Another of Grandmama’s Experiments

Grandmama joined the Women’s Institute at some point, and went on many of their craft courses of one sort or another. When I found this collage, I also found one of her notebooks with notes from some of those courses, which I hope will enlighten me about how she approached them. When I get around to transcribing them, that is. It is one of those tasks that always gets put off to a more convenient time!

I’m especially curious about this one. I’d never seen it before – a collage of an Indian’s Head. A fictional one, I imagine. In fact the question I find myself asking about this is “Why?”. Most of it is glued rather than stitched, which I rather imagine would have gone somewhat against the grain with Grandmama. It also has the slightly slapdash feel that my own work has when I’m feeling out-of-sorts about being forced to do something I dislike or consider uninteresting. Maybe the notes will tell me more.

However, I was highly entertained when I realised that the ornaments on the end of the Indian’s braids were trouser buttons from my Grandfather’s Tropical uniform – it’s a good thing he’d retired by then!


  1. Lady Fi says:

    I actually like the slapdash feel in this – it’s quirky with the buttons too.

  2. Penny says:

    How fun!! Now you have a little mystery to solve. I hope her writings will reveal all. I’d love it if it was one of those projects that she got ‘trapped’ into doing because of friends or a class or something. We’ve all had those in our lives.

  3. Jules says:

    What an interesting mystery! Hope you can solve it. I had to smile at the face because it reminds me of a balloon with a very similar face and feather head dress, which my older brother tied to the inner door handle of my room early one morning ( I was only 3 or 4). Not surprisingly, I woke up and screamed the house down!

  4. Carolyn says:

    It has a 1950’s feel about it. I found an old magazines with an Indian Head very similar to this. The magazine was ‘Feltcraft’ by Penelope, no date I’m afraid but the magzine was printed in Manchester.

  5. Sue Jones says:

    This looks like the Copydex era – very early sixties. It has character, and yes, the buttion plaited are fun. Maybe it was a project for decorating a themed party or a carnival float? – the sort of things WIs used to get up to.
    I had one of those balloons with feathers that Jules mentioned – mine was a beautiful deep blue-violet colour and came from a fair. I’ve never forgotten it. It had one orange feather and one yellow one. I was just old enough to love it – and cried when it popped.

  6. Mam says:

    Grandmama was Craft Organiser for her branch of WI, and as usual didn’t do things by half. She was quite happy to arrange projects which had no appeal for her, but which would entertain her colleagues. She also made a point of attending all courses she organised, for feedback as much as anything else, though she did say that you don’t know if a craft appeals until you’ve tried it. She even tried watercolour! In the needlework rug making course she made two small mats in different stiches. 3ft square. a long runner 3ft x 10ft and started a fair sized carpet 5ft x 8ft. Her confreres barely did half a mat! But if you do a hour evry day it’s amazing what you can do.

  7. karen says:

    ha!! brilliant use of redundant buttons!

  8. Terrie says:

    Beautiful collage and a treasure of keepsake from family.

  9. What an interesting find! I hope you uncover more information in the notes… otherwise, your imagination will have to do the job 😉

  10. Susan says:

    At first glance I thought it was stitched but then I see the collage as I look more closely. There are some cool feathers in there. Your lucky to have so many pieces from your Grandmama.

  11. Janice says:

    Oh you must read and find out about this one! Actually, I love it!