Sunday, June 1, 2008

Water: Sustainer and Destroyer

This one is all about the concept. Life cannot exist without water, yet water has the power to destroy as well.

I could have gone for dramatic imagery, but instead, I chose to keep the imagery rather generic but rather to create this quilt (or more properly, assemblage) out of things that are affected by water. Of course, since we are an art quilt group, the things are all related to sewing.

The "top" is appliqued with circles of sheer fabrics, to include a stabilizer painted in a water ring pattern with water soluble paints. It is embellished with pearls glued on with basting glue that releases when wet. I colored the piece with water color pencils and a fabric marker that disappears when wet. The "batting" is water soluble stabilizer.

The quilting is done with water soluble thread on top and a variegated rayon thread in the bobbin.

(Because of the sheer fabrics, I think this looks especially nice backlit.)

The backing fabric is a silk scarf which I marbled -- a process that requires paint to be floated on water.

This is what the piece looks like now, representing the sustaining quality of water. But eventually, I'm pretty sure I'll need to douse it in water and document it's demise to show the destructive power. I'm thinking that I should wait until it has a chance to travel across two oceans and then I'll photograph it at the beach, or perhaps find a waterfall which can be part of the process of destroying the piece. Performance art. Who knew we'd go there.

What would you like to see?


Helen Conway said...

Wow! I think that we should have a ceremonial dowsing with all twelve of us present and we can kind of 'baptise' the thing with little drops of water each! I love the whole concept and the thought behind it. I am very impressed with your abilty to sew in perfect circles. Also, on first look it made me smile becuase it reminded me of my Mum following me around her newly decorated lounge recently threatening me everytime I thought about putting my mug of tea down in case I left a ring on her woodwork!

Kristin L said...

Yea -- I'm so glad the water rings actually read as such! And I think a ceremonial baptism all together is a great idea. Start saving up for that flight to Hawaii!

BTW, the perfect circles are thanks to a nifty attachment I bought for my sewing machine. It's one of those cases when you think "Oh, I don't need that," and then once a year it's the perfect gadget for the job!

StegArt said...

Your use of solubles is great. Please take video during the demise so we can all experience it.

Karen said...

I think little drips or sprays over several day to watch this slowly would be fantastic. What a great idea this is, and to carry it through with all the materials is really nice, not to mention the design is so cool.

Gerrie said...

I think a big splash from a wave during your first Hawaiian cyclone!! :)

It is so lovely and ethereal, I hate to think of its demise.

Diane said...

Kristin, once again it's not only your piece itself that awes me, but also the depth of thought that went into it.

First, visually the piece is gorgeous. The circles say water rings and bubbles to, so light and elegant. The pearls and stitching embellishments also are great droplet echoes. And the overall composition, with overlapping shapes and colors, is just wonderful.

And I have to say how delighted I am at your idea of the water-soluble products in the piece. Great idea and it would be very fun to see how water affects this -- but like Gerrie the thought of it being "washed away" saddens me! I think you'll have to make a duplicate!

Maybe we'll all start thinking about performance pieces and then we can take our show on the road -- you know, sort of like the American Idol singers on tour?!?!

Karen said...

Kristin, All I can think of to say is WOW! This whole piece from concept to destruction is amazing. I ditto Gerrie in feeling sad that it will be washed out..

Terry said...

The delicacy (visual) of this piece makes it hard to think of in relation to "destroyer" but then that is the insideous nature of water, isn't it? As we are working through these challenges, personality traits are becoming more and more evident. I am seeing Kristen as someone who enjoys the ironies in life.

Nikki said...

I have to agree with all the WOWs! That was my first thought when reading about your creation of this piece. I don't want to see it destroyed!

I also see in this piece, all the microscopic life in a drop of water. I see a comumity of single cell organisms.

Truely beautiful.

Françoise said...

Such an original idea! This work is truly beautiful. Are you sure you want to destroy it?

Deborah said...

Don't Do It!!! I just can't stand the idea of this melting away.

Ok ok ok, you're the artist. Do what you wish. You really have considered a much bigger picture with this project. Fascinating and so effective.

I just love that straight, sheer, raw edge. It has been so interesting to see all the different finishing techniques we have used in all these quilts.

Brenda said...

You quilts always present such a thoughtful and profound interpretation of the theme. I can't wait to see what you do with "Illumination"!