A gift to self

Across the threshold of this new year I found time and space to bring this cloth, long in the making, near completion. Some elements that have long sought a home have found one.

Arranging squares yesterday – pure pleasure – I thought of how the strips and swatches of fabric hold memory in a tactile, visceral, yet gentle form. Maybe that is the allure of cloth for me. There is also a conversation. The cloth talks to me and to my many teachers.

I found some handkerchief weight linen that will make a nice backing for this. Before winter is over I will cover up with it and daydream.

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Another view of Symmetry

From my favorite perch watching sunset yesterday, the sun, streaming in from it’s low angle near the horizon, revealed a new view of my piece, Symmetry, which hangs on the wall next to my chair.

The shadows of the stitching and printed bird on the front layer are projected momentarily on the back layer. I love the intense and fleeting shadows this time of year and this time of day.

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After sunset the front layer catches the light as it fades. It is hard to reproduce this on a gallery wall, or on a professionally done slide, but it’s what I most enjoy about this piece!

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Owl on silk with Japanese tsumungi cotton

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Some time ago I began to make some wall hangings with stencils I had previously used for other purposes. I put the project aside because I couldn’t remove the grid lines I had drawn before pasting the stencils. The lines are permanently locked in between layers of soy sizing and pigment dyes. I tried soaking them out in an oxygen-cleaning product and still they persist! If any of you wonder about the permanence of natural pigments in a soy binder, here’s your proof.

Soon after, I found some wonderful Japanese cotton fabric at a favorite treasure hunting spot in Minneapolis, call Indigo. The weave includes a deep eggplant color and golden green. From a distance the piece reads as a rich, deep brown.

I think it will offset the owl image nicely, and the cotton fabric is very close in weight to the silk twill I used for the owl. I am piecing these together and will then construct a pillow.