New beginnings

New beginnings

Pascale Spall

Ok - I don’t really have a new modelling career. In this instance I was giving one of my dearest friends a hand. Although I have had a varied side line career in front of the camera over the years. One of my most memorable being the packaging for an electric blanket..

Let me tell you why the shop is now open three days a week - Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday…

It’s a bit convoluted. Please, bear with me…

New Beginnings,

 Well, this feels like it has been a long time coming. For those that don’t know I will give you a little introduction, a bit of background on where Stag & Bow came from. How she was born and how she has evolved.  But having re –read this it has become my life story. Um…. Sorry.

Written by me; Pascale Spall - Creative Director of Stag & Bow.

 My earliest memories of making are being with my Aunty Jenny (who features heavily for those that are familiar with us).  Jenny and I were stitching a skirt for my doll, I might have been about 3, I can see the chunky twisted little stitches now, pulled really tight on one side. I was elated by what was in my hands. My beautiful Aunty, like fairytale magic had just given me the gift of creation.

Fast forward; always something in my (often) sticky little fingers. Hungry to make, using what I had around me, seeing potential in everything.

Photo credit Shane Spall, Ireland, July 1983 (looking at a Leprechaun)

 September ‘87/ First Textiles class / Big School (Crofton) / Mrs Bassie / age 11

 Sitting in an acrylic grey jumper with static my new best friend. Looking at my overly photocopied handout I had an epiphany - I will grow the cotton, I will process the cotton, I will spin the yarn, I will make the fabric.

 Christmas ‘89 – My first sewing machine. I’m welling up remembering that feeling of infinite possibility laid out in my immediate future.  That machine was run into the ground. I still have the sewing box that I got with it, balancing on 3 legs – I really need to fix that.

 Aged 16, my Mum came in to my room to find my friend Sarah and I making bobbin-lace. It was a Saturday night.  She asked why we weren’t sneaking out the house and drinking booze. Ignorant to the fact that we had had our fill of Peach Canei and Thunderbird ‘Red’ in the park after school the day before and making lace was ALOT more attractive.

 A levels – Theatre Arts and English literature. Retook my GSCE Maths because I had gotten an E and consequently got an F (anything was possible at Crofton). Crap mark in my Theatre Arts practical exam – I waved at my teacher and examiner mid Greek Chorus. I didn’t do Textiles, I didn’t think it an option for University –I thought that Textiles meant fashion. I wasn’t interested in Fashion.  Too competitive, I’ve never been competitive.

A foundation in Media studies because I THOUGHT I should go to Film school.  I didn’t want to act as I was so often asked “follow in the family footsteps?” (also I was useless, cue Greek Chorus above). I enjoyed the creativity of filmmaking and story telling. Sewing and making were a pastime for me, I didn’t see a future with them in my head. I had them in my heart.  No one had told me I should go to film school, I just thought it – I thought that was where my career should be, even though I didn’t love it.  – Shit, I was miserable on that foundation. I loved the practicalities of splicing films together and developing photographs but had trouble navigating the egos of my peers.

 I’m the oldest of 3, Our parents supported and nurtured us with love and patience in everything that we did and didn’t do.  Our Dad is an actor our Mum is a writer. Growing up with creative parents and their inspiring creative friends we were gifted with all the possibilities of artistic endeavour. My Dad coaxed me through to the end of my foundation.  I didn’t go to film school – I wasn’t a disappointment to my parents after all. Funny that.

A new beginning

I’ll go travelling. I’ll see the world. I’ll understand what I should do next, with time, with life experience. I worked my arse off for 2 years, double after double - I’m a grafter, from a long line of grafters. I’m also a bloody good waitress.

 The world! Well some of it. I learnt to crochet on a Greyhound Bus travelling across Canada on one particular 36 hour stint. Carrying a backpack and a king size crochet blanket around with me…  Always those busy fingers. I stitched, I embroidered, I sketched, I knitted, I wove baskets, I made fruit bowls out of shower caps and coat hangers.

On my return I knew I could harness this force within me, that it had a label after all. That I loved Textiles! I loved making! I should study Textiles! A foundation in Art saw me like a hot knife through butter, a place offered at Farnham on the Textile degree course as the cherry on top.

 I fell in love.

 With an Australian.

 How’s this going to work then?! That soul filling unquenchable love that shakes you to the core. His visa days were numbered. Mine weren’t.

 I’ll move to Australia!

My degree?!

I’ll move to Australia!

But my Textile degree?!

I’ll move to Australia!

 Bugger it, I’ll move to Australia…. 

To be Continued….


17 October 2019