Saturday, October 24, 2020

Lancet Windows and Peacock Feathers

(Above: Lancet Window CCXXVIII. Framed: 31 1/4" x 11 1/4".  Layers of fused polyester stretch velvet on recycled industrial felt with free motion machine embroidery and melting techniques.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

I have been really busy making new work in anticipation of the upcoming Philadelphia Museum of Art's virtual craft show.  Whether any of it actually sells during this event or not isn't my concern.  Right now, I'm just "making" and soon I'll be turning my attention to my website ... trying to create a platform for selling the work myself (before, during, and after the show!)  One of the things that seems necessary is to present images that give an accurate sense of size and scale.  Thus, I'm photographing each piece while I'm holding it.  Each one was temporarily put into its frame ... but without glass.

(Above:  Lancet Window CCXXVI.  Framed:  31 1/4" x 11 1/4".)

This piece is based on motifs found in Owen Jones' Grammar of Ornament, a 19th century reference book featuring patterns and designs from all over the world and every era.  It is not the first time I've constructed a piece like this.  I blogged about the first one HERE.  Even those I've used the same basic foundation pieces, no two are really alike.  In fact, every one of my "Stained Glass" pieces is a unique, one-of-a-kind work of art.

(Above:  Peacock Feather XXIII.  Framed: 31 1/4" x 11 1/4".)

No matter how many peacock feathers I've stitched, no two of these are ever alike either.  Each feather seems to have its own style and number of individual strands.  The eyes might look similar but close inspection reveals that no two of them are alike either.

(Above:  Ernie was tired but he stayed on my mat cutter while I mounted all this work!)

Each time I share a post of new work, I try to write about something new.  Considering that I've made over two hundred Lancet Windows, this can be a challenging idea ... but I don't think I've ever written about "the fringe". 

(Above:  A composite image featuring the lower section of Lancet Window CCXXVIII.  The top part shows the fringe with the left half trimmed and the right half untrimmed.  The lower section shows all of the fringe after it was trimmed.)

The fringe is created by first stitching line ... in the back ... from the side of a polyester stretch velvet shape.  The substrata (which is where this line is stitched) is on the recycled black industrial felt.  Because the felt is a synthetic, it melts along with the felt that was between the polyester stretch velvet shapes.  Because the thread is 100% cotton, it doesn't melt.  The thread holds the shapes together.  The thread that becomes the fringe is just thread to which some of the felt clings.  It looks pretty scrappy until I trim it with dull scissors.

(Above:  Stitching Lancet Window CCXXVIII to a piece of acid-free, 8511 Bainbridge Sea Mist mat board.)

Once the excess felt it neatly trimmed, each piece is then hand stitched to a piece of acid-free mat board.  At that time, I gently put each piece into a frame and snapped photos holding it.  This was done to avoid the glare of glass.  Afterwards, each piece went into its frame after the glass was held in place by strips of acid-free foam-centered board "walls".

(Above:  Fitting the artwork into a frame with "walls".)

The image above shows the glass in the frame and the foam-centered board strips glued inside the frame's lip.  The strips are just a little shorter than the inside lip of the frame ... which creates a "ledge" on which the mat board can rest.  The result is a space between the artwork/mat board and the glass ... like a "mini shadowbox".  (By the way, one doesn't need foam-centered board to do this.  Balsa wood strips can be used too!)

(Above:  The back of the mat board showing the line of stitching used to mount the artwork.) 

The image above shows the mat board in place ... resting on the ledge created by the foam-centered board strips.  At this point, I also put another piece of foam-centered board behind the artwork and staple it in place with a point driver.

(Above:  Lancet Window CCXXV, detail of the corner once installed in the frame with glass.)

The image above shows the space created between the mat board/artwork and the glass.  Below are images of the other work recently finished.  I really hope that this sort of composite image gives an accurate sense of scale and presentation!

(Above:  Lancet Window CCXXVI.  Framed: 31 1/4" x 11 1/4".  Each Lancet Window and Peacock Feather is $395.)
(Above:  Lancet Window CCXXVII.  Framed 31 1/4" x 11 1/4". $395.)
(Above:  Peacock Feather XXIV.  Framed: 31 1/4" x 11 1/4". $395.)


Ann Scott said...

These are beautiful. It is nice to read and see your mounting technique, such a wonderful presentation. I hope they do sell because it's always exciting to know someone else with enjoy our work in their home or business, or even purchase it to give as a gift to someone they love.

Loved see Ernie.

Jennifer Dewey said...

Susan, your work is exquisite!!! Thank you for sharing both your work and aspects of your technique with fellow createers!!

betty potter said...

These pieces are beautiful in the pictures, but I think they are probably stunning in person!

Catherine - Mixed Media Artist said...

the processes you use are unique and I love how you took us on your fringing journey.

It looks like Ernie prefers the sewing machine or hand aspects but then again may he'd had a tiring day supervising you and needed a break...

laurel said...