|Brown paper templates|
Hitting a creative wall is common for many artists. When this happened to Ali Ferguson with her glove piece she initially appealed to the general public for help asking for their personal memories around glove wearing (as mentioned in a previous post here) but what also helped was a change in her choice of fabrics. By experimenting with a different material, brown paper, the fog began to clear. Watch now as not one, but three, stories unfold from her fingertips...
"I knew from the beginning that I would be telling more than one 'Glove Story' so I started gathering. This presented a huge challenge because I found a couple of wonderful 'real' stories and from then on anything that I came up with for Daphne just felt really contrived. Also my two other stories involved beautiful kid leather gloves and Daphne's was nylon - made in Hong Kong. This had me quite stumped for a while until I decided to stop thinking and just start making!
My lightbulb moment came after I had taken apart my small collection of gloves and made patterns from them on brown paper. I loved the lines and the shapes especially when they were laid out flat on my table. As soon as I made the decision not to use the gloves themselves but to use them as templates things started to click into place.
I decided to go with three glove shapes (seen below), three stories and they would be presented in three wooden drawers."
Here's story number one, 'Simmie's Glove'.
This story came to me through a Facebook appeal for stories. A tale of the respondent's grandmother who had escaped from a fire on board a ship. Her hands were prevented from burning on the metal ladder as she fled into the lifeboat by her long kid evening gloves. Her hands were unharmed but the palms of her gloves with singed with the heat. Copies of the newspaper article reporting the event, a letter in Simmie's own handwriting and the story in the words and handwriting of her granddaughter arrived through the post and I was able to begin work.
"The glove is cut from tissuetex paper coloured with walnut ink. I printed different pieces of text onto tissuetex and layered these onto it."
This was applied to calico and I started stitching some of the handwritten text. I then cut the glove from the calico and began the process of applying it into my drawer."
"It's been such an exciting day today - my first glove has now been stitched into the base of it's drawer. The first story is taking shape!"