Friday, January 17, 2014

Two pieces find a new home ... and other new work!

(Above:  Pat Beckler and Bonnie Mullis purchasing Stained Glass LV and Stained Glass LVI for Shandon United Methodist Church.  Click on any image in this blog post to enlarge.)

Recently I created two pieces on a "first refusal" bases for Shandon United Methodist Church.  This meant I could make anything I liked; they got to see them/purchase them before anyone else; they were under no obligation to buy them.  This was an arrangement that worked well for everyone.  After all, I'm going to the ACC Baltimore Show at the end of February.  If the church didn't want these pieces, they'd go with me to Maryland.  Pat and Bonnie could have made new suggestions and I would have simply tried again.  Yet, we'd had great conversations up to this point.  They mentioned a few additional, religious symbols that truly resonated with members of the congregation, like ...

(Above:  Detail of Stained Glass LVI.)

... the descending dove in the center of a lunette at the top of Stained Glass LVI

(Above:  Detail of Stained Glass LVI.)

They also admire large, Rose Windows in many historic cathedrals.  Thus, one was intentionally included as well as a cross in the very center.

(Above:  Detail of Stained Glass LVI.)

We also talked about various architectural styles, especially Gothic and Romanesque arches.

(Above:  Stained Glass LVI on left and Stained Glass LV on right.)

When designing the two pieces, I made sure one had the Romanesque and the other had the Gothic!  There are all sorts of other religious symbols in both works.  This was really no problem at all ... because I usually include them.  I can't think of stained glass windows without references to places of deep spiritual atmosphere!  It's just part of me and part of the original inspiration for these works.  I'm so happy they now have a new home!

(Above:  Installing Stained Glass LV and Stained Glass LVI at Shandon United Methodist Church.)

On Wednesday morning I delivered and hung the pieces in the stairwell at Shandon United Methodist Church.  It is impossible to tell from a photo, but this is a GREAT LOCATION ... a very busy place between choir rooms, offices, Sunday school classes, and even an upstairs, rotating art gallery!  I'm truly honored. Unfortunately, the lighting was such that great photos weren't possible during the installation.  Two nice men helped with the lifting and centering.  The wall is plaster and required drilling the holes for the hanging devices.  Everything well very smoothly. 

(Above:  Bonnie Mullis on the left and Pat Beckler on the right.)

In no time, the works were hung and I got this photo of Bonnie and Pat.  Later there will be a dedication ... including the donor and his family.  He donated the funds in honor of his wife, a talented embroiderer.  I'll blog about this when the time comes .... can't wait!

(Above:  Window LXXXVI.  Unframed:  13" x 11"; Framed 17 1/4" x 15 1/4".)

I liked the descending dove so much that I used the same motif for a small "Window" series piece that I finished this week.

(Above:  Window LXXXVII.  Unframed:  13" x 11"; Framed 17 1/4" x 15 1/4".)

This was the other "Window" finished this week ... but I also got several other pieces finished, framed, and ready for the trip to Maryland for the ACC Baltimore show, Feb. 22 - 24.

(Above:  Stained Glass LVII.  Unframed:  57" x 17"; Framed:  62 1/2" x 22 1/2".)

Another large, "Stained Glass" window was finished ... using a stylized tulip for the basic design motif.  I love this mostly Indian design.

(Above:  Detail of Stained Glass LVII.)

Some of the colors are really bright and very brilliant due to the new, nearly neon polyester velvets I've recently purchased.

(Above:  In Box CXXXV.  Unframed:  17" x 13"; Framed:  19 1/4" x 15 1/4".)

I've used these neon colors in my newest, small "In Box" series pieces too.

(Above:  In Box CXXXVI.  Unframed:  17" x 13"; Framed:  19 1/4" x 15 1/4".)

Yet, I've been up to a few more projects!

(Above:  Dismantling an old, cast iron sewing machine.)

I got this old, cast iron sewing machine from my parents.  I think it might have originally been a treadle machine but was updated to work with electricity.  The cord looked dangerous.  Although one might have been able to get it working again, there were plenty of problematic parts ... semi-rusted.  The cabinet had its share of problems too.  So ... I decided to dismantle it for parts.  I really, really wanted the big wheel.  Well, Steve and I worked for a solid two hours on it.  We removed dozens of screws using at least six different sizes of flat-headed screwdrivers.  Many parts came off but the wheel was quite firmly attached.  Exhausted, we gave up.  During the next two days, I continued to find screws to take off ... until FINALLY ... I got the wheel!  I'm not sure exactly what 3D found art object will get this wheel ... but I feel victorious!  It was loads of fun.  Steve and I now know that we will NEVER complain about sewing machine repair costs and we also have a new found appreciation for mid-19th century design.  

(Above:  Wall of Ancestors, Always in Style.  Collage on original hand-tinted, anonymous photo in hand-finished but otherwise "readymade" modern frame. Click on any image to enlarge.)

I'm also continuing my Wall of Ancestor collection.  These are all original antique and vintage photographs collaged with letters clipped from vintage books, sheet music, and magazines.  I'm currently writing two exhibition proposals:  Ancestors and Threads: Gathering My Thoughts.  The Wall of Ancestors is obviously part of the Ancestor proposal.  I hope I get the opportunity to display the visions I have in my head.  Time will tell.

(Above:  Wall of Ancestors, First in My Family to Immigrate to America.  Collage on antique photo with hand coloring in original frame.)

(Above:  Wall of Ancestors, Nothing But the Finest.  Collage on original hand-tinted, anonymous photo in hand-finished but otherwise "readymade" modern frame.

(Above:  Wall of Ancestors, Our Love Affair was Epic.  Collage on two antique sepia photos ... including "Roses are Red" and "Violets are Blue".  Contemporary matting and framing.)

(Above:  Wall of Ancestors, So Young, So Strong, So Beautiful.  Collage on original hand-tinted vintage photo with contemporary matting and framing.)

I am also linking this post to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Fridays", a site for sharing fiber art works.


Julie said...

Beautiful work as always Susan and I do like the new bright colours. What a wonderful honour to have your work in the Church where so many will enjoy it. I was a bit aghast at your dismantling of the sewing machine but since it was rusty I'm now excited to see how you celebrate it.

Muv said...

Hello Susan,

The two panels that you have done for the church are absolutely beautiful - so much intricate work that you have put into them! Nip over to my blog and you will see a gorgeous stained glass window that I posted on 6th January.

Hope you don't mind me saying, but the brown staining on the sewing machine looks more like dried up oil residue rather than rust... oh well, too late now.

Love from England,

Margaret said...

The new pieces for the church are breath-taking -- and I'm so pleased you decided to create a separate small piece with the dove! I am thinking you might try a St. George's cross (if you haven't already)...And your ancestors series is giving me ideas for a tribute to my mother (her centennary is 2016)...

Yael said...

Your work is incredibly beautiful! :-)

Wanda said...

Beautiful stained glass pieces. I am sure they look absolutely amazing in the church. I personally think they could all be in churches.