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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Weaving a quilt - or creating a quilt topic


I have a few weaving's that are now calling out to me to reproduce them as quilts. The question I have is are they looking to be actual quilts or quilt tops.

I have learned over the years that some pieces are only ever going to be a quilt top, a way to learn a technique, to be used in a lecture or training workshop, or to just hang on my design wall. The unlucky pieces stay stuffed in a box or a bag. Why unlucky? Because I always intend to get back to them. This year those unlucky pieces from the last twenty-thirty years are going to see some sunlight.

Take this piece for example...As a complete piece it does not have the pull to create a quilt but crop it in a few places and it screams at me to take it on.

Look what happens to this 8x10' weaving when I crop it. It becomes a bold possiblility for a quilt. It lends itself to all kinds of techniques including adding some threads and beads, weaving the fabric in and out to mimic the actual weaving. The threads hanging from the bottom and around the eyes of the lower of the four faces could be strips of bias sewn above the eyes for example. I love the way the piece enters and exits the edges of the faces. The inspiration for this was an African Mask I saw with what appeared to me to be tears streaming down the face. Later I learned it was from an agricultural tribe and was used in ceremonies at certain times of the year that had nothing to do with what the mask felt like or meant to me.

I love putting together faces that work into each other and become the brow or nostrils of the next face. There is something me, myself, and I about it. This particular piece was almost done and I was going to work some type of hair treatment at the very top when a friend asked me if God would be looking down from above...although those were not his words but my interpretation of what he said. Like most of my art my hearing when it comes to my art takes on a life of its own and works its way into my pieces. If I want a piece to be solely my own I would probably have to shut my self up in a space with no outside influences. But is that even possible as we take with us all our previous and most especially last impressions into a piece. Well that is so for me, especially when I look back two or three years. I found the pieces I made with all the lazy eyes and noses were all about the adult asthma I would later be given a diagnose of. Did I bring it on, or did I know it, and not know what I knew. Look into your art works and see if you are weaving a quilt or creating a topic for discussion.

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