and flow refers to gentle movements. These gentle movements over time may lead to changes in how we perceive nature. Invariably I kept coming back to water, and the idea of the ebb and flow of the tide. As a biologist this reminded me of the amazing fossils which have been revealed because of the relentless motion of the tides. This natural process has revealed fossils which were hidden for vast tracts of time. The discovery of these artefacts has lead to a variety of scientific understandings. One of the most famous (and most common) fossils are those of the ammonite’s which lived 65-400 million years ago. So I tatted a representation of an ammonite ‘fossil’ using thread and beads.
I knew I wanted to use Marilee Rockley’s pattern (from her Craftsy class), but I wanted to make it slightly bigger to display as part of a scene. The threads I had of the correct colour was size 80. Making one in this size was quite small, and I incorporated it into the final piece, but it was too small to be the main feature. I needed some help.
At the next Melbourne tat and chat I was able to explain my idea to Lea, from Alenalea’s Tatting and she bravely took on the challenge of hand dying size 10 thread to match my sample fossils, and in particular lengths so I could wind the shuttles CTM (continuous thread method) without measuring or wasting thread. Within a week I had the thread in my hands. She had also made an extra sample in size 7 thread for me to test. Thanks Lea, you are a thread genius!
I ended up completing three tatted ammonites, and displayed them on a felt covered board. The layers of the felt represent the geological earth layers and the ocean. You can interact with the display to move the tide and ‘discover’ the small fossil. In this way I feel the piece invited people to be participate in the art experience. My piece was displayed with a few other fibre based objects. I will have to get a photo of the full display next week, as I forgot to take one on opening night.
I wonder, do you think of your craft as art?
Until next time, happy tatting