Monday, June 15, 2009

Free Motion Weekend (and future plans for DC and England!)


(Above: Stained Glass XI, detail. Work in progress. Click on image to enlarge.)


(Above: Stained Glass IX and X, work in progress. Click on image to enlarge.)

My Bernina 1630 got more than a little workout this weekend stitching the first four of six "faux stained glass" fiber pieces. Each work is approximately 57" x 17". After constructing them with polyester stretch velvet on acrylic felt using Wonder Under (Bond-a-Web), I added some additional metallic foiling and covered each with black chiffon scarves. The chiffon works like a wash of color, unifying the otherwise garious material. It also allows the free motion foot to simply glide over the otherwise plastic feeling surface. Much of it will melt away or bond into the velvet while being heated.


(Above: Stained Glass IX, detail. Click on image to enlarge.)


(Above: Stained Glass X, detail. Click on image to enlarge.)

It took three and a half to four hours to stitch each one. I use 100% cotton black thread and make certain that all the pieces are connected to one another. After all, once the stitching is complete, I start soldering and melting away the acrylic substrata. All the sections must be firmly stitched to one another in order that the piece doesn't fall apart!


(Above: Stained Glass XI and XII, work in progress. Click on image to enlarge.)

The machine embroidery, however, is more than functional....it is also part of the ornamentation.....little decorative patterns that add the detail....just like stained glass! Now....on to the final two!

(Above and below: Details of Stained Glass XII. Click on images to enlarge.)


Lest anyone think I'm not continuing with my other series, I have nearly finished the next Grave Rubbing Quilt and will be transferring images for the following Decision Portraits: Patriot, Muslim, Immigrants, and At Risk Adoption. I'm still waiting to hear from two other "models".....so I've got more than enough to do! I could spend the next month (or forever) in my studio....but this coming weekend Steve and I are headed to Washington, DC to see Le Corsaire by the Bolshoi and to visit a few other cemeteries. Also, we are headed to Manchester, England on June 28 through July 6. I'd love to meet up with any fiber enthusiasts during any of these travels!

One more thing.....last week I got caught! Just imagine a middle aged woman riding up to a very large, commercial dumpster in a cemetery and jumping in....fully prepared with hot pink rubber boots and latex gloves....foraging for artificial flowers. I had a lovely conversation with the administrator and, with luck, will hopefully be able to collect all the silk arrangements I need! I also drafted a legal document serving as a waiver/assumption of risk form specifically for dumpster diving. If anyone needs such a form, please email me! In the meantime, keep your fingers crossed that I get the permission and flowers I need!

3 comments:

JafaBrit's Art said...

your stained glass series is just exquisite and I want to keep exploring them close up. It is all the layers of colours, fabrics and stitches that really intrigue me, and visually , well wow!

Jacquelines blog said...

Your stained glass series is developping wonderfull Susan. I am curious about the next desicion portrets. It is great that you can work on a theme for that long. I have the intention to lose interest after two or three times, I find it hard to concentrate on a theme.

Wanda said...

The stained glass pieces are spectacular. I am so glad that we can "click to enlarge" things...the details are incredible! And so much work goes into each one of them....and love, I might add. OK, so you got caught dumpster diving...ha ha ha I guess one could get caught doing other things that are worse! I'm sure the administrator was very happy to have something new and exciting and alive to tell his wife when he got home that night! You made his day!! I heard also that you got poison ivy??? How come we haven't heard about that? ha ha ha Isn't the world amazing...you'll be in Manchester and I'll be in a little town in France!