Friday, November 2, 2018

Wandering a New Path

After a summer of intensive hand stitching I was ready for something new. As I caught up on my reading, I came across Sue Bleiweiss' article, "Faux Metal Fabric," in Quilting Arts. It involved lots of scrunching of fabric, something I love to do, and then lots of paint. Since I had two small wrapped canvasses sitting in my studio reminding me I needed to do something for the upcoming 8x8 show at the Newburyport Art Association, it would be a small investment in materials to see where this technique might lead me--and I would perhaps fulfill my commitment to have something to enter in the show.

Sue's instructions called for silk habotai, which I didn't have, but I did have some silk organza earmarked for some dyeing experiments but it might work for this. So I began scrunching and ironing the silk until it was pretty thoroughly wrinkled. I added Mistyfuse to two background cotton layers sufficiently large to wrap around the canvasses and then placed the scrunched silk on top and ironed once again. All that texture was looking good!

Sue then slathers lots of black paint on the surface. I found a bottle of black acrylic that I had "won" at the end of a Jane Dunnewold class and that I thought I would never use; it worked perfectly! Another round of ironing followed. Sue's next step covers the surface with several layers of metallic paint so that it flattens out and begins to look indeed like metal. I couldn't let go of all that haptic-ness so I left Sue's path entirely and struck out on my own. I began to envision the metallic paint not covering the surface but highlighting the texture. And all that black was leading me to a question about whether there was hope in all that darkness. So I began adding suggestions of colors here and there and highlighting it all with glints of gilt.

The finished two, now named Hope Regardless 2 & 3, referencing an earlier piece I made in 2016, are meant to hang together:

They also work as single pieces and were hung separately at the Newburyport Art Association. The lighting in these photos highlights the texture a bit more:

And not a single stitch on either of them! My hands thanked me.

Linked with Off the Wall Fridays--check out what's happening there!


Angela said...

Your own path is always the best.

Norma Schlager said...

I like the way you just highlighted it with the metallic and you achieved great texture. It's gratifying to take an idea and then run with it, but in your own way.

Gwyned Trefethen said...

So fun the way you began down one path, then took a detour or two or three.