Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Sleeping Beauty: Fantasty Fabric for Fairies
I've finished the first two fiber pieces for the dance related exhibit coming up in May at Fish or Cut Bait Gallery on Edisto Island. I already did eight digital transfers on pages from a vintage ballet book. I want to get at least eight embroideries done too. My idea is this: Image the fairies from Sleeping Beauty, the fairy tale not just the ballet. What would they wear? Wouldn't it be diaphanous, ephemeral, lacy but also covered in sparkling gems? At least it would in my mind! So, using water soluble fabric, I'm creating "fantasy fabric fit for fairies".
To create this lace, I've stitched interesting yarns and ribbon to the water soluble fabric attached to a stretcher bar. Mostly, I'm couching them in place. Then, I remove the piece from the stretcher bar and free-motion machine through their lines but also between them, in interlocking or netting patterns. I use a hoop to keep the piece taunt. Next, I put the piece back on the stretcher bars and hand bead it. This takes more time than anything else and I use lots of "petite" beads; the smaller, the better! Finally, I remove the piece from the stretcher bars and pin it to a piece of foam-centered board. I run it under warm water until all the fabric has dissolved. I allow it to dry while still tacked to the foam-centered board. Generally, I've found the piece is still a little too stiff and run it under warm water again. After it is dry the second time, it still has some stiffness but has relaxed enough for my satisfaction.
I am currently working on a piece for the Fairy of Darkness. I am planning to create the Lilac Fairy, the Silver Fairy, the Gold Fairy, and something for the Fairies of Playfulness and Courage. I've also been toying with the idea of Blue Bird and Puss and Boots. Who knows! I'm open to other suggestions too!
Posted by Susan Lenz at 8:10 AM