Friday, September 24, 2010
Phew! Finito! This puppy is done! A dear friend of ours asked why I hadn't blogged since Sunday, and I promised him I would let him know today. Well, this is the reason.
On the right side of my hot-off-the-presses new piece are three quiltlets, each depicting a phase in the life of a rose in our garden. Each photo was printed on cotton sateen. Transparent monofilament stitches outline the major lines of those forms, and each quiltlet is bound with a silk-cotton blend I hand dyed.
Behind my fused glass rose is a piece of an over-the-hill formerly-white linen blouse I used to wear. I soaked the cut-up pieces in a mixture of acrylic paints and water, and the result is a swell texture with lots of concentrated spots where the acrylics and water refused to mix. As there seemed to be a plethora of straight lines in my design, I opted to tear irregular lines in the linen and fray it a bit.
These are all mounted on a commercial red silk dupioni which I stitched with a raffia-like cotton thread. And yes, I wrote earlier that I was going to use my own hand dyed fabric as the background, but fate had other ideas. Here's the scoop...
As I stitched the rose design that whirls out from the center, the silk-cotton blend had a life of its own and bunched up all wonky-like. As I was going to make the entire 24" x 30" background this way, proceeding would have been disastrous. I cut out the rose and salvaged the rest of the precious fabric. The stitched rose will appear somewhere, I am certain, where wonky works. I learned how to correct the error, but that was after I had used up too much of the fabric to be able to create the background intact.
This piece is for a challenge for a Santa Barbara group I am in, Fibervision. We each had a letter in the alphabet -- mine was "N" -- our work did not have to use the letter itself in the piece, but the piece had to be "about" something that started with the letter. "Nature" was a natural (hardy har har) and is the title of the piece. The challenge also required that each piece incorporate something "recycled," thus my incorporation of my dear old formerly-white linen blouse.
Another requirement of the challenge was that the piece be mounted on 24" x 30" stretcher bars. I used a 1" deep gallery-wrapped artist's canvas, which I wrapped with fabric before attaching my piece. I inserted two layers of fiberglass mesh on the back side to add the strength needed to support the fused glass. I used fishing line to attach that.
I learned a lot about myself while making this piece. For one, things always take longer than I think they will. As well, I learned that my art-brain has changed over the last year. Though I am very happy with this piece, it feels a bit too controlled, maybe too predictable --I seem more comfortable with a looser design and content. Reflection is a handy thing, and as they say, it's all good.