I was thinking about my plans for a vessel (a skep, actually) made of coiled scotch broom while I was out on my run this morning. And I was thinking about what to use for binding the coils. Sharon Kallis had suggested ivy, or blackberry, probably because the focus of the Urban Weavers Project is on using the extent of the local materials. But I was planning to use waxed linen... and why? because I like things to be easier than annoyingly short strands of ivy that are difficult to poke through and pull tight; and because I want it to be strong and... practical.
But what is this 'practical' concept I keep dredging up?
I realized that it's important to me that I take these objects seriously. Baskets are so mortal, so flesh-and-bone; handmade of simple, natural materials, with a human lifespan and their connection to sustenance, ceremony, necessity. I want them to be 'practical' in the sense that I could use them in real life. And since my life tends to be a bit rough and careless, these baskets need to be vigorous and strong. I think it's appropriate for me to make a concession to the purity of the materials, in order to fulfill the purpose of the object.
Ultimately, the purpose of almost all the objects that I make is to challenge my fear of living without modern materials, such as plastics, nylon, rare earths for wireless technology, the soap that washes my hair and the dams that produce the electricity to heat the hot water for my precious showers. To me, these materials make it possible for me to live in denial of my mortality; and I am as attached to them as I am