ATV assignment 5 – My capsule collection – Reflection

My capsule collection is connected obviously by the subject matter – nettles, and less so by a feeling of poignancy; my chambers app defines it thus-

poignant /poinˈyənt, -ənt/

adjective-Touching, moving, exciting pathos,Stinging, pricking,Sharp,Acutely painful,Penetrating,Pungent,Piquant

ORIGIN: OFr poignant, prp of poindre, from L pungere to sting

poignˈancy noun

poignˈantly adverb

My empathic feelings towards the unwanted seeping into my ideas.

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I’m pleased with this,  especially the little flowers which are all similar( materials) but different (technique). I think that couching the nettle stem in the stem worked well, however I have a concern that overall it may look a little bit 70s. I had considered a white and dark background but they felt too stark, that the grey fabric was an unwanted offcut seemed pertinent .


When experimenting with cyanotypes I mainly played with whole nettles on larger cloth, however my early samples were smaller sections and I liked the way they overlapped. For this piece I stitched together some different weights of fabric, linen, cotton , silk. I used to warp and weft threads, some still attached to the fabric to anchor them to the base fabric. In my experiments I made some tiny silver stitches for nettle stings and these need to be added when my fine motor skills are back.


I’ feel very awkwardly about this piece. Hannah Lamb and Cas Holmes among many other artists use whole garments in their work, so I felt that it would be a suitable area to experiment with. The little frock was from the local Help the Aged charity shop, I have no idea of its history, the pattern is very similar to some of my prints of nettle flowers, cyanotyping it with nettles was a challenge, and then it looked too forlorn, too much like the forgotten children of the world, and I wondered at my place to use such imagery, it seems rude and gratuitous, is it using pain for my gain? Clearly a big question that I can not yet answer.But part of my journey non the less. As a piece of textile work I think that I could incorporate some stitchwork into the base fabric similar to the print on the dress, to tie them together more than just the cyanotype.


This Cas Holmes inspired piece is more auto biographical, my nettle moments. On a base of a muslin napkin ( my comfort blanket as a small child was a clean one of these with toothpaste on the corner!) The fabrics are part of my journey. Working on this really made me appreciate the work of Cas Holmes and Anne Kelly, colour placement, composition, layering, stitch detail, I enjoyed playing with this, though I tried lots of permutations before settling on this, there are so many more. This feels like a base layer that I could build on .


My experiments with eco printing got better and I’m amazed at the detail and colour in this piece. To be honest I was really running out of time and I have a hand injury that is preventing any detailed hand stitching, even so I feel that to do this justice needs weeks of consideration. I will produce an Alice Fox inspired piece as I love the delicate balance of her work. Her approach is very much of the slow stitch movement and not to be rushed.








2 thoughts on “ATV assignment 5 – My capsule collection – Reflection”

  1. Lovely work Linda! The piece with the dress really stands out or me. Whilst viewing it I too started to think about unwanted children, and then I began making up a possible narrative in my mind about the unknown little girl who once owned this dress. A very moving piece of textile art.

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