Friday, January 9, 2009

A textile Beggar's bowl as a What-if project

Well, I think the herald angels have now sung enough for this season and it's about time to go back to normal again ...

It's been lovely to spend the holidays with kids, friends and family - and now I'm equally enjoying getting back to work, taking part in your projects and sharing mine with you.

Reading 'Everyday Sacred' by Sue Bender lately inspired me trying out a textile variation on a Beggar's bowl - as a what-if project, raising the patched and quilted surface to a sculptural form, using textile media only, adding the scraps of fabric for decoration as I go.



I took a woolen cord, as you use it for weaving sturdy, woolen country carpets as I had this at hand, but I'm sure it would work in a similar way with bundled or plaited strings of rags. (An other alternative would be to crochet a basic bowl with rag string or fabric rope.)
I built up the bowl going circularly upwards, like a potter would do with strings of clay, me of course having to secure the straps with long pins and then attaching it with thread.

I kept the bowl quite small and flat for this first try - the flatness allowing me to twist the bowl inside out for easier application. I want to keep the patches and the quilting rather rough and raggy for this surface and am using odd scraps and black cotton thread.



The expression "Beggar's bowl" goes back to the tradition of Buddhist monks, who will accept whatever given in their bowl as nourishment for the day.

I think this is a wonderful allegory to a what-if project ...
(Please have a look at Renates What-if blog too - she's doing some other interesting what-iffing with raised textile surfaces.)

5 comments:

jude said...

this is great! i lie how you combined techniques so you could make the shape all curled like that first, and the beggars bowl concept is so perfect for the little scraps. i just found that other blog and was just adding it.... ha!

Paula Hewitt said...

I like it too. i like the idea of a beggars bowl accepting whatever fabric scraps you have to hand. glad to see you back! and thanks for the link.

Anneli/Bockfilz said...

Thank you girls! It's always a big pleasure to have your comments! Yes - the beggar's bowl concept really holds a deep truth for life.

yvette said...

so meaningful, making a beggers bowl, using beggerstuff!

ritarenata said...

wow