Trudi's second piece, which she titled as "The Quarry," used rust, smoky fabrics and fallen leaves. I didn't have time to gather rusted or decayed objects in nature so it took a while to consider what to make from her inspiration. I first riffed off the word, quarry, which has an old English meaning game hunted with hounds or hawks.
I had a witch puppet and a cigar box, which I wanted to use so started with that. Then skeleton leaves left over from my Decay 2 piece would anchor to Trudi's fallen leaves. Found several old sewing tools - a tiny needle book, needles, measuring tape, an old thread box. A handwritten recipe titled "Fairy fruit salad." Old negatives of a family, including that of a baby. I considered many other old photos, objects, tools but it was all a matter of how to pull things together into a coherent composition around the loose theme of "quarry."
Then I found a fragment of a children's rhyme which goes like this:
Who killed Cock Robin?
I, said the Sparrow,
with my bow and arrow,
I killed Cock Robin.
Who saw him die?
I, said the Fly,
with my little eye,
I saw him die.
Who caught his blood?
I, said the Fish,
with my little dish,
I caught his blood.
Who'll make the shroud?
I, said the Beetle,
with my thread and needle,
I'll make the shroud.
That, and a tiny tin cookie mold filled with glittery blood completed the piece.
I named this piece "Fairytale Salad."
Trudi's "The Quarry"
My Fairytale Salad
Had a wonderful day at Leslie Morgan's Bonnie Doon studio/workshop yesterday. We all got to work on her property to make land art! I chose a blackened redwood stump from an ancient forest fire as my backdrop for kitsune. First I sketched something, then decided, with limited paint colors, to keep things simple. So a naked white fox and a little child fox was created. I also made another fox mischievously looking over the female's shoulder but the fox is hidden. It is shown on the bottom left before being placed in its nook.
Below is a small segment of a scroll created for Unravel piece #2 for National Art Tag. It was influenced by Rosemary Meza desPlas' soft sculpture. Unfortunately I did not photograph it before I sent it back to her. Rosemary uses hair sewn onto canvas or fabric. That is what she did with her small sculpture. This piece was inspired by her use of hair and also the many letters I have kept from Jacqueline, who passed away years ago. I first free-sewed some red thread onto the delicate paper scroll (purchased from a wonderful stationery shop in Kyoto). Then I added the calligraphic drips and brush strokes. The letter was cut up and was used to affix the hair onto the scroll. Then more drips. I happened to have a cherry blossom punch so I cut some scrap red glassine paper. The scroll was rolled up and sent to Kelly Hammargren, my Tag partner this round. I hope she will unravel the scroll and enjoy the results.
The top photo is the second piece for Decay. Took inspiration from Trudi's first piece, lower photo. As usual I was crushed for time but remembered how beautiful the Monarch butterflies looked on eucalyptus leaves in the winter.
The composition is nearly dry. Love the shadow effect from the back. Now I wish I had more dried leaves to make a much larger installation. The challenge is in displaying the work. Hang or lay flat?
I am working on two Art Tag rounds at the moment - Decay - with the NCWCA group and Unravel - with the National WCA group. Both deadlines came immediately following the national conference in NYC. It meant that I had scant time to work on either of the pieces before and after the conference.
I knew what I wanted to do for Decay, but it entailed a lot of sewing. A houseguest stayed with us right before my trip, which meant that I couldn't sew at all downstairs. While I couldn't work on Decay in NYC, I did do a lot thinking. When I got home, I spent half of Friday and all of Saturday working on my piece. As an alternative to the dress, my original concept, I had been thinking about making a boro-gi. I picked up some indigo-dyed paper at the Codex book fair right before going to NYC. I also had a funeral "kimono" made of paper from the Chinese funeral store. That klmono became my template. The assembled scraps of fabric felt unfinished. What made it decay? I remembered that I had a pile of old family photos given to me by my step-niece. Some were faded and stained. They were incorporated into the piece. I like it very much.
I actually conceptualized this piece first. Although I wished I could have created a Judith Scott piece, I didn't have the time to wrap and unravel a lot of material. My mind was fixated on zippers at the time...I had ordered some neat transparent zippers for my envisioned sewn piece for Decay...and among my rummage drawers, I found some cool 1960's style pull zips. The others - black feathers, old hand-made hammer, unraveled muslin snap tape, etc were simply things that I felt "went with" the black zipper.
Our studio show this year is titled Artifact. It is a theme that conjures up shadow boxes and memorabilia. I decided to make some collages that involve difficult papers and sewing. Someone from Collagarama gifted me some Japanese papers in December. I used the smooth sheets to make Japanese New Year cards. I was left with thick, handmade paper that wasn't suitable for drawing or glueing. These are the base for my collage. I also had some heavily textured paper that looks like dried seaweed. And I had shell buttons, collected over many years.
By chance I had lunch with Tanya this week. She was wearing a bracelet made with shell buttons and leather. They created the inspiration for how I wanted to put together the materials I had gathered. I had a roll of gimp cord in my studio but the cord was not easy to work with because it unraveled when threaded. It took me the entire afternoon to create six pieces. I took the pieces home with the thought that I would finish making the pieces a little at a time. Instead of gimp, I used waxed linen. It was sturdy enough to use without a needle. I managed to complete the rest of the 18 pieces for this project. Now I am considering how to piece these postcard sized works into a larger, cohesive piece.
white marker, double-sided tape, scissors, black paint, glue stick