A Celtic Mystery

The story of the Bann Disc – (Dreaming In Stitches)

Dreaming In Stitches

A Slow Stitch Story…

It’s not every time I make a piece of stitched textile art that I could tell you for certain where the inspiration came from, often they seem to evolve from a process of stitching meditation, but that’s not the case with my latest work, this one definitely has a story…

In 1939 a small bronze disc decorated with exquisite spiral whorls, was discovered in the sand and gravel when the River Bann was being dredged near Loughan Island, Co. Derry. it was probably made by a Celtic metal worker in the first century AD and it was this, the Bann Disc which gave me my inspiration.

Who owned it, how it was used, and how it came to be in the river are all mysteries, but this one small artifact (it’s about 10.5 cm diameter) encapsulates everything enchanting for me about the Celts and especially their art.

The…

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A Day In The Life…

Dreaming In Stitches

There was a short series of programmes on the BBC a while back, called ‘What Do Artists Do All Day?’ Be honest, you wonder about it too don’t you...

The Discover group of artists will be staging an exhibition of our work in November and in preparation, we thought it would be a fun thing, to each describe a typical* day in our arty life.

So, here’s the answer to what this particular artist does all day…

Beginnings

Oh how delightful it would be to rise before dawn for an early mediation as the sun rises, to soak up the peace and quiet of a new day, write 3x A4 Morning Pages** to clear the mind and after 20 minutes of yoga, to eat a breakfast of mixed berries…

2015-10-05 11.57.07 My Grannie’s flat-iron, my mum’s enamel jug and my steam iron…

However, in the real world, I do get up…

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Rock, Water, Cloth…

My latest stitched-tapestry is finished! Here are the details from my blog, Dreaming In Stitches…

Dreaming In Stitches

Being a slow artist has its challenges – not the least of which, is how to blog about a ‘work in progress’. I quickly realised that a weekly update here on my stitched tapestries would end up more like a ‘spot the difference’ competition.

In recent months, I’ve gravitated towards Twitter and Instagram as the places to share occasional stitchy updates, where it feels more natural to post a simple picture as I settle down to stitch with the Delinquent Dog curled up alongside.

If you use these platforms, please do keep in touch that way – it’s always lovely to receive messages ‘in real time’.

But today is one of those special days – a day to share for the first time, a work no longer ‘in progress’, but finished! 

Very often I find it difficult to know where the inspiration for a particular piece comes from, but at least…

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Daily Practice…

2015-07-29 10.15.44

Followers on Instagram will be familiar with this view, but if you’re wondering why this particular oak tree, at the moment nestling behind a rather overgrown hedge of hornbeam and bracken, features on my Instagram feed so often, it’s because for the last couple of years, I’ve been taking a photograph every day – well almost – of the same tree.

It started in the winter, when I noticed the exquisite skeletal shape of its bare branches. I decided to record the seasonal changes of this one tree, watching every day for the subtle differences which the turn of the year brings about.

If you scroll back through my pictures on Instagram, you’ll be able to watch the tree go through these changes – in reverse!

This simple daily practice has taught me much more than simply how an oak tree alters through the course of a year. I’ve learned that the quality of light makes a huge difference to how we see the same view, I’ve learned to appreciate so many subtle changes in the flora of the lane, and I’ve learned that a habit really can be embedded.

But the most important thing I’ve learned, is that persistence delivers far more than you initially predict and a daily practice may start out with one purpose, but lead you to unimagined potential.