Sunday, February 28, 2016

Two days of hard work

Sorry but I don't have pictures.  I've spent the last couple of days working on some of those UFO's I spoke of. Periodically, maybe once a year, I set aside most of a day to do very abstract mono-printing.  I use fabric about the size of a fat quarter metre  (--20" by 22")  I don't pretend to be making fine art.  Just put the paint on glass or gel in a colour way pleasing to me, and take a print, often followed by a ghost print. I can usually produce between 20 and 30 of these  in an afternoon. (The rest of the day is spent getting ready and then cleaning up.) Some of these end up as embroidered and beaded, framed pieces--or at least, mounted and matted for sale.  But those that don't get used in a constructive way, are often machine quilted, and turned into small zippered purses.  This gives me a chance to practice different quilting patterns and designs, and experiment with different colour ways. Well, I now have five more of them--quilted, sewn together and ready for hand finishing--which I can do while watching tv.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Rough start

Getting back in the swing of things has been rough.  The last while has been spent reviewing and revising my Machine quilting class for early April.  A few days ago, I decided that enough was enough, and put it all away until a couple of weeks before the class.  Instead, I felt the need to do something just because I wanted to, not because I felt I should be doing it--not a chore.

Tuesday of this week I was speaking with a couple of friends about an upcoming show.  I wasn't intending to enter, but they convinced me that the item I had was quite fine.  So I plopped my money down and am now committed. One of these friends is in charge of a second show later this spring, and I offered an older piece, but one that has not been shown.  It was a soft sculpture reliquary, one I spent a great deal of time on. 

It was accepted and my mind turned to reliquaries.  They are my secret pleasure.  Something I love doing, even if each one can take two to three months of hard, fussy, detailed hand  work.

These thoughts lead to an unfinished one that has been around for almost two years.  ( Thinking of the Celtic Cross discussed in a previous post probably started this train of thought)  This poor thing has encountered just about every disaster I can think of.  The pattern ( my own drawing) proved inaccurate in a strategic area, I lost the fabric I was working with, and couldn't replace it.  Then I tucked it away in hopes of finding more fabric, and forgot where I put it!  I found it a couple of months ago, quite by accident.  I decided to finish it as best I could.

The fabric on the very bottom is not shot silk, but the colour is right and who's going to see it anyway.  I altered the doorway at the back of it, so it would fit better, and added a firm insert ( foam core) to the base for extra support.  The actual construction is not my best work, but I'm very pleased with the embellishment.

I have also pulled a few UFO's out of storage to work on over the next couple of weeks.  I sometimes forget that creativity has to be fed, or it shrivels up and dies.  I need to make things just for myself once in awhile.

Monday, February 8, 2016

A glimmer of an idea

The last week was spent in Cuba.  This is the fourth time I've been, and I've produced a memory piece after every visit, sometimes struggling to develop a concept.  This time the idea came fairly early in the trip.  The resort we stayed in had decorative images everywhere.  We had the opportunity to visit a couple of other resorts and found similar motifs in those, as well.  I recognized the image as a pre-Christian Celtic Cross, rotated 45 degrees. ( A couple of years ago I used a medieval Celtic Cross in a piece, with some success).  This raised the question of it's symbolism in Spanish or Cuban culture, and a potential focus for the piece I want to develop, based on this visit.

I inquired at our resort, and was referred to our tour company representative.  Unfortunately she had no idea, and thought it was pure decoration.  However, she did ask further, and her source said exactly the same thing, but suggested that maybe the various resorts had the same architect.

Very disappointed, I gave it a little more thought, and remembered that many religious symbols had been banned in socialist countries.  So, I've decided to carry on.  The Celtic Cross has meaning for me, but maybe doesn't need to be the focal point of the design I'm working on.  At this point I'm thinking of using soy wax batik for the background, and maybe using the image as part of that. A more contemporary focal point or image just might result in a better design.