Updated: Oct 1, 2020
Put the kettle on - let’s take five....
Hello! My name is Sarah and I am delighted to have started working with Amanda, relieving her of all things ‘administrative,’ including updating the website and writing this blog (which she will be dipping into, whenever she comes up for air)! A new project has Amanda working long into the night - she’s heading to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019. We will be posting updates and photos of our progress as we go along. I say ‘we’ because Amanda has asked me to do the planting for the stand, which is an honour indeed, if a little terrifying…
Just to introduce myself - I live in the same corner of the world as Amanda, on the edge of a beautiful forest through which Archie, my lovely bearded collie, and I walk daily, whatever the weather. I am so fortunate to be surrounded by all this natural beauty – I have always been an outdoor girl, retraining in horticulture in my 30’s. I’m passionate about plants and my garden but also art, literature, music (singing), writing, textiles and thread. Having dabbled in painting and drawing over the years, my own creative journey truly started in 2011 when I inherited my Mum’s sewing machine. Never having stitched before, I started quilting, which lead on to hand embroidery and free motion machine embroidery - my love of thread was born. So much still to learn!
We have called the blog ‘Interconnected Threads’, not only due to the obvious connection with Amanda’s work, but also because of the metaphorical meaning that these words hold. People’s lives can be seen as threads crisscrossing each other, sometimes never to be chanced upon again, but often interlacing to create an unbreakable bond. As I walk in the wood, I imagine the vast network of interconnected threads beneath my feet that are the tree roots, reaching out to communicate and support each other. Lichen and fungi need trees and plant material for their very survival, and similar symbiotic relationships are formed throughout the animal and plant kingdoms (a fascinating topic to be returned to another time!). Our platform for interconnectedness these days is the ‘web’ and social media, with our conversations being described as ‘threads’.Lines on a map, byways and highways, can be visualised as threads taking us on a journey through life, often in directions that we cannot foresee. It’s comforting to imagine these intangible threads guiding us on our way, just as Ariadne’s thread led Theseus through the maze.
Part of Amanda’s daily working process is her journey of exploration and research through the forest. Heading off with Frank, her boisterous black lab, she scours her surroundings for nature’s treasures to study, log and photograph. Everything she picks up is carefully explored in her hand – critical observation is an important part of translating what she sees into the making process. As she walks she is constantly making mental notes, mulling over and solving problems - walking is good for that. The fresh air, exercise and incredible views over the Surrey Hills work wonders for clearing the head, allowing the noise to disperse and the answers to slip in.
“I like to see the long line we each leave behind, and I sometimes imagine my whole life that way, as though each step was a stitch, as though I was a needle leaving a trail of thread that sewed together the world as I went by, crisscrossing others' paths, quilting it all together in some way that matters even though it can hardly be traced. A meandering line sutures together the world in some new way, as though walking was sewing and sewing was telling a story and that story was your life” Rebecca Solnit