Thursday, 23 March 2017

HEATHER


This unexpected blog will be the realization of a life dream for me. Since my childhood, I was a passionate drawer and embroiderer. And I wanted to combine them, that means to make a whole of nature and culture, because finally, they belong together. Don’t they?
One of my favourite flowers has always been the heather. I remember it from trips to the Ardennes in late summer, I still see the snow heather shives in the fresh wind high up in the Alps and the soft nestle of the bell heather in the marshy grounds of the Venn in the Eifel. By the way, the common heather has the name of many German girls in my generation: it is called Erika.
So I drew the Erika, the bell heather and the snow heather. Then I tried to really translate the drawings in embroidery. I did it with cross and stalk stitch and finally with ʺneedle paintingʺ technique. – The Erika n cross stitch comes from the Danish tradition, whose outstanding artist is Gerda Bengtsson who started as a painter and a weaver. Already a long time ago I had brought a little kit from Eva Rosenstand’s in Copenhague.
- The napkin with the bouquets was realized with rests of threads I had in my work-basket. The cloth was saved from a sale where it risked to be sold as a job lot. When I worked it, I left the stitching a moment outside in the sun, and when I come back, bees were humming around the flowers seeking honey. That was such a happiness.
- The bell heather with the honey combs are a souvenir from an excursion to the ʺLüneburger Heideʺ in Germany. This is a wonderful landscape full of mystery and the stitching made me see still for a certain time the flat land with the genever, the horses, the famous sheep who hide away, and, above all, the rosy heather grass-hand stretching nearly into eternity.
By the way, this little text encourages me to the future study of Gerda Bengtsson’s book and to enter thus in a wider world of botany, design and embroidery – which means happiness.
Mariette.



Sunday, 19 February 2017

Introduction

LE FIL ROUGE DE MARIETTE

Means: ʺMariette’s Red Threadʺ…
But for my future blog I have the title in French, because to me it sounds so nice. It was also in French that our history teacher told us the true story of ʺthe red threadʺ, which passed through the sails of the British sailing vessels on the Oceans. It was woven in a specific way, so that it could be torn out or otherwise removed.
Even the smallest piece of fabric was marked by the red thread, which ment that it was the belonging of the king.  Today it would be an anti-theft chip.
By extension the red thread stands for the events and stepping stones making a person’s course of life.
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As an after-war child with no entertainment but a lot of imagination (1943) I built castles in the wonderful sand of my grandparents’ garden and talked to the hudge toad sitting under its rhubarb leaf. My grandfather was the school teacher for 8 classes and a passionate botanist and-yes, this I may say – a really scientific bee-keeper. Of course, this was a paradise for a child and plants and flowers became the first interest and passion of my life. I learned their names plus a lot about their souls (sic). One of the rare toys children owned at that time was a box with coloured pencils. On rainy days I had ʺextra painting shiftsʺ, as my father said. One of my first professional goals was that of a naturalist, painting flowers ʺthe way they really lookedʺ. So, one day I saw my grandmother sitting next to the window, embroidering with a red thread on a white cloth. I was amazed: granny painted with a thread! This I wanted to learn too! I insisted and insisted until finally, after a lot of exercise, I was able to be a little embroiderers at the age of five. My first master-piece was an apple with a big, red cheek.
Then, with another red woolen thread, I learnt how to knit, my great-grandmother taking me between her knees and guiding my hands from behind. Soon the little toy donkey, made of flowry apron cloth and filled with straw, was the proud owner of a red blanket.
Thus, my own red thread led me through school, the world of the airport and the office of readers and proof-readers in the edition house.
As a young girl my parents did not allow me to become a professional designer and embroiderer. But my threads and pencils accompanied me ever since through happiness and kept me in balance when I counted threads through tears.
Now I think that after all my parents were right, because I did not need my art to earn a living and so I was marvelously free. Now, professional experience is a great part of lifelong apprentice ship.

So, when my young friends Simona and Emanuel convinced me for the elaboration of a personal blog, I remembered the red thread of the British Navy and the one of my life. I realized that English has smell of sea and heaven, it is the language of sailors, pilots and astronauts, opening new horizons. I decided: ʺThough German is my favourite language, English will be the one of the blog and with this I am ready for a new take-off to new thrilling adventuresʺ.