Thread and Thrum

Writers, faced with a blank piece of paper, often suffer from Writers’ Block.  If I am  struggling to find the starting point for a piece of Textile Art, I get Thread and Thrum.  The Welsh translation for this means more than just wools and yarns; it is an idiom which means ‘anything and everything’.  I do anything and everything except sew!  Buttons get sorted into jars, beads into boxes, threads into bags.  Eventually though, I’ll use my tried and tested techniques – a cup of coffee, a chocolate biscuit and – yes – a blank piece of paper!

It starts with a thread ...
It starts with a thread …

I have never been one to use sketchbooks to draw out my ideas.  I am more of a doodler than a draughtsperson.  On the other hand, the words of a poem or song can often start off my creative journey.  The Keeper of the River says ‘I am the River, I am its Course’ so I have taken this and some other phrases she uses and doodled around them.  Like a river, this is the course which will eventually lead me to produce a piece of Textile Art.

River Doodles
River Doodles

My plans for Textile Art don’t come about through using a sketchbook or even a scrapbook.  For me, what I call the book in which I store my ideas is as important as the ideas themselves.  So I have a journal and even when I can’t think of things to doodle or find pictures to stick in, I always manage to come across the words which will make me think or wonder or want to remember them.

Some Welsh words:

Thread and Thrum – Edau ac Eddi

Sketchbook – Llyfr Brasluniau

Textile Art – Celf Tecstilau

Starting Point – Man cychwyn

Doodler – Dwdliwr

Draughtsperson –Dyluniwr/Dylunwraig

Journal – Dyddlyfr

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