Saturday, July 11, 2009

He Who Is, Grave Rubbing Quilt Series


(Above: He Who Is, Grave Rubbing Quilt Series. 32 1/2" x 22". Crayon on fabric rubbing with free motion and hand embroidery. Vintage buttons. Click on image to enlarge.)

I made this grave rubbing in the Serbian Cemetery in Colma, California. It is the largest single rubbing I've ever attempted and it turned out fabulously. Thus, it became a whole quilt. As I've recently learned, a whole quilt is created using a single piece of fabric for the top layer. It is generally white; has no patchwork or applique; and relies on the stitching for its ornamentation. Well, the fabric isn't exactly white and the stitching is simply the kantha running stitches and there is a design.....but, by and large, this is a whole quilt! I did the hand stitching during last week's trip to England. Once home, I finished it with vintage buttons, buttonhole stitches, and a unique reverse made of old household linens.


(Above: Detail of He Who Is. Click on image to enlarge.)

The title is a rough translation of the letters found in the halo. The other letters, beside the halo spell "Jesus Christ".


(Above: Another detail of He Who Is. Click on image to enlarge.)

Although I still have hundreds of vintage buttons, I'm starting to run out of my favorite ones. This means that Steve and I will be attending a few more local auctions. Twenty years ago we used to go to an auction every week or so. We bought and sold all sorts of things, mostly antiquarian prints but also buttons, linens and lace. We sold them at Terrace Oaks Antique Mall in Charleston but then our framing business got enormous; we had no more time for auctions. Eight years ago I forcibly downsized Mouse House, our frame shop, in order to "become an artist". I've been using my leftover stash of notion and trim.....but I'm running out! Steve and I are looking forward to the "hunt".... which can easily become an addiction!

Oh...one more thing....THANK YOU, Ruth, for naming my last Grave Rubbing Series art quilt. The title Reverence is simply PERFECT! In fact, I entered it into a juried show with this title.....with luck, it might get in. Speaking of "getting in", Our Darling Sons was accepted by juror Pritika Chowdhry into Woman Made Gallery's upcoming exhibit "Cultural Memory: Transdiasporic Art Practices", September 4 - October 10, in Chicago, Illinois!


(Above: Reverse of He Who Is. Click on image to enlarge.)

6 comments:

hippopip said...

What a brilliant idea and so well executed it is fabulous,I will have to go out nd find some brasses.

Bill Evertson said...

Well done - the detail view shows the stitching very nicely.

Ruth said...

Susan - Glad you liked the name "Reverence". It just seemed to fit. Hope it gets in the show!

Wanda said...

Wow...this is awesome. This picture will stay in my mind forever. It is very powerful.

lindacreates said...

There really are no words. It is powerful and the stitching, especially the kantha really makes it. Congratulations on your shows and especially your scholarship. You are well deserving.

Catholic Bibliophagist said...

I loved the front of "He Who Is," but found the back to be rather jarring.

I've seen many whole cloth quilts which have been painted with fabric inks or paints, but none that used crayons or the rubbing technique. Very interesting. I especially liked the button embelishment. How did you keep the crayon from smearing as you stitched? Did you put some kind of fixative on it? If so, how did that affect the stiffness of the fabric?

I really liked your use of both hand and machine stitching!