Typing up stories and its revelations

Having a funny research day today.  Started planning my presentation for my PhD progression point, but I find it hard to spend a whole lot of time on the same thing, so I’ve more or less done the slides, which for today I think is an achievement.  I will carry on with this tomorrow and then start practicing it out loud to the dog (he loves a presentation practice).

The main reason of suddenly wanting to write this though was because I realised I hadn’t typed up a few of my lost love stories that I had collected most recently.

I have had the others typed up for me as I felt this was just a ‘job’ that needed to be done, but actually I think it is a big part of the making process and getting into the stories and the minds of the people who’s lost love they are talking about.

I began reading and typing at the same time and the overwhelming urge to analyse using my ‘artists voice’ came into my head.  When the writer talked about that she wished her Nana had taught her how to crochet it felt like a jigsaw piece that would be used in the making of the artefact.


I have been struggling over the last few weeks with the concept of using the same materials (leather and silicone) as I always have used, but this has just allowed me to break free of that and think that I can work in other ways!

So my idea is to re-type up the stories using my artists voice to try and do some initial designing using words and then pictures to see what happens!

The N-exlace and Taking on the burden of other lost loves.


The N-exlace was created in response to how the emotion of a lost relationship could be processed through the creation of an artefact.  Before working with other peoples stories I wanted to use my own experience of a lost romantic relationship to analyse and experiment with making techniques that felt appropriate.  Love letters and photographs were sourced, reread and looked at.  Diary entries found the time period were used to provide a contrast between what I’ve deemed the ‘public’ and ‘hidden’ side of the relationship.


He gave me a locket as a gift was used in casting experiments and this produced a negative ‘ghost’ silicone sphere, which I have kept as a memento of the relationship.
The making process used traditional handcrafts that were labour intensive and physical allowing each stage to be thought through thoroughly whilst actually making.

What I also discovered was when printing the leather, I thought of the times within the relationship, receiving the letters and writing my diary and analysing continuously.  The emotion that was felt whilst making the piece was quite intense.  I wasn’t entirely sure whilst making what form it would take.

Printing on the leather was experimentation and the acetone left the letters distressed and faded in parts, adding to the feel of the memories being faded.


The piece took the form of a necklace, very literal to the cast locket embedded within it but the leather began to symbolise my own skin that had been imprinted with these memories, but that had now been processed and could be removed from round my neck.  The making process allowed for therapeutic analysis to a certain extent.

Whilst collecting the stories from other individuals I have concluded the most expressive and emotional way of this is the written word.  I have interviewed a number of people verbally, but the emotion is not conveyed as intensely as through the personal letters.  This may be due to people being able to think and write what they are feeling rather than feeling pressured.


As a maker, reading these collected stories has been a harder experience than I anticipated.  Each one is filled with heart-felt emotion for lost loves and it has felt like I am taking on other peoples emotional burdens.  Through the making process I hope to relieve myself of these burdens as I create a new lost love artefact.