Sunday, June 07, 2009

Weekend of fiber work!

(Above: Stained Glass IX, X, XI, and XII in progress. Layers of polyester, stretch velvet, previously painted Wonder Under (Bond-a-Web), and metallic foiling on acrylic felt. Ready for a layer of chiffon scarves and free-motion machine embroidery....then soldering and melting. Click on image to enlarge.)

I love weekends! I have more uninterrupted time in my studio than at any other part of the week. My "faux stained glass" pieces have really taken shape. In fact, five of the six have been "constructed". These are likely the worst photos I've ever posted on my blog, but they do give an idea of size, shape, and color. I took the images below while standing on my wooden stool holding the digital camera over my head. It was sort of fun trying to capture the entire piece without looking through the lens!

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

In the first picture, I put the first four on the Gallery 80808 floor and stood on the stool....leaving my new flip-flops in the photo for scale. (Yes, Wanda, I finally threw out the old shoes! They finally fell apart while we were in Washington, DC. Steve and I saw a cheap shoe store....I left with these on my feet and the old one's in the shop's trash bin!)

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

I've got one more to "build", layer by polyester velvet layer. Then I'll be on to the free motion machine embroidery. The names for these pieces are: Stained Glass IX through Stained Glass XIV. The first four were much smaller and are now owned by First Citizen's Bank here in Columbia. The next four were originally made for Blues Chapel and are now owned by Melle Dalton. Each time I've done this, the process gets more and more complicated and the pieces get smaller and smaller.

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

All these pieces are constructed very similarly to my In Box Series. The only tutorial I've ever written is on how to do this. It is here! Most of the techniques I applied were learned in various classes with Jean Littlejohn and Jan Beaney. They have a saying that is often repeated: A woman can't have enough painted Wonder Under (although they generally referred to it by the English brand name, Bond-a-Web). Well, I'd like to add: A woman can't have enough Wonder Under....painted or not! This past week I've been through two bolts....that's about forty yards. Some was painted. Some was ironed onto the back of the twenty or so colors of polyester, stretch velvet in my stash, and some was ironed onto the acrylic felt in order to add metallic foiling before constructing the piece. I couldn't start the final "faux stained glass" piece today....BECAUSE I'M OUT OF WONDER UNDER AGAIN!

(Above: Stained Glass XIII, in progress. Click on image to enlarge.)


Karen said...

These look fantastic Susan! From the photo I can see some of the bits and snippits left from a busy weekend! My 'studio' right now looks like a tornado went through it but I managed to get some art work done finally! I know just how a small space gets after a whirlwind of creativity!
Also a big Congrats on the Lowell show!!!!

Robin Olsen said...

Wow these are amazing! I hope you will treat us to a few close-ups soon.

Wanda said...

Oh my goodness...these are really spectacular Susan! Leaving your feet in a couple really help get a feel for the size!

Jacquelines blog said...

What a gorgeous series Susan. I love the way you build them up. From a distance they really look like stained glass.

Annica said...

Beautiful work! Great tutorial too! thanks for sharing the process.

JafaBrit's Art said...

oh my goodness, I am gobsmacked, these are GORGEOUS, visually and techically.

Cindi said...

Seriously, this may be my favorite series. Lush, intricate, thick, layered -- invoking the ocean,invoking wine (where my head is now) ... I really want to get by soon and shee these in person.