Saturday, January 14, 2012
"Rituals," a sneak peek
As I wait for my latest fused glass adventure to cool down in the kiln, I return to my adventures in textiles. Currently I am working on the triptych I have posted before, as well as another piece for a juried invitational. The theme of the exhibit is Rituals.
My brain has been processing this theme while I am both awake and asleep. A little battle evolved over whether I wanted to go the literal route, or whether I wanted to step out into the abstract. While processing all options, my thoughts about ritual inevitably centered on terms I retrieved from the thesaurus: custom, habit, practice, routine.
Those terms, in turn, inevitably centered on my customs, habits, practices, routines that are involved whenever I conceptualize a new piece of art, either textile or fused glass. The initial mind/brain dance occurs regularly in two venues (I have written about this before): the bathtub, and the running trails I share with Sanjagirl. Many an art quilt has been conceived in this fashion, as have many glass works.
The literal side of me thought it would be cool (though possibly a bit risque) to feature someone bathing. But, here's the kicker. The piece has to have a vertical orientation, two feet wide and five feet high. Nix the bath, unless it's a view from the light fixture. TMI.
Though I detest showers, this method of self-cleaning would provide that vertical orientation I needed for the exhibit. Now, cut to many hours of consternation later, and here is a rough version of what emerged, me, with water splashing off my shoulder, ostensibly standing in the shower:
That meant that about two and a half feet of this piece would be my face!!! I imagined seeing this at an exhibit, and my stomach turned. No, no, no. That was just not something I wanted to see, do, or even contemplate. Nix the literal interpretation of "ritual," an approach that arose from the ritual first step/cogitation, and move on to the next step, an image produced by my custom and practice.
I had decided that my "ritual" was my custom, habit, practice and routine of turning to technology in at least one step of my process. I then spent many many hours thinking about and working on images. I revisited old work, old ways, and settled upon again photographing one of the fused glass vases I had made, and digitally transforming that photograph into an abstract image. Here is what I settled on:
As per my tried and true custom, I hightailed the digital file to my favorite printer, Jim, of Museum Quality Framing in Camarillo. Soon I had the image large as life. The colors dazzled me, beautiful plums and shades of green I have not worked with before. Another trip then to the thread store, and then began, and continues, the ritual meditative process of hand stitching this piece. It will take me the full two months till the entry is due, methinks.
I am loving this ritual, from creation through execution. When stitching, I am changing the thread color often to give a lot of depth to the stitches. To be continued, for sure...