Material Witness will focus on extreme textile process. Images will be posted here showing the history of my work, new work, developing projects and inspiration.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I'm enthralled with ropes and rope making. Rope bridges, rope made from animal skins, twisted paper ropes, silk ropes.

I have rescued a rope that belonged to Tim's Grandfather from the back garden. It has been everywhere Tim and I have been for more than twenty years. It originally belonged to Tim's grandfather when he owned the livery business in Morecambe Bay in England. It was used to tie heavy loads for the horse drawn wagons. Tim's father swiped it from his father and used it for a lifetime. It had been with him in Africa before he moved to Canada. It survived the war in Britain. It tied up camping gear and heavy loads. A lifetime of usefulness. Tim "borrowed " it from his father and used it to pack up his first young family to find work in B.C. It tied up heavy loads and garden stuff and construction materials. We used it camping. It has always been tied neatly and hung on a hook in one basement or another.

It was sitting in the yard one day when Tim was sick and I was completely struck by it's preciousness. It glowed like spun gold in the sun like part of Rapunzel. I picked it up and hung it on the living room wall where I could touch it. It is heavy and has a rough hand quality to it. It is worn but still tight enough to use. It still has the smell of fields and horses, machinery, and the earth. It is a traceable cord between generations of hard working and practical men.


Deb said...

what an amazing story. straight to the point of why I prefer old "used" stuff, no matter what, to anything new.

material witness said...

Old stuff?
I have a collection of broken dolls,broken pottery, torn books, vintage clothing, antique furniture, etc. I live a repurposed life! I have a repurpose!