Thursday, 28 November 2019

the still point

Just one piece to share with you this week – but it's a whopper by my standards! I always prefer to work small, but on this rare occasion I decided a bigger area might suit my need.

In the summer of 2018 I was talking about a paper product I'd seen but not tried - Magnani Acquerello round blocks.  Hard to find or massively overpriced in the UK, a generous and kind tangle friend, Jules, offered to send me a few sheets to try. It took till now to give the first one a road test, but it's a great paper - a little thirsty, smooth but with enough tooth to slow me down and take hold of the graphite.

Link to buy in the US via Amazon.
And at long last, a viable UK seller!

They come in two sizes, and I used the smaller one. It's about an inch and a half larger than the official Zendala tile which doesn't sound like much but feels like a lot of extra tangling space!

Just like the days make a week make a month make a year -
so a tile grows, slowly but surely, a little at a time.

I wanted this tile to represent the cusp between two seasons, that point where autumn segues into winter. I worked slowly over the course of a week, laying down my string, my colour (Peerless watercolours), some tangles to define the space, autumn tangles in one section, winter in another.  I considered shading using colour, but decided that smooth blended graphite was the way to go.

A dance of two seasons.
Defining the space - Marasu, Miff, Beadlines and Doodah.
In the Autumn section - Hollis, Gelijoy, Mooka Easy, Tamisolo.
In the Winter section - Arukas, Flukes, Hemp and Fassett.
And right at the middle, Uncorked by Adele Bruno (my very first tangle friend and mentor).

There's lots of different tangles on this tile, more than I would usually put together on a single piece – but the limited colour and shading and the repeat of those black perfs with their tiny white highlights helped unify and simplify the finished piece.

As the last leaves fall and darken in our puddles, autumn waves goodbye.  Winter lingers on the threshold waiting to be invited in. It can't be stopped whether you welcome it or not, but I plan on making friends with it through the next few weeks with my final seasonal Inklings.


  1. You know I adore it Jem. I have plenty more of those rounds to share if you want more! Here's to the turning of seasons....again we are lucky enough to see it. :D

  2. Thank you Jules for your enthusiasm an support. I still have two more that you sent me! And also I've found a UK supplier now. But if that company disappears by the time I've finished the others I'll give you a nod!

  3. This is really a gorgeous zendala, thank you very much Jem for sharing and for the steps!!!

    1. Thank you Ria - I'm pleased you like it and found the steps helpful!

  4. What an interesting piece, kind of like an abstract yin-yang design.. to commemorate the changing season!! Your last paragraph reads like a poem, Jem! So graphic and whimsical. Sending many warm hugs your way.

    1. Thank you Debbie! I hadn't thought of the yin-yang - but yes, that's there too. And my partner pointed out how the two empty sections could stand for the other two seasons.

      People have found a lot of connection and meaning in this piece - which is wonderful to know.

  5. oh neat, i like how it represents the two seasons!

    1. Thank you Artzy - my string offered a tidy way for the two seasons to shake hands!