The Artist
One of the most enjoyable things about being an artists is passing on your knowledge, and particularly so being a textile artist. My ‘job’ takes me out an about across the UK to see people who live in tiny communities to large urban sprawls, non of which prepares me for the welcome I receive. I have a first degree in fine art but always with a practicing interest in cloth and thread, or more recently cutting edge technology and industrial processes. And this is where the dilemma lies. The most exciting work being produced belies the fact that the enabling process is hampered by lack of access to equipment and other facilities. My workshops are based around the purpose of bridging this gap, developing techniques that require only small scale equipment but used in combination with cutting edge fabrics, such as the recently introduced spunbonded synthetic fabrics. We are only scratching the surface as new technologies become more common place on our desktops. Don’t misunderstand me, the past is important, not least as a repository of all the knowledge learned as applied to traditional materials and techniques. This knowledge can be used to continue to uphold tradition or fused with the new to reinvent and create a new knowledgebase. No learning is ever wasted. When I go out and about to deliver a workshop, I always try to remind everyone that part of the knowledge required for any particular workshop that I teach, has probably already been acquired and just needs to be transferred 9or translated) into the present. I have done many different things in my life, mostly enjoyable, but nearly always useful. And the acquisition of knowledge is never wasted. And what is Sir Francis Bacon often attributed as saying? ‘Ipsa scientia potestas est‘, or Knowledge is power.