(Dr.Darn except darning is only part of my craft - I also mend ceramics with gold, and repair paintings and frames).
I love to re-use and re-cycle. I see my work as "DEVOTIONAL ART", taking something that has been or is about to be discarded, and making it beautiful again. I work in fabrics, but also on paintings, prints and ceramics.
I have been exploring damage and repair in textiles since 2007., but working in this area for far longer than that, even doing a stint in MOMA in New York in the 1980's restoring Russian Icons.
Working with garments that belong to individuals as well as museum pieces, I have extensive experience with stories of damage, from small moth holes, animal damage, burns, and larger accidents with fire. I am engaged with the evidence of damage, and how repair draws attention to the places where garments and cloth wear down and grow thin, or have ceased to exist, and fall into holes.
In clothing, this is often to do with use and how the body moves. as evidenced in elbow patches and around coat collars. I explore the difficulties of mending other people’s clothes, the materials used for mending, and making damage visible. My tools are scissors, yarn and a sharp needle. I prefer not to hide the damage, but i can.
“Darning and mending are small acts of care, and paying attention.The mending is slow work to hold the damage in place.”
Whether a fabric, ceramic or painting my approach is the same. The mend is evidence of honouring the item. A signal that we have decided the piece is too precious to discard.