Wednesday, November 18, 2020

A totally hand-stitched In Box and a Commission

(Above:  Detail of In Box CCCLXXXVII, a totally hand-stitched artwork.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

I don't know why it happens so often, but frequently several pieces on which I'm working come to an end on the same day.  It happened again this morning.  A commission for three Seasonal Leaves got finished, framed, photographed, and documented on the same day as In Box CCCLXXXVII got done.

(Above:  In Box CCCLXXXVII.  Layers of polyester stretch velvet fused to recycled, synthetic felt with hand stitching and melting techniques. Unframed: 15" x 11"; framed: 22" x 18".)

I stitched this piece during the drive to and from the Philadelphia area. Steve and I went there last weekend and stayed with friends who picked up my artwork from Wildflowers Too, a seasonal art gallery on the New Jersey shore.  We also got to visit Longwood Gardens. It was beautiful!

(Above:  Me with In Box CCCLXXXVII.)

So ... here's me with the finished piece. I'm trying to remember to take this sort of photo because it is a good way to really show the presentation, scale, and size of the finished piece.  In the background are two of the three Seasonal Leaves commission.

(Above:  Three Seasonal Leaves:  Summer, Winter, and Autumn.)

This commission resulted from an invitational show held last February at the Carrollton Art Center in Georgia.  I had a set of four Seasonal Leaves on display.  Later, they were sold through an interior design firm to Children's Hospital in Boston.  Then last month, a nice couple from Carrollton contacted me to purchase three of them.  Obviously, I couldn't sell them again ... but I offered to recreate the desired three. 

(Above:  A composite image showing the palette of polyester stretch velvet for Winter and the resulting foundation layer of the piece.)

When accepting a commission, I try to take photos during every step of the process.  These are used to write a PDF for the client.  It lets them see the stages of development and explains my techniques.

(Above:  Summer, constructed and covered with strips of sheer, scarf-weight chiffon.)

I didn't take photos of all three pieces in every stage of development, but the PDF does show the progression from the basic construction ... the free-motion machine stitching using 100% black cotton thread ...
... to being stapled to a stretcher bar and melted.  In fact, I shot a fourteen second video to illustrate the melting.  It is HERE on You Tube.
I included this image too.  It shows how I trim the excess, partly melted felt around the perimeter.  This fringe is really just a line of cotton sewing thread to which the felt is still attached. All the little "bridges" between the polyester stretch velvet shapes are also just a line, back-and-forth, of cotton thread.  The cotton thread does not melt; it holds the shapes together.
(Above:  Seasonal Leaves, Autumn.  Unframed: 29" x 17"; Framed: 33 1/2" x 21 1/2".)
(Above:  Seasonal Leaves: Summer.)
(Above:  Detail of Seasonal Leaves, Summer.)
(Above:  Seasonal Leaves: Winter.)
(Above:  Detail of Seasonal Leaves, Winter.)


judi said...

Awesome Susan. Thank you for sharing the video of the melting!!!

BT said...

Your work is stunning. It must have taken you a while to work out your techniques. You need to write a book - if you haven't already!

Margaret said...

Such wonderful creations! And isn't it great to be asked to recreate a piece (or two or three) for a commission?

Ann Scott said...

These pieces are like jewels! Congratulations on the sales and the all hand-made piece. It is so cool to see some of your process and the work up close.

Catherine - Mixed Media Artist said...

just totally WOW - and the effect that you get from the technique you have gotten to work for you...

Unknown said...

Sua técnica é fantástica como também a delicadeza no processo e no trabalho final!