Client: Henry Foyle Trust, Forge Mill Museum
Location: Redditch, United Kingdom
Completion date: 2009
Artwork budget: $2,000
Forge Mill Museum
Casting The Line was a developmental piece that evolved from My Masters Degree entitled: Signatures Exchanged for Passwords completed in 2009 and was based on a love of handwritten letters.
The Charles Henry Foyle Trust Stitch Competition at Forge Mill Needle Museum England was an opportunity to create a piece of work to a space exploring the title, Freedom. I chose to use the water source and the artefacts associated with needle and fishing hook production at Forge Mill in the 19th century.
I use verse and rambling thoughts in my work, often using white and translucent threads on white or light backgrounds. Lighting is used to create ethereal qualities. The text is used to describe the meditative and quiet activities of both fishermen and embroiderers. The space allowed me to connect tools and materials that allowed a water and lace like quality incorporating a variety of textured embroidery threads, including glow-in-the-dark thread, beads and lead weights, fishing hooks and feathers. Nylon fishing line was a natural choice to create a net to catch the words.
Having visited the museum I wanted to create an installation piece that would fit into the museums cluttered interior and curators felt it was an opportunity to draw visitors to their existing exhibition.
To increase the scale and speed up my process I used the industrial Multi-head embroidery machine which was digitally programmed and stitched out from an enlarged drawing. This process gave me a hands-free ability to quickly change threads whenever I pleased. The work was embroidered onto water soluble fabric so on completion this stabilising fabric was washed out to reveal a lace like structure, containing captured words. The excess of horizontal threads were tied in rivers allowing to be placed in and around the artefacts and wrapped around the forge.