Friday, August 10, 2018

Turkish Inspiration

(Above:  Detail of Large Stained Glass LXXXVI.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

I'm really pleased with the way this piece turned out.  I'm also indebted to a hilarious back-story regarding its inspiration. It all started in June at the Rensing Center, an art residency program outside Pickens, South Carolina.  I arrived for five-weeks in order to create a giant, fiber enclosure called The Cocoon.  I brought with me exactly two magazines and placed them beside the double bed.

Of course I meant to read them.  I thought that I'd take the time while alone in this magical, rural setting with no one else around to interrupt me.  In my "normal life", I rarely (if ever) make time for magazines ... and I feel very, very guilty when I toss an entire year's subscription into the recycling bin unread. The only magazines I get are ones that come with a membership.  There are three of them:  Surface Design's  Journal, the American Craft Council's Craft Magazine, and Studio Art Quilt Associates' Journal

(Above:  Large Stained Glass LXXXVI.  Framed 63" x 23". Polyester stretch velvets fused to recycled black industrial felt with free-motion machine stitching and unique melting techniques.)

The magazines sat beside my bed until the next-to-the-last night.  I had just installed The Cocoon in the Rensing Center's library and decided to celebrate with a local IPA in Picken's only craft brew pub while finally reading at least one of the magazines.  I took the SAQA Journal.  It is difficult to describe the surreal moment when turning a page to a full length image of my Large Stained Glass LXXXI beside a nicely written article by N. K. Quan. I was stunned ... happily so ... but have no memory of our obvious correspondence.  (Nevertheless ... THANK YOU, N.K. Quan!)  

(Above:  Detail of Large Stained Glass LXXXVI.)

The article detailed my inspiration as found in a copy of Owen Jones' 1868 copy of Grammar of Ornament.  It mentioned how I changed the Indian design to fit my elongated size and how I ignored the original colors.  It talked about the various motifs and patterns on the page and how I used the ones I liked.  It's a great article!  The piece was later accepted into the prestigious, international juried exhibition Art Quilt Elements

(Above:  Detail of Large Stained Glass LXXXVI.)

While sipping my beer and reading this article, I couldn't help but to think, "Susan, you ought to consult your Grammar of Ornament again!"  So, I did! 

(Above:  My copy of Owen Jones' 1868 edition of The Grammar of Ornament showing the page with the Turkish design)

This time I selected a Turkish design.  I also challenged myself to work in a limited palette similar to the one in the book.  Because my substrata and thread are black, I opted against using more black.  I picked blues and reds with gold and silver for contrast.  When the first layer went down, I thought, "Oh no!  This was a mistake!" but from there, everything went into place.

(Above:  Large Stained Glass LXXXVI stitched, stapled to a stretcher bar, and ready for melting techniques.)

This piece also challenged me to tackle voids in ways I've never done before.  The ornate top and the exotic curve on the bottom required me to create a "spider's web" of stitching.  I wasn't sure how this would come through the melting process ... but like the color challenge, it worked out perfectly!

(Above:  Detail of Large Stained Glass LXXXVI featuring the space inside the curves where I've stitched a "spider's web" between the polyester shapes.)

Even though this is the eighty-sixth piece in this series, there are still new challenges and I look forward to making the next one!


Els said...

Ahhhh ... another one of your gorgeous stained glass windows !!!
Love the fringed edges

Pat Reese aka Lemon Pie Pat Reese aka Cuzzin Sally said...

Susan I am so happy to have found you. enjoyed the TED talk and will always want to know what you are making or have made

all the brest

Pat Reese