While playing at the top of our wilderness garden the children dug up a couple of lovely old glass apothecary bottles that were intact but full of soil.  They were very keen for me to wash them out so they could study their treasure and were intrigued by the wording on one ‘Not to be Taken – Poisonous’.  We left them to soak.


Knowing they wanted to take them into school the next day, I had another go with washing up liquid before I went to bed and was intrigued by the pattern made by the bubbles left inside.


The cellular form caught my imagination


and lead to this week’s quick creative experiment.  The little hints of aqua where the bubbles touched inspired my use of paints in soft water-like colours


For the stitched version I used a combination of plant-fibre papers I had not put together before.  As I cut away the layers the exposed colours excited me and I knew I’d found a new colourway for some spring lampshade designs.  It wasn’t until I went to photograph it that I realised the colours are very similar to those in my favourite mug which I use every day!


I’m enjoying this weekly challenge I set myself – it’s both satisfying and fun to make small experimental samples, without worrying about neatness, making mistakes, or the end result.  So often when making new work I bypass the experimentation and go from idea, to drawing, to stitched lampshade panel and then feel frustrated if it doesn’t quite work as the finished article I had pictured in my mind.  Often it is my enthusiasm to see my new idea brought to life that makes me impatient.

How about you?  Are you good at experimenting first before creating something?

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