Saturday, 12 June 2010

Day 162-166-A Spinner's Tools

The Spinner's Corner : On the upper left corner of the tribal home, a spinner stores her materials and tools. Occasionally , she sits here and spins. More often though, she will carry her tools on her shoulder to work outside with the other girls, be it  the spinning wheel or the simpler spindle and bowl.

It is no wonder that she prefers to work elsewhere, for this crammed, windowless space is  a mere 3 1/2" by 4" landing and rather poorly lit.  Despite the small  space, it has taken me 5 man days worth of work to complete making everything for my spinner.

I started preparations for the  "Embroiderers' Workroom" on the Vesak Day weekend, i.e. 28th May. The "Spinner's Corner"  is actually at the back part of that room.

I laid this little corner with a bamboo mat. You may remember from "Ingredients for the House" that it is an old coaster I picked from the trash. The bundle against the wall is the white cloth trimmings of the coaster which I did not have the heart to throw away.

This spinning wheel is the 1st spinner's tool to be done. It was not made by me. I just aged an existing piece I bought from Daiso. Chisel is a good friend when aging. This is my first "sun bleached" look. By now, I am fairly confident with "dark" aging, something like what I did for the door, using darker colours like brown and black but until this piece, I never had much success with "light" bleaching. This one is a compromise between the two, one I am fairly satisfied with but not before at least 100 layers of paint had been applied on it.

I nearly titled this post "A Spinner's Stool" because this stool took me so long to make. But I didn't use it because apart from sounding like something floating in a toilet bowl, I realised that almost a year ago, I already did a "Stools For Spinners" post. So I shifted the letters around and came up with "A Spinner's Tools".  

This stool was modelled after a real one that I bought from Pakistan almost 20  years ago. As you can see, it is hardly used which explains its almost pristine condition. But I didn't want perky and youthful,  I wanted age, stories, character.

This little thing and all of its  1 3/4" wide and 3/4" high frame took me a grand total of 3 days to make.  Divide that up and you can imagine the millimeters I progressed each day with this chair. I even weaved the seat with threads to make it look as much like my real one as possible. I used wooden beads and toothpick for the frame and while chiselling the tiny beads, I cut my left thumb. This stool will never be thrown away for it is generously stained with my blood.

May I now share a tip in miniaturising a convincing chair:  While you work, imagine how a homemade stool would not be perfect, how the seat sunk in after being sat on for 20 plus years, how the poor wooden frame is crooked from the weight it had to carry over the decades and how very old and dirty it must be after being handled roughly all those time. Either that, or spin a story around the chair after it is done according to how it turned out. I have to say though, this one is quite a bit better than the 3 I did, also in 3 days in  "Stools for the Spinners".

After the monumental task of making the stool, the rest was easy. In fact, I completed everything else in one day-yesterday, starting with this basket of spindles and 2 bowls. Inspired from a chapter in "Handmade In India" about hand-spinning wool, I thought these added a colourful touch to the otherwise somber corner. 

I hope you will enlarge the picture to read the article. It is very short but informative. I know I kept referring to this book but I truly think this book is an invaluable source of information about art and craft in India. 

The bowls in the book were made with apricot kernels (seed). I therefore used wooden bead for the inside, chiselled the hole till it is bigger and then encased it  with  seed husks from the palm oil  tree in my  garden, to simulate the kernel. 

This is a shot of the colourful corner. Thank goodness for this post, at least someone will notice my  "apricot kernel" bowls for the spindles.

The baskets were the last to be included. They were to be hung on the "thatched" walls of the room. I dyed each one a different brown with wood varnish I bought from Daiso. There's teak, mahogany, walnut, zelkonia (still trying to find out what in the world is that) and maple.

These baskets are used to hold all the materials for our spinners. Two of them hold flowers which can be used to dye the wool. 

I picked this poster for the embroidered saddle (see bottom right of the picture) which serve as an inspiration to our embroiderers. It is a vintage print from India that I downloaded from the net.

Lastly, the little broom and the only thing I like from some ebay junk I bought some time back. Our Banjaran girls are very proud home owners and you will find most tribal homes kept very clean even if all the other things around the house are falling apart. 

I need to make one more thing and I think  the  Embroiderer's Room will be complete.


Susanne said...

I love your work, Sans. I actually learned to hand spin many years ago and also made one for my dollshouse then. I wonder, where it is now.Its a little different from yours, it has a hook in one side of a stick and a cirkular wood piece in the other to make it go spinning round.
Love, Susanne

Sans! said...

Thank you so much Susanne! When I made the tiny spindles, I felt like I was spinning too! Of all the pieces that I made here, making those sticks of coloured spun wool was the most fun :). I think though if I had known how to hand spun, I would have been able to make the tools better. But it is amazing that the tribal women are able to spin just with the bowl and the spindle that look so easy to construct, they really looked like toothpicks!

Flor said...

Me gusta muchísimo!!! Cada cosa es genial. El banco una hermosura ( ;
Un beso

Merry Jingle said...

Wonderful work again :) I love how the house is evolving and your stories are just so great :) The small stool is fab (I always laugh about the word as in Switzerland it's a nice word for shit :D).

Have a great weekend, I hope I get something done today - I'm totally over tired, just came home from my daughters dressage competition...

Daydreamer said...

Sans, your tiny spinners corner is beautiful! That stool is a work of art with its age old feel.... I love the picture of it next to the 1:1 scale stool. And those spindles and baskets - I would not have thought to make the baskets different wood colors...It adds so much to the scene! I know what you mean about trying to achieve a bleached wood color is very difficult to get the right amount of grayish whiteish brownish golden color! Beautiful work!

The Old Maid said...

I love what you did with spinners corner! The stool is just great! I am not surprised it took so much time - somehow frames take me a lot of time too ;)

Katie said...

What a creative little corner! I love all the colors that are in here...they're all so earthy!

LOL...Zelkonia, huh?? That's a new one on me, too....


Ara said...

It's beautiful Sans! Just beautiful! I think you captured the details just right because I think it would take me a while to realize I wasn't looking at real life-sized room. And I don't think the spinners stool could be any more perfect. You are right - when thinking about older chairs you have to think about how they sink with time and where all the grime starts to build up. Love it! hugs, ara

Pubdoll said...

Great work on the spinners corner Sans, you always pay such attention to details! I love that you coloured each of the basket in different colours so they look like they're made of various types of wood. And like Katie, I love all the earthy colours.

You did a splendid job on the stool, I never would have had the patience to do that kind of work and the aging of the spinning wheel is great too. With the weathered look it looks very real. Love the poster you chose too, and with the handsome prince (?) sitting on the throne, I can see why the spinning woman would have it as an inspiration :-)

Glenda said...

Ah, Sans, you make me think of Ghandi and all things good!!
I got a real emotional buzz from this - thanks!! That's the very best a dollhouse can do for me!!

Flora said...

Sans, you're doing a wonderful job! This angle is very impressive, with attention to every detail. The little stool is so unusual and perfect ...
You are amazing :-)

Sans! said...

Flor!! :) Gracias por visitar mi blog y por las amables palabras maravillosamente.

Me encanta tu pasilla chille tanto, quiero hacer algunos para esta casa :):).

Sans! said...

Oh Ira, I can just imagine how hectic life must be for you but how does one run away from an addiction? lol. This post was supposed to come up on Friday but I was just so tired after work and making those minis. Just could no longer open my eyes. Went to bed and slept. Even though most times, mini making is very relaxing for me, I think sleep is still the best cure for exhaustion.

Take a cat nap if you can , dear Ira :).

When I eventually make an outhouse (toilet) for this house, I will call it by its real name like "shit hole" or something. "Stool" is what my doctor say. Can you imagine swearing "stool!!" every time you make a mistake? LOL

Sans! said...

Betsy, your sweet words will carry me through the 10km that I am going to run in a short while! :)

The sun bleached look is soooo difficult to achieve with realism. A friend has suggested that I really leave the spinning wheel in the sun for a while. I just wanted the challenge of painting it, you know . But somehow, the item just come out looking dirty instead of sun bleached. That's what I wanted for the windows of the tribal house but eventually I resorted to dark aging instead. May go back and try!

I love the real life stool. If I can bring home the bed equivalent, I would but no one will be allowed to sit or rest on it...hahahaha!

Slipstitches said...

That is amazing work, just amazing!

julie campbell said...

This is so lovely Sans, I lovethe way you have made the stool look "sat on" and I think the whole thing looks really authentic .
Had to laugh at your toilet name though ! We were brought up very strictly that we would NOT swear, and it stuck with me LOL so when my husband first called it that I told him off and was very shocked !! hes still says it sometimes.......and I still tell him off , and it still makes him laugh :0)
julie xxx

Sans! said...

O forgot to mention Betsy, that this post is structured this way with more details on the "how to" because of your earlier comment on my "Embroidered Dancing Shoes" post :).

I thought I would show everyone the material used as well. Most of the friends here are at the way-more-advance level so I thought maybe the step by step is not so necessary :):) .

Sans! said...

Ewa, it's this particular stool :). I have been wanting to "perfect" it for the longest time but never could find the right material until I bought the tiny square wooden beads for the top of the leg.

Finally I could make the end of the "dowel", in my case, toothpick come through the hole like the real chair. (See the top part of the 4 legs) The dowels are placed 2 sides up and 2 sides lower just like the real thing and I am pleased with that. The nightmare was aligning the whole frame and when I "sunk" the chair seat, the nightmare became of Elm Street proportion! lol

The real chair is build entirely without nails but of course I cheated with glue :).

I resent my reply (1st one sent on 9/6), Ewa. I hope you got it this time :).

Sans! said...

I am sooooo sorry , Katie, it should have been Zelkova NOT Zelkonia! Let me go google it !

Sans! said...

I am afraid Google is as good as they claim . And Wiki :)

It's a genus of the elm tree and used for making furniture because it is resistant to insect and its hard wood :).

THANK YOU! For that song. I have added it to this list :). I remember this song well. It was sung by Enya , right?

dora said...

As always one wonder.
You're right the Chair, has double value, spotted with your blood.
Mother mia Susan are faster, you already have the Embroiderers room and you was beautiful.
In change I, every day I have less time, with the work, the husband's house children, classes, my days should be 48 hours.
You once again to thank for your work and your narration, I love as describe us, do me it live.
Kisses and hugs Carmen

Sans! said...

Hugs back, Ara :):). Thank you, my dear and as you may know by now, I have just visited your site to look at your fabulous new chair :). What a contrast eh, yours and mine. Your reading chair look so pretty, plush and comfy :).

You know, I am looking at your chair and wondering if I can ever make anything "new". I have gotten used to aging/dirtying/ distressing so!

Sans! said...

Helene :), kisses from Singapore.

I thought I have completed the embroiderer's room last night after making that one last thing but now I thought maybe I should add another light :). It never ends, does it? haha

I like how you and Kathy mentioned "earthy" colours because strangely, even with Walter's shoes, everything still look kind of earthy.

You know what Helene, I think you will have the patience . You can paint a miniature , of course you will have the patience I don't know how miniaturists can be impatient. I mean, most of the work, even when building Lego needs patience :).

About the poster, that's no Prince. It's a self portrait of OM, Ro's father. ;p

Sans! said...

Awwwww Glenda, those words are precioso!!!! When I was selecting the music for this post, I typed "Ghandi + Spinning Wheel " :):). Telepathy

I can't get over that beautiful home of yours, Glenda, and went back to your post to look at it again. Maybe it's already putting you in the "feel good" zone? The home I live in is rental as well and also very hard to find :). I have been staying here for 14 years now and I am just wondering if you will have problems renewing the lease. :)

Glenda said...

Yes, Sans, I'm definitely smiling more, lately! That's when I'm not aching too much from shifting boxes!
Hopefully we'll have the place for a long time! We went to the beach today to gather driftwood for the fire. It was cold, but so lovely - I'll put up some more photos soon.
xxxx Glenda

Carmen L said...

Susan let me without words to see these works, AWESOME! the spinning wheel is incredible! cda day your work is better and that is difficult, as I would like to see them in person and to touch them! Congratulations heartily for this splendid work you are doing.
A kiss

rosanna said...

27 comments !!! I'm so late !
Ro's father will blushed being depicted as a young handsome prince... I shall not tell him without warning ^_^
Susan, I do not want to repeat hat everyone says you have done a great job. The stool is exactly as it should be, shabby! and the right amount of it. Gorgeous achievement and great tools as well, I love how the colours bright up the dark corner.Today I'll lift up my needles agai, against my promise but I need something new for friends. Hugs, Rosanna
PS my pc has problems in connection, I might be late in answering or reading.

Sans! said...

Ira, if you are reading this, I am just back from my dad's birthday dinner! Mum is thrilled with what you have given her and laughed when I told her the cream was for her nails. Dad was pleasantly surprised when I told him that you have not forgotten him :):). Everyone's curious about the Finnish chocolates but they are kept for the children who have eaten too much today! :)


Sans! said...

Flora, you are so kind. :) I had very mixed feeling about the stool. But now I think it is one of those little things that I can grow to

O my, I am feeling so stuffed. It's been so long since we had a 10 course dinner!! 2 desserts and no one could look at my sister's cake which she woke up at 5am to bake, without wanting to choke! LOL.

It reminded me of the time that I was in Italy, Flora, where we stuffed our face with your tiramisu even though we had eaten so much already!

Sans! said...

Assalam Mulaikum, Stitch! How sweet of you to visit my spinning room :):). I hope you like it and maybe you can stay here and sew something ? :)

rosanna said...

Ops, my pc is having antics and I cannot connect properly! this is the third trial, hopefully I'll get in touch. I shall not repeat what veryone says; you just have to know that I love your shabby stool, shabby as it must be. The wool spindels bright up the dark corner and I love them. Ro's dad will blushed when he'll know that he has been compared to such a handsome prince. Thanks a lot, hugs to you all, Rosanna

Meli said...

These photos are really fantastic!!! You have made and excellent work with the stool and the spinner tools!!! All as always is so amazing and as always too, is joy to read your stories!!!

contar said...

realmente todo el conjunto queda genial, y el rincón es perfecto
un abrazo

Liberty Biberty said...

You've worked hard and it looks AWESOME!!
Love that little stool!

Sans! said...

Julie!! No!!! No swearing? At all? Oh my, you will be so disgusted with me..haha :). But I do take care not to do any swearing on my post. Anyway, I was just feigning the "shock". My sister, Shir, is like you when it comes to impolite words :). We do not even use the word "stupid" in front of her kids even her shushing us. These days, its her kids who do the shushing. Hell to have any conversation with them ..(oops! did i just use another 4 letter word?) hehe :). SORRY!

Julie, thank you for taking the time to come over, my dear. I know how busy you are. I hope everything is ok now but remember, you have a whole load of friends here whenever you need some cheering! Don't go away for too long cos we all love your work :).

Sans! said...

Carmen (Dora), you really touched me with your generosity!

I have immense respect for all the mothers in the world. I rank them No. 1 in terms of "Greatest People On Earth". And amongst the mums , there is a mini ranking also. The ones who also had to make a living and take care of her children and the full time mothers hold 2nd position together. But the 1st are those who make time for themselves and still make time for others. Those are no. 1. You are right there , my dear. Despite not having 48 hours, I still see you here , encouraging me :).

I keep looking at your art. You will find out soon how much it meant to me to receive something like that :):):).

Sans! said...

Glenda, I just popped over for another visit! It has recharged me ! Those pictures are awesome!!

Sans! said...

Carmen, let's do a "corner-swap". You come and stay in mine and I go and stay in yours :). I have just been to your "Gustavian Corner" and I am loving it!!

I am so heartened that you come over and visit and lavish me with such compliments. You make my Monday a super duper one! THANK YOU!

Sans! said...

My dear dear Ro, what can I say except my heartfelt "THANK YOU!", to you and your family for being such an inspiration for me. I am so happy that I have improved so that I can build this home worthy for the Rollas. You guys are so great to put up with my "nonsense" :):) and my make belief world.

Although I did not build this house to be a wealthy abode, I do so want it to be rich with artistry, love and character. This is a home very close to my heart because I have always love folk art above all else. I now have only 6 weekends to complete it as much as I can.

So far, I must tell you I really like the embroidery room, mainly because of Walter's shoes. This is to be Ro's workroom which she shares a lot with OM. I hope to show it before you leave for SIMP. :):)

I am glad to hear that you are picking up that needle again. I took out my little 25 count carpet to sew BUT it was too difficult. I feel like unpicking everything and do it again. My stitches are YUKKY!

Jean Day said...

Wow, fantastic! You must have so much fun researching and figuring out what to use to give just the right effect. I love the stool and the way you died the baskets, they look so colorful. The spindles are perfect too. I used to teach spinning wool and drop spindle spinning, in some countries they use potatoes with a stick coming up the center, works quite well. So perfect having the baskets holding naturals dye materials too. You really add so many wonderful details! So exciting to see everything.

Gemma (Gempo) said...

You are a great artist Susan, congratulations. BEst wishes

Sans! said...

Rosanna, I just realised that your pc may be experiencing the slow reaction syndrome when a comment is not shown on the site even when it is already published. Not sure if you noticed but both your comments are published now. Happens to me sometime when my internet acts up or the browser I use is problematic.

Sans! said...

Meli, thank you, darling ! As always you are full of encouraging and sweet words.

I experimented a bit with the "image" function and for the 1st pic actually use "extra-large". Boy, allllll the faults really show when you blow the pictures up :). Up until the creation of this post, I was still touching up the stool because you can really tell where it went wrong when the photographs are HUGE! :)

Sans! said...

Contar, tus palabras son como siempre, precioso para mí.

Me doy cuenta de que acaba de cambiar tu blog y tus nuevos mensajes no aparecen en mi cuenta ya! Me he perdido muchos de sus nuevos puestos!

Sans! said...

Mercedes, at some point, we all do go the shabby way, don't we? :):). Doing the happy dance that one more person likes my stool :).

Sans! said...

Jean :), I feel like I am floating on air now with a very big head, mind you after reading your comment.

I am trying to picture this potato thing though. Ok, a stick pushing through the potato so the potato is in the centre? Or maybe the potato is the base. Got to google this one. I am equally fascinated with the fact that you taught hand spinning. Drop spinning, thats something new to me!

You know, in this tribal house is a combination of so many subject matters that I find engrossing. The main one is of course the artisans' process, be it their tools, how they work, what they do. Then there is the angle of men and women and their household chores. I am very very curious what people of a different culture from a different time do as their daily chores. I am really enjoying the research!

Sans! said...

Awwww Gemma, ok, you just made my head grow a few metres! I can't walk into my room now , the head won't fit the door!!! HELP!!!! :)

Roberta said...

As you know it's really hard for me read all your posts, but I always come to see children!!!
Anyway I want say I love you are making, expecially spinning and shoes...very cute!!!!
I send you a big hug

Carolina said...

Dear Sans, I've just seen at Caterina's blog that we are partners for the swap. Please contact me a :-)

Carolina said...

sorry, I misspelled the email address:

cockerina said...

Come to my blog to know your partner for the Holiday Swap!

Sans! said...

Roberta, I always use the translator when I read a foreign blog :). But it is good to have you here. I too love loads of pictures :).

Sans! said...

Carolina, lucky lucky me :). I have sent you an email.

Sans! said...

Very exciting , Caterina and it is good that both my partners are people I have not met :). Thank you for organising this. And I hope the success of this swap will brighten up your birthday this year!

Eva said...

Do you know the Sleeping Beauty? Probable yes. It is a classic fairy tale which involves a beautiful princess, enchantment and a handsome prince. I always think on that fairy tale when I see a spinner.
I have readen the article, I always learn in your blog :)
Un beso

Sans! said...

Hmmm, is that sleeping beauty or Rapunzel? Something about losing the princess if she pricks her hand on her 18th birthday? I am getting all my fairy tales mixed up! :)

Sans! said...

YES! It is the sleeping beauty! - this site has 2 very nice pictures with spinning wheels and a thesis of the fairy tale..hahaha!

So sleeping beauty slept after being pricked on the spindle, then which one slept after eating the poison apple? oooh! Snow White! I wonder why famous princesses always have such hard lives. There is a Chinese saying that "Beauties have hard lives" . I guess they all suffer no matter the cultural

Piikko said...

Congratulations! Beautiful work!
Everything looks so fantastic:D

Sans! said...

Awwwww Piikko :):). I really appreciate you taking the time to comment and say hi to me :):). From the bottom of my heart , Thank You!

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