Il Sangue delle Donne – the last phase

Over the past few days I have been in the raptor phase of my creative process. There’s always a period where I’ve done my research, tested some ideas, written in my sketchbook and I can feel that I need to start work. But it can be very difficult to break out of the circling overhead pattern and actually dive down into action.  And the resistance was even higher for this project because I had only one chance to get it right – there was only one vintage menstrual cloth and if I ruined it, it would stay ruined. Or I would have to start again, and I didn’t have the time luxury to do that.

So I dived in with my knife, and slit the fabric.

And once that was done, the spell was broken and I could work.

Stitching, adding ink, and going to the art shop for more ink because I had used so much on my samples!

This is a version of Sorbello stitch – a type of knotted cross stitch and probably my favourite stitch. It’s really versatile and can be piled up for lots of texture, used in a line or as individual scattered stitches. It occurred to me that an elongated sorbello stitch looked rather like an X chromosome, which pleased me a lot.  I was also glad to find I hadn’t forgotten how to stitch sutures.

Then making the final decision on which words to use, which threads to use for the text and how to balance it all.  And I ended up with a knotty problem to solve.  I didn’t want to stray too far from my initial idea because it felt right: yet it felt too obvious, and still only half the story. I’ll post the solution and the final work in my next post.