Thinking about the word caravanserai, has got me all enthused and suddenly I can see lots of ideas and ways of bringing those ideas to textile form. I must admit I was a bit blocked even though I was doing the Coral Variations, and got a wee bit on the panicky side as I really do have to make a lot of work for my exhibition next year.
Of course a big element of the caravanserai ambience would have been the drinking of tea- and indeed every where you go in Syria there is some method of brewing tea. Tea is also a hospitable activity - it is the means by which you talk to your neightbours and share the news and the stories. When I was in Damascus I thought long and hard about buying a Syrian teapot and decided against it, as I thought it somehow would not suit here and now, and of course now I am regretting it. I trawled through all my photos and found one of a window of an antique shop and voila lots of intersting shaped teapots. So these pieces will be the beginning of the exhibition- the sharing of a story over tea with my friends and neighbours and viewers. I will make a series of 64 ( well that is the current thinking- it may change depending how I go time wise). I made a lino cut of some of the interstingly shaped teapots, and then transferred it onto paper and lutradur to make this little textile piece- which measures 8 inches square. This is a prototype as I still want to play around a little with cutting away and texture, but it filled my day. Does it feel like an invitation to you?