Helen Clara Hemsley talks about Found on the Floor
You know the story: The old hippie teacher and the bling-fixated teenagers who do not really understand why I made a piece of jewellery with the function of organizing needles!
Which considerations/thoughts underlie this piece?
I teach at the jewellery and textile department in a school of production. My students love to make bracelets. They tie up/knot one bracelet after another, cutting of the strings as they go along. But they forget that their teacher is obsessed with sustainability, and that I would like to see the remnants be put into use as well. So everyday I collect all the remnants. We have just been working on a big sewing project, and suddenly it was not just pieces of string I found on the floor. A bunch of sewing needles lay glimmering on the floor – an irresistible sight for a recycle maniac like me! That is essentially how I became inspired to create a piece of jewellery out of scraps. It seemed so obvious to me that I had to make a pincushion! I have always loved old-fashioned pincushions, and I know a good embroidery technique, so I simply started embroidering. Of course I was limited in my choice of colours, as well as in the amount of string available, and this has meant a great deal for the construction of the two different parts that constitute the cushion. I decided to make a ring instead of a bracelet, since I really like this "bling bling" effect in a ring. Bling bling combined with a more old-fashioned expression really fits the "balance" that dominates the workshop in the school of production. You know the story: The old hippie teacher and the bling-fixated teenagers who do not really understand why I made a piece of jewellery with the function of organizing needles! But actually, ever since I began making the piece, I have found less scraps of string on the floor!
How can one perceive this piece in relation to your other work?
In relation to materials, technique, concept and aesthetics, Found on the Floor fits perfect with my other work. I often work with storytelling and sustainability, and I often make jewellery from recycled materials or ready-mades. I almost exclusively use this embroidery technique (which I developed during final examination). But actually, Found on the Floor is the first piece made this way, as well as being three-dimensional (my jewellery pieces are usually very flat in their structure!) The ring is simple, but colourful, as well as elegant, but "street". These are qualities that you will always find in my jewellery designs, as well as another little detail that I particularly like: Due to the fact that it is both a pincushion and a ring, the piece combines functionality and decoration.
Physically, it was hard work to make Found on the Floor, and it resulted in bleeding fingers and a broken sewing needle. I was exhausted, but also very happy when I made the last stitch, and when I finally finished, it felt as if I had climbed a mountain!
Which materials and/or techniques have you been using?
Embroidery cloth, thread for knotting, cotton filling, pins and a plastic ring. Embroidery and sewing.
|Title:||Found on the Floor|
|Material:||6,2 x 8 x 4,5 xcm|
|Dimensions:||6,2 × 8 × 4,5 cm|
|Place of purchase:||Det Unikke Danske Smykke. 8. juni – 30. august 2013, Kunstetagerne, St. Torv, 9500 Hobro|