Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Stained Glass XXVI and Ancestors

(Above: Ancestors, detail. Wooden spools, painted, wrapped, and stitched with thumbnail images from vintage family and assorted found photographs. Click on image to enlarge.)

It's holiday framing season even at a severely downsized Mouse House, Inc. ... the business I have with my husband Steve. I haven't done a thing with the amazing photos from our long weekend in Seattle, but I will soon ... maybe on Christmas day! In the meantime, I've been framing various 2D gifts and earning the money for future travel. (I'm not really complaining....ten years ago I would have been spending every waking hour at my mat cutter ... from before Halloween until Christmas eve!)

(Above: Me with two of the kittens!)

We've also been very busy with a litter of kittens and the feral mama cat who deposited her family in the shed attached to our garage. My mentor Stephen Chesley has talents beyond painting. He's an expert cat catcher ... has his own cat trap and a pair of heavy welding gloves. He caught the kittens by hand. Mama Cat was in the trap by the next morning. I took her to our veterinarian, Shawn Verbrick at The Cat Clinic. $232 later, Mama was spayed, given rabies shots, tested for feline leukemia and then released. She's more than capable of survival in our neighborhood; we've seen her on an off for over two years. She can now hunt squirrels without the worry of another pregnancy. Yet, we still had three kittens ... until posting them on Facebook. The amazing power of the Internet found loving homes for all three.

(The little black and white kitten's photo for Facebook!)

My blogging and correspondence time has suffered through all these activities ... but I refuse to cut into my studio time. Therefore, I can share Stained Glass XXVI and Ancestors.

(Above: Stained Glass XXVI. Polyester stretch velvets, previously painted heat activated adhesive/Wonder Under, metallic foiling, chiffon scarves, free motion machine embroidery using 100% black cotton quilting thread, melting. Unframed: 58" x 18"; Framed: 64 1/2" x 24 1/2". Click on image to enlarge.)

(Above: Top of Stained Glass XXVI. Click on image to enlarge.)

(Above: Middle portion of Stained Glass XXVI. Click on image to enlarge.)

(Above: Bottom of Stained Glass XXVI. Click on image to enlarge.)

Scale is often a difficult thing to visualize when surfing the web. Sure, I post dimensions ... frequently "framed" and "unframed" ... but sometimes a photo with something for "reference", like our cat Shadow, is helpful. These three pieces are stitched to over-sized linen mat board and already in black linen liners. They will soon be put into frames with Plexi-Glas between the liner and the moulding ... which will bring them to the 64 1/2" x 24 1/2" total size.

(Above: Ancestors with fiber vessel. Click on image to enlarge.)

Most evenings I stitch by hand while Steve watches television. (I'm supposedly watching too but I often can't even remember what was showing!) Recently I've been stitching into the yarn wound around the sanded and painted wooden spools created a week or so ago. Each one includes a thumbnail image from a vintage family or collected photograph. I took photos with and without the fiber vessel. I'm not sure which is "better" or "why". Vessels are created after zigzagging several strands of old yarn together and then zigzagging the cord into a three dimensional form. It is very meditative to do!


Cynthia Nicole said...
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Cynthia Nicole said...

I'm just amazed at how you brought this piece (Ancestors) together! I guess it's what artists do. I saw the spools and didn't think you'd pull it off. :) But you did.

Dale Anne Potter said...

LOVE the spools idea!
And, each one so different - I imagine there is a photo on each end, different or the same one on both ends?
As always GORGEOUS Stained Glass pieces!!!

Tricks said...

Love the stained glass, what an achievement; and wow what a size your right about the scale thing.
I also love your idea about ancestors. I have recently made a simple embroidery to celebrate my ancestors, pop over and take a look if you get time. Glad to be friends on facebook too, bye for now Tricia x


I love the stained glass pieces...and I think your little kitties are adorable!

Julie said...

I like the spools spilling out of the vessel, they look wonderful with the stitching too. Maybe the vessel gives the impression of ancestry coming from a shared source in my mind whereas if they are just scattered on a surface there would be less to suggest they are connected? (Not sure that I'm explaining it very well).


You need to add one word to your "ABOUT ME" write-up..... sister!!!

Margeeth said...

You did really well with those kittens and their mother, exactly the right thing to do, good for you. The kittens were young, so they can be socialized and become house-cats, while spaying the mother (who can never be tame enough to really live with people)can still have a good life in your neighbourhood and preventing other wild cats to fill in the gap that would have been there if you had just catched her and put her somewhere else. I am not surprised that those kittens found a new home very soon, they look very cute. And my compliments to your mentor, catching kittens with a feral mother with your hands is quite an accomplishment (even with heavy gloves) they can be quite wild.

Sara lechner said...

I'm totally in love with your "Ancestors" and the new pieces!!!

lindacreates said...

This is a amazing piece Susan. The stained glass is gorgeous and it was wonderful to see how large they are.
The spools are fascinating. I am always in awe of your art Susan. Keep up the great work. God Bless and Merry Christmas.

Jean said...

Lover your art, and I also that adorable kitty, I'm glad you were able to find homes for them, we rescued a mom and her 6 little ones, (one a black and white also) but we kept them all.

gunnelsvensson said...

I love these spools!!! very clever and beautiful !!!

Anonymous said...

Susan, you're spools have evolved into beautiful ancestoral pieces. I treasure the one you gave me!

Velia's SewingSchool and veliasquiltstudies said...

So in Love with Your embroidered Spools. I would love to try doing one with Your permission Susan. OR would Love to have one or more to show My Embroidery in Quilts students. 108 North street, Hudson, Michigan, 49247-9705 USA . 517-448-2323 Velia. Lauerman