Monday, December 02, 2013

Works in progress!

(Above:  Detail of Stained Glass LV ... stitched and ready to be melted. Click on any image to enlarge.)

I love long weekends!  I spent hours and hours happily working in my studio.  Lots was accomplished!  First up was finishing the polyester stretch velvet construction of the large, stained glass piece which will be a "first refusal" for a client who wants a piece of my artwork based on the "number four". 

(Above:  Stained Glass LIV in progress.)

If you enlarge the photo above, you will see four distinctive sections.  The top is a stylized Fleur-de-lis with a heart shape inside.  The next section is a stylized quatrefoil, one that sort of is reminiscent of several patterns of the ends of medieval keys. The three section is a set of Romanesque arches, and the bottom is based on a real stained glass window I saw in an English bank.  This is how the piece looked after it was totally constructed, had previously painted WonderUnder (Bond-a-Web) ironed on top of it, and had strips of different colored chiffon scarves ironed over that.  It is at this stage that I am ready to stitch. 

(Above:  Stained Glass LIV under the sewing machine.)

It takes between five and six hours for me to completely cover the surface with self-guide, free motion machine embroidery.

(Above:  Stained Glass LIV on stretcher bars and in the process of having holes poked through the polyester velvet layers using two sizes of soldering irons.)

Now the piece has been stapled to a large stretcher bar.  It is in the garage where at least six or seven hours of melting will occur.  I use two different sizes of soldering irons and finally a heat gun.  This will be accomplished later today ... I hope!

(Above:  Stained Glass LV, construction is complete.)

Generally I work on one of these pieces from start to finish.  Yet, it was a long weekend!  I really wanted to spend all my available time in my studio ... not in the garage.  So, my attention turned to Stained Glass LV and Stained Glass LVI.  These, too, will be "first refusals" for a local church.  In the photo above, Stained Glass LV is shown after all the polyester velvet shapes were cut and fused in place.

(Above:  Stained Glass LV, ready for stitching.)

Here it is after more WonderUnder and chiffon scarves have been ironed into place.  It is now ready to stitch.  I like the chiffon scarves for several reasons.  They change add another color layer and more complexity to the overall piece.  The garish colors are "knocked back".  More importantly, they create a nice, smooth surface over which my sewing machine can glide easily ... no more semi-plastic/semi-sticky surface!

(Above:  Stained Glass LV, stitching is finished.)

Well, this piece is now at home ... waiting to go onto the stretcher bars and get melted.  The first photo in this blog post is a detail of this piece, stitching done and waiting to melt.

(Above:  Detail of Stained Glass LV, stitching is finished.)

Yet, I didn't go to the garage to melt.  Instead, I went back to my studio ... back to Stained Glass LVI.)

(Above:  Stained Glass LVI ... ready to go under the sewing machine.)

By yesterday evening, I'd stitched nearly a third of the piece.

(Above:  In Box CXXIX.  Unframed approximately 17" x 13".  Framed:  21 3/4" x 17 3/4".)

I'm not really used to taking so many "work-in-progress" photos.  I'm used to snapping images after the artwork is mounted on mat board ... like In Box CXXIX ...

(Above:  In Box CXXVIII.  Unframed approximately 17" x 13".  Framed:  21 3/4" x 17 3/4".)

... and In Box CXXVIII.   These are my new size.  Currently I have three in frames and one waiting to be melted.  I'll soon be taking a photo of all three sizes of these pieces and adding these new ones to my sales blog.

(Above:  In Box CXXX.)

I also finished a large "In Box Series" piece.

(Above:  Designing Appreciate on the living room floor.)

And now for some BIG NEWS!  Steve and I are going to England on Friday!  Our elder son, Mathias Lenz Dingman, and his girlfriend, Laura-Jane Gibson, have great roles in Birmingham Royal Ballet's production of The Nutcracker.  This holiday season there are something like THIRTY-FIVE shows of The Nutcracker.  Obviously, this means there are multiple casts.  In one cast Mathias is "the prince".  In another cast, Laura-Jane is "Clara".  We were worried that we might not get to see both dancers in their best parts ... but we will!  We will see Mathias on Sunday and Wednesday as the prince.  We will see Laura-Jane as Clara on Tuesday.  EXCITED!

(Above:  Designing Appreciate on the living room floor.)

When I'm traveling, I generally have a hand stitching project with me.  I started Appreciate some time ago.  It is being made for a group called CLAWS (Crossing the Line: Artists at Work).  There are nineteen other words for which small (24" x 18") art quilts are being made.  My concept for the word "appreciate" comes from the vintage household linens in my stash.  Too many of these handmade items are forgotten, neglected, and tossed into boxes headed for auction.  Reusing them in my artwork is to show my appreciation to the many, anonymous makers.  I'll be stitching on this while traveling.


Julie said...

I don't think you could have crammed any more into your weekend ;-) Have a wonderful time in Birmingham!

Christine said...

How wonderful to come to Birmingham! I saw the show last week - check my Blog post -

Was as wonderful as ever. Enjoy your time together.

Wanda said...

Great stuff going on Susan! IDid I miss something because I'm not sure what 'first refusal' means. Excuse my ignorance. I am SO excited to see the new stained glass pieces finished. They already look awesome! I'm very happy that both you and Steve are going to Birmingham for Nutcracker and that you will be able to see BOTH Mathias and Laura-Jane in their awesome roles. What an early Christmas present!